Online International Studies Degree for an International Relations Career in Iowa

International relations professionals in Iowa carry out initiatives dedicated to cultural development, furthering global perspectives, and assisting foreign nations during times of crisis. Working in the governmental, nonprofit, and private sectors, foreign outreach specialists are vital in fostering healthy relations with nations around the world.

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The benefits of Iowa’s international relations efforts are seen in the state’s export market. In FY 2014, Iowa’s international exports totaled $13.9 billion, thanks in large part to the global outreach work conducted within the state. Those exports stemmed from 3,367 Iowa companies, creating 81,449 jobs for Iowa professionals.

Naturally, there are far more advantages to foreign outreach than economic stimulation. The following international relations efforts in Iowa demonstrate the extended value of the field for countless individuals:

  • The Feed the Future program, headed by the The Office of Global Food Security, worked with Iowa-based DuPont Pioneer to meet program’s various goals. This partnership demonstrates the collaboration between government and private businesses that often takes place as part of international relations efforts.
  • The Iowa-Kosovo National Guard Partnership helps to foster positive relations between the United States and Kosovo. Through the program, Iowa’s National Guard works with Kosovo to help the nation’s development following its declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008. Among the areas of focus in the program are firefighting, disaster management, and policy and strategy development.
  • The University of Iowa and the University of Johannesburg in South Africa participate in a staff-sharing program, promoting cultural development in the schools.


Earning the Right Degree for a Career in International Relations

Bachelor’s and master’s degrees related to international relations often lead to lifelong careers in the field. Because of the immense scope of international relations efforts taking place in the governmental, nonprofit, and private sectors, many programs are structured to give students degree customization options, expediting their path to specific careers. And consistent with the theme of international collaboration, many schools require students to participate in study-abroad programs, expanding their global knowledge.

Because of the growing popularity of online education, many programs allow students to take classes and even complete entire curriculums online. For working professionals aspiring to one day collaborate with some of the world’s top organizations in the field, including NATO, the United Nations, and the European Union, the online education option offers increased schedule flexibility.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in International Relations

Bachelor’s degree programs in international relations lay the educational foundation for students seeking foreign outreach careers. While many of these students go directly into the workforce upon graduation, some use their undergraduate coursework as a bridge to master’s degree programs.

Examples of bachelor’s degrees in the field include:

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

Different degree types allow students to specialize in various areas of international relations. Similarly, some programs give students the opportunity to choose one of several tracks within international studies. A few examples of these tracks include:

  • Theory and Policy Track
  • Governance of Nations Track
  • Muslim World Track
  • Asia Track
  • Europe Track
  • World History Track
  • International Systems and World Order Track
  • Regional Politics and Cultural Anthropology Track
  • Security Studies Track
  • Economics, Business, and Politics Track
  • International Security Track
  • Culture, Media, and the Arts Track

Different track types afford students a wide array of course options. Examples of track-specific courses include, but are not limited to:

Foreign Policy and Security Studies Track

  • Religion and American Foreign Policy
  • History of Genocide
  • International Relations of South Asia
  • Intelligence in a Democratic Society
  • International Negotiations
  • Cultural Heritage and Diplomacy
  • Islam and Politics
  • Diplomacy and Statecraft

Environment and Development Track

  • Wealth, Poverty, and Culture
  • World Regional Geography
  • United States Environmental Policy
  • Development Policy
  • Physical Principles of the Environment
  • Political Anthropology of the Modern World
  • The Chinese Economy
  • Environmental Economics

International Economics, Business, and Politics Track

  • Wealth, Ethics, and Liberty
  • International Management Policy
  • Economics of Less-Developed Regions
  • International Economics
  • Global Governance and International Organization
  • Sociology of Market Transitions

Asia Track

  • Modern Japanese Society: Family, School, and Workplace
  • China: From Revolution to Reform
  • The Chinese Economy
  • Contemporary East Asian Economics
  • International Relations of South Asia
  • Interwar Japan and the Pacific War
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Master’s Degree Programs in International Relations

Upon finishing undergraduate coursework, many aspiring international relations professionals apply for master’s degree programs to gain further expertise in the field. Admission to these programs varies based on school, with more advanced schools often requiring a 3.0 GPA and high scores on the GRE and TOEFL exams.

Schools’ high standards for admission allow them to recruit bright minds who will serve as the future of global collaboration. With international relations professionals needed in state and federal government, nonprofit organizations, and private companies, master’s degree recipients are often in top demand following graduation. Among the many careers often available to these graduates:

  • Foreign Service Facility Manager
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Ombudsmen
  • International Lawyer
  • International Contracts and Grants Specialist
  • Diplomatic Services Operational Officer
  • Program Specialist for Humanitarian Aide
  • International Counselor
  • Intelligence Research Specialist
  • Foreign Affairs Specialist
  • Foreign Service Officer

A few examples of master’s degrees in international relations include:

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

Core international relations courses allow students to understand key concepts in international relations’ most pressing fields. Examples of these courses include:

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

International security policy, international negotiation, and conflict resolution are just some of the specialization options for graduate students. Like undergraduate tracks, master’s degree specializations offer detailed courses on a variety of global topics. Examples of courses related to different tracks include, but are not limited to:

Global Security

  • The Art & Practice of Intelligence
  • Data Visualization
  • Resource Development and Marketing in Nonprofits Causes of War
  • Security from Inside the State
  • Conflict Assessment and Prevention
  • Economics for Public Decision-Making
  • Climate Change and National Security

International Development

  • Politics of Global Development
  • Children in International Development
  • Theories and Policies of Development
  • Empirical Analysis
  • Foundations of Economic Development
  • Sustainable Development
  • Micropolitics of Development
  • Population, Migration, and Development

International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

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


Iowa’s Efforts to Create a Better World

In addition to the United States government’s collaboration with the University of Iowa and Iowa’s National Guard, Iowa is home to several nonprofit organizations who work consistently to foster better global relations. Examples of these dedicated nonprofits and their various initiatives include:

  • The Iowa International Center – The organization works with native Iowans, immigrants, and refugees to foster collaborative professional relationships. An international languages program manager and director of development help to realize the organization’s goals.
  • Several organizations in the state organize various programs and panels to connect Iowans with visiting leaders and professionals from different countries. Examples of these organization include the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council and the Council for International Visitors, Iowa Cities. Each organization, run by their own executive director, employs the talents of collegiate interns.
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International Relations Organizations in Iowa

State and municipal governmental organizations, as well as organizations in the nonprofit sphere, contribute to Iowa’s growing international relations efforts.



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