Online International Studies Degree for an International Relations Career in Kentucky

International relations professionals in Kentucky working across the public, nonprofit, and private sectors collaborate on numerous initiatives that aid in establishing and maintaining the state’s presence on the global stage. These efforts foster diplomatic, cultural, and educational growth on a domestic and international scale.

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A few examples of how Kentucky is connecting with the world through foreign outreach programs includes:

  • Kentucky-based clothing company Fruit of the Loom was the recipient of the Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence in 2013. Among the qualifications for the award are a company’s efforts in supporting worldwide sustainable development and maintaining global environmental protection.
  • The University of Kentucky received a grant in the amount of $2.7 million to help build business administration partnerships in Pakistan. The university was also granted $101,000 from the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) to help train graduate students abroad.
  • Many Kentucky cities are involved in the Sister Cities Program. In 2013, Lexington received the Sister Cities’ top award for best overall program for a city of 100,001 to 300,000 residents. Among the other partnerships:
    • Elizabethtown and Kori Machi, Japan
    • Murray and Regensburg, Germany
    • Winchester and Ibarra, Ecuador
    • Georgetown and Tahara, Japan


Choosing the Right Degree for a Career in International Relations

A degree with a major in international relations opens the door to careers in government, humanitarian aid organizations, and private corporations. Many students enter into these programs with dreams of one day contributing to the humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts of such organizations as the United Nations and Amnesty International.

Programs prepare students for international relations work through a combination of general coursework and specialized instruction. Because of the importance of a true global perspective in performing foreign outreach work, many programs offer study-abroad programs in addition to on-site coursework. Additionally, many programs offer online courses to appeal to working professionals with busy schedules.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in International Relations

Bachelor’s degree programs include a variety of liberal arts courses, along with core courses designed to give students an international perspective on fundamental issues affecting the world today. These courses often center on languages, political science, conflict, economics, and communications.

By choosing a specific degree type, students can expand on their liberal arts base and develop expertise in various international relations areas. Common majors relevant to a career in international relations include:

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

In addition to different majors, many programs offer targeted tracks designed to better prepare students with specialized knowledge and regionally-specific expertise:

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

Coursework specific to these specialized tracks often includes:

International Systems and World Order Track

  • Cultural Heritage & Diplomacy
  • Introduction to Security Studies
  • Europe and International Relations
  • Imperialism and Independence
  • International Conflicts and Cooperation
  • Diplomatic Practice
  • History of International Human Rights
  • Nuclear Security

Environment and Development Track

  • Food and Water: Critical Perspectives on Global Crises
  • Introduction to Environmental Science
  • Physical Principles of the Environment
  • Environmental Economics
  • Intermediate Environmental Analysis and Policy
  • Environment and Development: A Political Ecology Approach
  • Political Anthropology of the Modern World
  • The Fate of Nations: Climate, Resources, and Institutions
  • Environmental Policy and Decision Making
  • Economics of Less-Developed Regions
  • Energy Transitions
  • Economic Development of Latin America

Foreign Policy and Security Studies Track

  • Conflict & Cooperation in Asia
  • Diplomacy and Statecraft
  • History of War
  • Drugs and Security in the Americas
  • The Sea and International Relations
  • Rise of China
  • Islam and Politics
  • The Great Powers and the Eastern Mediterranean
  • Cold War in Latin America
  • Southeast Asia in World Politics
  • American Foreign Policy: Practice and Process

Asia Track

  • Introduction to Modern Japanese History
  • International Relations of South Asia
  • Southeast Asia: Tradition and Development
  • China: Tradition and Transition
  • Islam in South Asian Politics
  • The Chinese Economy
  • The Pacific Challenge
  • Japan in International Politics
  • Asian Development: The Case of Women
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Master’s Degree Programs in International Relations

Master’s degree programs in international relations can lead to advanced careers in the field. Professors in these programs often have real-world experience, giving students the chance to learn from experts in their field of study.

Among the many careers often requiring the knowledge of a graduate-prepared professional are:

  • Global Environment Specialist
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Journalist
  • Foreign Affairs Specialist
  • Immigration Specialist
  • International Counselor
  • Ombudsmen
  • International Contracts and Grants Specialist

Admission to these programs varies based on school, but all students must meet the minimum requirement of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year institution. Oftentimes schools expect a bachelor’s degree or substantial coursework in related areas of study

A few examples of graduate-level majors related to international relations include:

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

Areas of specialization within these majors include international security policy, conflict resolution, and international negotiation, just to name a few. Within each concentration are a number of related courses. Titles of these courses may include:

Global Security

  • Energy and Environmental Security
  • Global Political Economy
  • Security from Inside the State
  • Time Series Models and Forecasting
  • American Political Development
  • Conflict Assessment and Prevention
  • Negotiating as a Leadership Skill
  • Military Strategy & National Policy
  • The American Way of War

International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

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


Kentucky’s Contribution to Better Global Relations

In addition to global outreach efforts from Kentucky’s state government, there are a slew of nonprofit organizations in the state that aid in the state’s international presence. Examples of organizations from each sector and their efforts include:

  • The Mayor’s Office for Globalization in Louisville aims to engage the city’s growing international population through educational and cultural programs. Among the office’s initiatives has been the development of international councils, businesses formed around distinct ethnic communities who help to promote global awareness. The office relies on the expertise of an immigration and integration specialist and an office director, among other professionals, to carry out its initiatives.
  • The World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana promotes cultural development through visitor programs, panel discussions, and seminars that include individuals with a variety of international perspectives. The council employs an event manager and communications coordinator, along with other professionals.


Kentucky’s Government Organizations and NGOs Dedicated to International Relations

Kentucky’s large number of nonprofit organizations dedicated to global outreach creates a number of opportunities for aspiring professionals who wish to work in the state. In addition, many city government departments within the state rely on foreign outreach specialists for their various international relations initiatives.

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Just some of the organizations in each sector include:



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