Feb 21, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Affairs, International Relations Concentration, B.A.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges

Dr. John Hulsey, Coordinator
Phone: (540) 568-7854
Email: hulseyjw@jmu.edu
Location: Miller Hall, Room 2165
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/polisci/intlaffairs.html


The major in international affairs provides a cross disciplinary understanding of foreign cultures and societies, the dynamics of world politics and other nations’ world views and their consequent actions.

A liberal arts program (B.A. degree), the international affairs major combines cross disciplinary, intercultural and multilingual education. It offers students a choice between two concentrations: international relations and comparative study. The courses for these concentrations stem from a broad variety of traditional liberal studies disciplines. The major also allows students to incorporate a minor in Africana, Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Modern European or Russian studies, as well as the studies abroad programs. Because of limited course offerings, certain specializations may require language training from another university.

Degree and Major Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs

International affairs is a 50-credit hour major, with a 32-credit common core and 18 credits of concentration study. For further information and a complete list of the distribution requirements and eligible courses, contact the coordinator.

Major and Degree Requirements

International affairs is a 50-credit hour major, with a 32-credit common core and 18 credits of concentration study. For further information and a complete list of the distribution requirements and eligible courses, contact the coordinator.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

  • General Education  41 Credit Hours 1
  • Foreign Language classes (intermediate level required) 0-14 Credit Hours 2
  • Philosophy course (in addition to General Education  courses) 3 Credit Hours 3
  • University electives 12-26 Credit Hours
  • Major requirements (listed below) 50 Credit Hours

1 The General Education  program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 The foreign language requirement may be satisfied by successful completion of the second semester of the intermediate level of the student’s chosen language (typically 232), or by placing out of that language through the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures’ placement test. The international affairs major requires an additional year of language study. That is, students must have three years of a foreign language appropriate to their course of study in the major. Students majoring in international affairs who use proficiency in a native language to meet the INTA language requirement must make the following substitutions for the two 300-level foreign language courses: AMST 200  and one of the following courses: HIST 225 , ENG 247  or ENG 248 . Such students who have a diploma from a U.S. high school may take six credits of any foreign language, at any level, instead of the above two courses. These courses must focus on grammar, oral and written communication; they cannot be literature, cinema or civilization courses.
3 If students have taken a PHIL course to meet their General Education  requirements, they must take an additional course to meet the B.A. degree philosophy requirement. PHIL 120  and PHIL 150  cannot be used to fulfill the B.A. philosophy requirement.

Total: 120 Credit Hours

Major Requirements

Students may choose either the comparative study or international relations concentration. The international affairs major requires that all students complete a common core. Students should be aware that it is not always possible to offer courses on their regular rotation and that new courses may be added and existing ones deleted. Therefore, key requirements should not be left until just before graduation. Any course substitutions must be approved by the international affairs coordinator in consultation with other faculty members.


1 Students should complete these core economics requirements before enrolling in upper-level economics courses. Students double-majoring in economics and international affairs may substitute ECON 370  for ECON 270  to meet their core requirement.
2 Students should note that MATH 220  is a prerequisite for INTA 295 . If taken in the summer from an INTA faculty member, POSC 295  will count as INTA 295 .
3 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters  writing-intensive requirement for the major. Prerequisites: Completion of all courses in the core requirement of the major and senior standing.
5 Students must be proficient at the third-year level of a foreign language. In most languages this will require the completion of courses numbered 300 and 320. Some languages may not use this course numbering. In this instance, students must take two 300-level courses that focus on grammar, oral and written communication. The second 300-level course may not be a literature, cinema or civilization course. Some languages cannot be completed through the 300 level at JMU. Students studying these languages may have to complete course work during the summer or abroad at a specialized language program. Students should consult with the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures  on this point. Each student’s foreign language must be appropriate for their track. French is acceptable for the Africa and Middle East tracks.

Choose one of the following: 3 Credit Hours

Students in the international relations concentration must count POSC 370  in the core. HIST 330  must be taken as an international relations requirement (listed under the international relations concentration requirements). In other words, students who are following the international relations concentration must take both POSC 370  and HIST 330 .

Total: 32 Credit Hours

Concentration Requirements

The following international relations, cross area and area courses are required in addition to the core courses listed under Major Requirements. Students in the international relations concentration must complete the requirements for all four headings.

Students may use three credits of INTA 301W  for cross area, area or international relations credit. INTA 301W  will always count as a political science course. The precise manner in which INTA 301W  will count toward the major will be determined in consultation between students wishing to take INTA 301W  and the international affairs coordinator.

Cross-Area Courses

Complete one course: 3 Credit Hours

Total: 3 Credit Hours

Area Courses

International Relations Courses

Complete four courses: 12 Credit Hours

(These courses must come from at least three fields of study. One of these courses must be HIST 330 . The potential fields are listed below.)

No course taken for this requirement may be used to fulfill a requirement elsewhere in the major.


2 HIST 330  must be one of the courses taken to fulfill the international relations courses for the international relations concentration.



3 HUM 252  will only count here when the topic is “Gandhi, Nonviolence and Global Transformation.”


4 When course topic is appropriate for the chosen concentration. Students should consult with the INTA coordinator about the suitability of a particular course.

Total: 12 Credit Hours

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges