Online International Studies Degree for an International Relations Career in Kansas

International relations professionals in Kansas form strategic partnerships with nations around the world that lead to mutual economic, and technological growth resulting in a safer, more integrated and more prosperous Kansas.

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Kansas is home to a number of international security and humanitarian efforts, promoting peace and economic stability:

  • Economic – Some 71,111 Kansas workers contributed to an international export industry worth $12.5 billion to the state in FY 2014 alone.
  • Humanitarian – Kansas State University collaborated with the Office of Global Food Security on the Feed the Future Lab program, which aids in the office’s effort to help feed people around the world through sustainable means.
  • Security – Kansas State National Guard partners with the Armenian National Guard on issues such as peacekeeping operations, border and port security, and disaster response. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.
  • TechnologicalThe cities of Wichita and Greensburg are each partnered with a respective Chinese city as part of the U.S.-China EcoPartnership program. Wichita’s partnership with the city of Wuxi focuses on clean water on air, while Greensburg’s partnership with the city of Mianzhu is focused on economic revitalization.

The diversity of Kansas’ foreign outreach efforts creates a demand for top international relations professionals. What’s more, Kansas is home to several large nonprofit organizations dedicated to international development, health and education advocacy, the environment, and humanitarian issues related to disease prevention and poverty.

Choosing the Right Degree for a Career in International Relations

Today’s international relations programs usually offer on-campus/online coursework combined with study-abroad programs. The blend of domestic and foreign schooling gives students the opportunity to gain the kind of first-hand experience necessary to develop a global perspective on key issues.

A degree with a major in international relations gives graduates the chance to become part of organizations dedicated to peace and worldwide collaboration while working in any number of jobs:

  • Foreign Policy Advisor
  • Diplomat
  • Ambassador
  • Foreign Outreach Worker
  • NGO Managers and Director
  • Humanitarian Aid Program Director
  • Interpreter/Translator
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Security Analyst

A degree in international relations is the typical first step to a career working for intergovernmental organizations like the United Nations and NATO, to world leaders in humanitarian work like the Peace Corps and Amnesty International.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in International Relations

Bachelor’s degree programs in international relations can be a student’s bridge to a career in the governmental, nonprofit, or private sector. Through the study of languages, economics, communications, and conflict, just to name a few, students gain the kind of knowledge that is key to international relations work.

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

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

In addition to varying degree majors, many bachelor’s programs offer various tracks within international studies, leading to increased specialization. Some examples of these tracks include:

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

Within each track are a variety of courses spanning all aspects of international relations’ past and present. A few examples of track-specific courses include:

Foreign Policy and Security Studies Track

  • History of Genocide
  • Cultural Heritage and Diplomacy
  • Conflict and Conflict Resolution in Latin America
  • The Sea and International Relations
  • The American Military Experience
  • Diplomatic Practice
  • Nuclear Security
  • The Great War and the Fragile Peace
  • The US in the Middle East
  • Intelligence and Homeland Security

International Systems and World Order Track

  • Anthropology of Globalization
  • Cultural Heritage & Diplomacy
  • International Conflicts and Cooperation
  • Imperialism and Independence
  • Fundamentals of International Politics
  • Diplomatic Practice
  • Histories of Human Rights

Environment and Development Track

  • Energy and Environmental Economics
  • United States Environmental Policy
  • World Regional Geography
  • Political Economy of the Middle East
  • Urban Ecology
  • Food and Water: Critical Perspectives on Global Crises
  • Political Anthropology of the Modern World
  • Wealth, Poverty, and Culture
  • Economic Geography

Africa and the Middle East Track

  • Reconstructing the African Past
  • Americans and the Middle East
  • Coping with Crisis in Contemporary Africa
  • Anthropology of Muslim Cultures and Politics
  • Women in the Muslim World
  • International Human Rights: Applying Human Rights in Africa
  • US-Pakistan Relations
  • Africa and Globalization: Opportunities and Obstacles
  • Modern Islam
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Master’s Degree Programs in International Relations

Master’s degree programs related to international relations are often the final step students take towards an advanced career in the field. Through advanced education in specific IR topics, master’s degree graduates often become experts in their field, making them valuable to a variety of employers. Examples of careers that may require a master’s degree in international relations:

  • International Contracts and Grants Specialist
  • International Trade Analyst
  • Ombudsmen
  • Program Specialist for Humanitarian Aide
  • Immigration Specialist
  • International Counselor
  • International Lawyer
  • Journalist

Admission to graduate programs varies by school, but all programs require students to possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year institution. For more advanced programs, students may need to maintain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA during their undergraduate studies. Additionally, many schools seek students with strong scores on GRE and TOEFL exams.

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

  • Master of Arts (MA) in National Security Studies
  • Master of Arts in International Relations & European Studies
  • Master of Arts in International Conflict Analysis
  • 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)

Master’s degree programs consist of core and specialized courses. Core international relations courses might include:

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

Specialized courses are often based on a student’s chosen concentration. Examples of these courses and their corresponding concentration include:

Global Security

  • Climate Change and National Security
  • Causes of War
  • Negotiating as a Leadership Skill
  • Tracking World Crisis: A Net Assessment Approach
  • American Political Development
  • Energy and Environmental Security
  • Security from Inside the State
  • Military Strategy & National Policy
  • The Art & Practice of Intelligence
  • Conflict Assessment and Prevention

International Development

  • Politics of Global Development
  • Theories and Policies of Development
  • Economics of Development
  • Global Economy and Sustainable Development
  • Research Methods for Sustainable Livelihoods
  • Foundations of Economic Development
  • Sustainable Development
  • Micropolitics of Development

International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

  • The Art of International Negotiation
  • Conflict Assessment and Prevention
  • Post-War Transitions
  • Theories of Conflict and Conflict Resolution
  • Gender, Culture and Conflict in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies
  • Peace Operations
  • International Mediation
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Kansas’s Commitment to International Outreach, Security and Humanitarian Aid

While Kansas’ city and state government conduct many of the state’s international relations efforts, several nonprofit organizations carry out their own initiatives. Among the state’s top organizations and their global outreach efforts include:

  • The International Relations Council The nonprofit organization aims to educate Kansas residents on pertinent global issues. This education takes place in the form of programs such as “Great Decisions”, which, in collaboration with the Foreign Policy Association, organizes group discussions on international topics. The council’s executive director is a Master of International Studies who graduated from the University of Kansas.
  • Pan American Association of Kansas The association educates Kansas citizens, particularly children, on the culture of countries in the Americas. Often collaborating with the University of Kansas, the association organizes debates, educational seminars, and more events to promote global perspectives. Among the professionals on the organization’s board of directors are an international litigation lawyer and the president of an international visitors council.

Aspiring foreign outreach professionals may seek careers in state or municipal government, or they could opt to work in the nonprofit sector. Examples of current Kansas government and nonprofit organizations include, but are not limited to:



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