Online International Studies Degree for a Career in International Relations Careers in Indiana

Professionals working in the government, private, and nonprofit sectors come together to lead Indiana’s international relations efforts. Solid foreign relations lay the foundation for trade with countries around the world, and give Indiana’s businesses access to strong and emerging foreign markets. Maintaining strong international ties is vital to the state’s economy, as 8,239 companies in the state exported goods internationally in FY (fiscal year) 2014 alone, supporting some 166,309 jobs in the state.

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Indiana colleges and universities play a particular role in the state’s contribution to foreign outreach, participating in a variety of government-sponsored international initiatives. These schools, which include both state and private institutions, employ foreign relations specialists to aid in various humanitarian, cultural, and diplomatic efforts with nations around the world.

Among the programs that have enlisted the help of Indiana’s schools since 2014:

  • The U.S. Department of State worked with Indiana University as part of the Foreign Language Teacher Assistant Program, which promotes the instruction of foreign languages within the country. Indiana University hosted a teacher from Nairobi, Kenya, incorporating the teacher’s native language within classroom.
  • Ball State University, based in Muncie, Indiana, lead education outreach in Afghanistan through the development of curriculums in areas such as business and entrepreneurship. The program helped to spread American ideologies related to sustainable economic practices and helped to rebuild Afghanistan’s fractured secondary education system.
  • Purdue University participates in the U.S.-China EcoParntership, which champions collaborative research in areas such as environmental sustainability and bioenergy production.
  • Indiana Tech, Purdue University-Calumet Campus, and the University of Notre Dame participated in the 2013 International Virtual College Fair. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the fair promoted U.S. colleges to over 22,000 potential international students from 206 countries.


Making the Decision to Major in International Relations

Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in international relations are necessary to pursue most careers in the field today. Students who obtain these degrees often go on to work as foreign outreach experts upon graduation, thanks in large part to a combination of advanced coursework and real-world knowledge obtained from study-abroad programs.

Graduates of collegiate international relations programs can go on to collaborate with some of the world’s most prestigious humanitarian organizations, such as:

  • NATO
  • The United Nations
  • The European Union
  • Amnesty International
  • The Peace Corps

International relations has changed dramatically with the global proliferation of high-speed internet, and education in the field is no different. Students today may obtain international relations degrees online, either exclusively or in combination with on-site coursework.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in International Relations

Bachelor’s degree programs put a particular focus on courses in the liberal arts. Offering core courses in areas such as languages, economics, and political science, undergraduate programs prepare students for the broad spectrum of international relations work they will face throughout their careers.

Examples of bachelor’s degrees in the field include:

  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in International Affairs
  • Bachelor of Science in Diplomacy
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in International Relations and Diplomacy
  • Bachelor of Arts in Intelligence Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
  • Bachelor of Arts in International Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Military Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies

Beyond differing degrees, many undergraduate programs offer different tracks within international studies. Examples of these tracks include:

  • World History Track
  • Culture, Media, and the Arts Track
  • Foreign Policy Track
  • International Systems and World Order Track
  • International Security Track
  • Science, Technology, and the Environment Track
  • Asia Track
  • Europe Track
  • Regional Politics and Cultural Anthropology Track

Within each track are a variety of specific courses, allowing students to learn the ins and outs of their specialization. The courses taken in these programs vary significantly based on the student’s chosen track, as demonstrated in the following examples of track-specific courses.

Environment and Development Track

  • People Power in Global Politics
  • Environmental Economics
  • World Regional Geography
  • Physical Principles of the Environment
  • World Oil Markets
  • Urban Ecology
  • Development Policy
  • Political Economy of the Middle East

Foreign Policy and Security Studies Track

  • Introduction to Security Studies
  • History of War
  • The Great War and the Fragile Peace
  • Intelligence in a Democratic Society
  • Cultural Heritage and Diplomacy
  • Interwar Japan and the Pacific War
  • America at War: The Response to 9/11
  • Nuclear Security
  • Southeast Asia in World Politics

International Economics, Business, and Politics Track

  • International Management Policy
  • International Political Economy
  • Economics of Less-Developed Regions
  • Wealth, Ethics, and Liberty
  • The Chinese Economy
  • Southeast Asia in World Politics
  • Environmentally Sustainable Development

Regional Politics and Cultural Anthropology Track

  • Sex and Gender in Anthropological Perspective
  • Globalization and World Poverty
  • Modern Latin America
  • Southeast Asia: Tradition and Development
  • Nineteenth-Century European Thought and Culture
  • Culture, Society, and Religion in South Asia
  • Modern Japanese Society: Family, School, and Workplace
  • Jews in the Modern World

Africa and the Middle East Track

  • Coping with Crisis in Contemporary Africa
  • Africa in International Politics
  • The History of Israel: An Introduction
  • Peoples and Cultures of Africa
  • Religious Fundamentalism in Anthropological Perspective
  • Understanding the Middle East
  • Colonialism in Africa: Impact and Aftermath
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Master’s Degree Programs in International Relations

International relations master’s degree programs provide students with an advanced level of preparation for careers in state government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected through technology, highly educated international relations specialists are often in high demand.

A few examples of careers that may require a master’s degree in international relations:

  • International Lawyer
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Program Specialist for Humanitarian Aide
  • International Counselor
  • Diplomatic Services Operational Officer
  • Foreign Service Facility Manager
  • Journalist
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Foreign Affairs Specialist
  • Immigration Specialist
  • Ombudsmen
  • Global Environment Specialist

Obtaining admission to a master’s degree program requires an undergraduate degree, sometimes within a specific field such as languages or economics. Additionally, some schools mandate that applicants must have scored a 3.0 GPA or higher during undergraduate studies, while other schools require high GRE and TOEFL scores.

Examples of master’s degrees in international relations include, but are not limited to:

  • Master of Arts (MA) in International Relations
  • Master of Arts in International Security and the Politics of Terror
  • Master of Arts in National Security Studies
  • Master of Arts in Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Master of Arts in Global Studies
  • Master of Science (MS) in International Trade
  • Master of Science in Global Affairs
  • Master of International Commerce and Policy (ICP)
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Similar to undergraduate tracks, many master’s degree programs offer specific concentrations. Among these specializations:

  • International development
  • International history
  • Intercultural communication
  • International economics
  • International negotiation and conflict resolution
  • Global security
  • Foreign policy

The diversity of concentrations within different majors allows students to take a variety of courses specific to their area of study. Among the many diverse courses found within each concentration are:

Global Security

  • Conflict Assessment and Prevention
  • Causes of War
  • The Art & Practice of Intelligence
  • Nonprofit Governance & Executive Leadership
  • Climate Change and National Security
  • Military Strategy & National Policy
  • Security from Inside the State

International Development

  • Politics of Global Development
  • Global Economy and Sustainable Development
  • Sustainable Development
  • International Development
  • Economics of Development
  • Foundations of Economic Development

International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

  • Peace Operations
  • Theories of Conflict and Conflict Resolution
  • The Art of International Negotiation
  • Conflict Assessment and Prevention
  • Post-War Transitions
  • Gender, Culture and Conflict in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies
  • International Mediation


Indiana’s Contribution to Global Relations

Indiana’s state- and nonprofit-directed foreign outreach initiatives impact the world in a number of key areas. The efforts stemming from the state are felt around the world, thanks to the various international relations experts working in the field.

Just a few of the ways men and women in Indiana are fostering positive foreign relations include:

  • The Indianapolis International and Cultural Affairs office runs a number of global initiatives ranging from cultural development to embracing international diversity within the community. The offices relies on the work of the International & Cultural Affairs director to successfully carry out these programs.
  • The Indiana National Guard has been part of a partnership program with Slovakia since 1993. The program allows the United States and Slovakia to share ideas in areas such as cyber security and disaster response crisis management.
  • The World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana organizes seminars, panel discussions, and visitor programs with the goal of bringing global economic and political awareness to the two states. The council relies on the expertise of a communications coordinator and event manager, among others, to conduct their initiatives.
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Resources for Indiana’s International Relations Students and Professionals

In addition to the Indianapolis International and Cultural Affairs office, Indiana is home to a number of international relations programs through academic institutions. The state also plays host to several nonprofit organizations dedicated to foreign outreach.

Examples of international relations organizations in the state include, but are not limited to:



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