Online International Studies Degree for an International Relations Career in California

For decades, California has maintained its position as a global leader by cultivating relationships with foreign governments, NGOs, humanitarian aid organizations and representatives of private industry.

The California International Relations Foundation, a nonprofit corporation, facilitates the exchange between the California Senate and foreign governments in an effort to strengthen the state’s economic and cultural relations throughout the world. More than 6,000 leaders from over 100 countries have visited California’s political and business leaders since the Foundation’s inception.

*International Relations Online delivers master’s degree programs from American University’s top-10 ranked School of International Service (SIS). These innovative, online programs give working professionals the chance to develop valuable relationships with classmates and build a foundational understanding of international relations principles that can be applied immediately to their careers.

The California International Relations Foundation also oversees California’s 27 official Sister State relationships throughout the world. These relationships encourage and facilitate mutually beneficial social, educational, economic, and cultural exchanges between the state and foreign stakeholders around the world.

With a gross state product of more than $2 trillion as of fiscal year 2014 and an economy counted among the ten most powerful in the world, international trade and investment remain major economic engines for the state. California’s economy is more diversified than ever before. In fact, as of 2014, the state exported to no fewer than 229 foreign markets.

International business interests are inseparable from strong relations with foreign counterparts, making professionals in the public, private and non-profit sectors that develop and maintain these relationships vital to the prosperity of the state’s prosperity and its standing as a global leader.

Degrees for International Relations Jobs in California

Degrees in international relations open up professional doors for a wide array of careers in California, whether in the governmental, non-profit, or private business sectors. With an undergraduate or graduate degree in international relations, graduates go on to pursue careers as:

  • Foreign Policy Advisors
  • Diplomats
  • Ambassadors
  • Foreign Outreach Workers
  • NGO Managers and Directors
  • Humanitarian Aid Program Directors
  • Interpreters and Translators
  • Intelligence Analysts
  • Security Analysts
  • Immigration Specialists
  • Grant Writers
  • Diplomatic Service Officers

Bachelor’s Degrees in International Relations

Bachelor’s degrees in international relations prepare students with an understanding of the theory and practice of international affairs, offering an in-depth analysis of economic, political, environmental and cultural issues in the international context.

In addition to providing students with a multidisciplinary course of study, colleges and universities offer students the opportunity to focus their bachelor’s degree program on a specific functional or regional concentration.

Regional concentrations may include:

  • Asia
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Middle East

Functional concentrations may include:

  • International political economy
  • War and peace
  • Global environmental issues
  • Global public health
  • Contemporary cultures and societies

Master’s Degrees in International Relations

Master’s degrees in international relations are designed for students who are interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in political science or diplomacy or for those seeking senior-level positions in international relations, such as:

  • Program Director with a public policy institute
  • International Affairs Manager with a regional governmental agency
  • PR and Social Media Coordinator with an international non-profit organization
  • International Affairs Consultant with a consultancy firm
  • Grants Manager or Chief of the UN Trust Fund

Master’s degrees in international relations are structured in a number of ways, and with some variations on the major:

  • Master of Arts in International Affairs
  • Master of Arts in Diplomacy
  • Global Master of Arts in International Relations
  • Master of Advanced Studies in International Affairs

A master’s degree in international relations prepares students to serve as professionals who understand complex, transnational issues.

Though these programs don’t often require a specific undergraduate major, prerequisite course requirements often include coursework related to government and the social sciences. Other requirements often include a minimum GPA (usually 3.0 or above) and minimum GRE scores.

Like their undergraduate counterparts, master’s degrees in international relations provide students with the opportunity to focus their graduate program on a specific area of international relations, such as:

  • Economic and political development
  • Human rights and humanitarian policy
  • Energy and environment
  • Urban and social policy

Courses specific to these concentrations may include:

  • Economic and political development
    • Corporate and sustainable development
    • Oil, rights, and development
    • International finance and monetary theory
  • Human rights and humanitarian policy
    • Children’s rights
    • Accountability in humanitarian assistance
    • Communication, human rights, and social change
  • Energy and environment
    • Corporate sustainable development
    • Environmental finance
    • Poverty, inequality, and the environment
  • Urban and social policy
    • Ethics and public policy
    • Infrastructure investment and development
    • Public finance and debt management

California’s Contribution to International Trade, Security, Development, and Humanitarian Aid

California’s commitment to international relations is most evident through the work of the many organizations and agencies—private, nonprofit, and governmental—that support the interaction between the State of California and the global community:

California Senate Office of International Relations

The California Senate Office of International Relations assists senators by strengthening economic and diplomatic ties between California and the rest of the world. For more than 20 years, the Office of International Relations has been helping representatives of foreign governments, as well as businesses, media outlets, and academic institutions, gain a better understanding of California and its governance.

The World Affairs Council

The nine World Affairs Councils in California are non-partisan membership organizations that were founded to explore issues and opportunities that transcend borders through speaker events, education programs, an annual conference, and a number of online resources.

Pacific Council on International Policy

The Pacific Council on International Policy is committed to building on the potential of the West Coast by addressing global issues, discourse, and policy. The Pacific Council has a number of task forces in place that are focused on connecting its members with key policy issues. The assembly of diverse groups by the Council facilitates the study of issues, stimulates productive conversations, and creates an atmosphere where practical improvements or solutions to key policy challenges are made.

CalChamber Council for International Trade

The CalChamber Council for International Trade enables businesses and organizations to advocate for sound international business policies. The Council works with state and federal administrations and lawmakers to influence international business policies that support California’s global success, job creation, and sustainability.

Government, Non-Governmental and Non-Profit Organizations Dedicated to International Relations

Countless organizations and agencies come together in support of international relations in California:

World Affair Councils of California

California World Trade Centers

Nonprofit Organizations

Governmental Agencies

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