Online International Studies Degree for an International Relations Career in Colorado

Denver alone is now home to no fewer than 35 foreign consulates, five of which are staffed with career diplomats and diplomatic service officers from Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Japan and Peru.

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Denver’s foreign consulates work with the region’s economic development groups, NGOs and humanitarian aid organizations to expand bilateral trade and economic relations, as well as to promote cultural exchange, global security, education advocacy and to bring attention to humanitarian crises.

The City and County of Denver also maintains Sister City relationships with communities in Ethiopia, India, Israel, France, China, Kenya, Italy, Japan and Mongolia. The goal of Sister City partnerships is to build economic ties that help generate tourism and further cultural understanding between the Metro Denver communities and the Sister Cities.

Maintaining strong international relations is vital to Colorado, as supporting international trade and investment is crucial to the health of this state’s economy. For example:

  • As of 2013, international trade supported more than 700,000 jobs in Colorado – or more than 1 in every 5 jobs in the sate
  • Colorado exported $9.2 billion in goods and $13.5 billion in services, with more than 5,500 exporting companies as of 2013
  • Customers in 207 countries buy Colorado-made goods and services
  • Foreign-owned companies invest, build facilities, and employ 83,600 workers in Colorado


Earning the Right Degree for a Career in International Relations

From foreign policy advisors and intelligence analysts with such major governmental agencies like the Office of International Affairs, to humanitarian aid program directors and foreign outreach workers with non-governmental organizations to ambassadors and diplomats with the intergovernmental United Nations – a career in international relations begins with an education that helps foster a global perspective.

Graduates of international relations programs very often go on to careers in:

  • Diplomacy
  • Governmental/legislative services
  • International business/development
  • Public policy
  • Non-profit work
  • Tourism

Positions of this sort require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a major related to international relations, which helps to frame commerce, security and humanitarian issues in the global context.

Bachelor’s Degrees in International Relations

Bachelor’s degrees in international relations draw upon a number of disciplines, such as political science, economics, history, geography, and anthropology, preparing students for careers in business, non-profit organizations, or government service. Typical job titles for bachelor’s-prepared professionals in international relations include:

  • Donor Relations Manager – international non-profit organizations
  • Communications Specialist – media relations and crisis communications organizations
  • Project Manager – global placement companies
  • Grassroots Director – international non-profit organizations

Bachelor’s degrees in international relations may go by a number of titles that represent a variation on the major, such as:

  • Bachelor of Arts in International Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Political Science and International Relations
  • Bachelor of Arts in International Relations

These degree programs often allow students to focus their bachelor’s education on areas within the field of international relations with a minor in such areas as:

  • Global Security
  • Public Policy
  • Global Socio-Economic Processes

Typical courses within these programs include:

    • Global Security
      • Politics of Southeast Asia
      • European Politics
      • Politics of Developing Nations


    • Global Policy
      • Public Management
      • Global Transportation Development
      • Labor Economics


  • Global Socio-Economic Processes
    • European Politics
    • Political Economy
    • Economic Development

Many bachelor’s degrees in international relations culminate with an internship or study abroad program to prepare graduates with first hand international experience.

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Master’s Degree Programs in International Relations

Advanced study in international relations is commonplace, as many careers demand a master’s degree in international relations or a related field, such as political science or international business. Some of the career choices for Colorado professionals with master’s degrees in international business include:

  • Principal Regulatory Affairs Specialist with a governmental organization
  • Director of Global Communications with an NGO or governmental organization
  • Senior Advisor with an international consulting firm
  • Senior Director, Education and Research with international non-profit

Master’s degrees in international relations may go by a number of titles, each of which represents a variation of the major:

  • Master of Arts in International Relations and Diplomacy
  • Master of Arts in Economics and International Relations
  • Master of Arts in International Relations and European Studies
  • Master of Arts in International Relations and Environmental Policy

A master’s degree in international relations is designed to provide students with a strong foundation for doctoral study or law study or for high-level careers in governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Admission into these programs requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Although most programs do not have specific requirements for an undergraduate major, certain courses may be required. Most competitive programs, however, require a 3.0 or higher GPA and minimum GRE scores for admission.

Master’s degrees in international relations provide students with the opportunity to focus their course of study on a specific concentration and/or region, such as:

Regional Studies

  • East Asia
  • Middle East
  • Sub-Saharan African
  • Europe
  • Southwest and Central Asia
  • Latin America


  • Conflict Resolution
  • Global Health
  • Diplomacy
  • International Economics and Consulting

Most master’s degree programs culminate in a capstone experience and many allow students the opportunity to travel abroad for an international field study.

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

From government and nonprofits to private industry and business, a number of key organizations work to support cooperative relationships between stakeholders in Colorado and around the world:

Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade works alongside state partners to create a positive business climate that encourages sustainable job growth and economic development. The Office of Economic Development and International Trade assists this effort by:

  • Monitoring economic conditions throughout the state and strengthening regional economies
  • Positioning Colorado as a global leader in key industries, such as tourism, bioscience, aerospace, and renewable energy
  • Assisting the state’s economy and preserving the quality of life in Colorado

Coordinated efforts of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade include:

  • Global Consultant Network
  • Foreign Direct Investment
  • Export Training Program

U.S. Export Assistance Center, Denver

The Denver U.S. Export Assistance Center serves exporters in Colorado and Wyoming by leverage their global network of 165 offices in 82 countries around the world. The Center provides a number of exporting services that assist companies in:

  • Identifying and evaluating international partners
  • Navigating international documentation challenges
  • Creating market entry strategies

The Office of International Affairs of Colorado Springs

The Office of International Affairs of Colorado Springs coordinates international activities and programs in Colorado Springs. The Office is used by local businesses and organizations to get involved in a number of aspects of international business and trade.

Denver Council on Foreign Relations

The Denver Council on Foreign Relations an independent, non-profit organization that conducts discussions on foreign policy among citizens, community leaders, and policy makers. Its goal is to heighten public awareness and expand understanding of contemporary and emergency international issues.

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Organizations Committed to International Relations in Colorado

The need for professionals with expertise in international relations in Colorado is evident when considering how many organizations in the State, whether in in the government, private, or nonprofit sector, are committed to understanding and advancing global ties:

Major, International Businesses in Colorado

International Humanitarian Organizations in Colorado

Private Organizations

Governmental Agencies in Colorado

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