Online International Studies Degree for an International Relations Career in Maine

International relations experts working in Maine’s governmental and nonprofit sectors pave the way for strong global trade. In FY 2014 alone, 2,183 Maine-based companies exported $2.7 billion worth of merchandise around the world, supporting some 14,491 jobs in the state.

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In addition to the impact that foreign outreach programs have on Maine’s economy, global initiatives play a role in international diplomacy designed to support security, global development and humanitarian aid.

For example, the Maine National Guard partners with Montenegro as part of a U.S. Department of State-sponsored program. The program aims to develop and maintain solid relations between Montenegro and the U.S. through collaborative military-based learning. Areas of focus have included:

  • Pre-deployment Preparation
  • Extreme Climate Operations
  • Medical and Flight Operations
  • Infantry Tactics

Additionally, a number of Maine cities participate in the Sister Cities International Program. The program is designed to develop cultural and diplomatic ties between the U.S. and nations around the world. These sister city partnerships include:

  • Bangor with Carasque, El Salvador
  • Saint John with New Brunswick, Canada
  • Bath with Tsugaru, and Aomori Prefecture, Japan
  • Farmington with Lac-Mégantic, Quebec Canada
  • Old Orchard Beach with Mimizan, Landes
  • Portland with Arkhangelsk, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia; Cap-Haïtien, Nord Department, Haiti; Mytilene, North Aegean, Greece; and Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan
  • Topsfield with Toppesfield, Essex, United Kingdom
  • Waterville with Kotlas, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia

Choosing the Right Degree for a Career in International Relations

Earning a degree in international relations gives graduates the credentials necessary to enter the field, or advance to positions of greater influence. These programs are defined by their interdisciplinary course offerings and study abroad opportunities, which serve to provide real-world experience for students hoping to gain broader international perspectives. The knowledge gained during students’ time studying often leads to careers that involve work with some of the world’s biggest authorities on global collaboration including, but not limited to:

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

With the increasing prevalence of online education, many programs give students the option to take classes through a distance-learning format exclusively, or in combination with on-site coursework. Working professionals often choose this option because it allows them to obtain a degree while maintaining their current career.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in International Relations

Bachelor’s degree programs in international relations educate students on the broad spectrum of topics related to global collaboration. Students may choose specific degrees in the field including:

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

In addition to a specific major, many programs offer students specialized tracks that allow them to select a minor. The area-specific knowledge students gain in these tracks often makes them prime candidates for specialized IR jobs upon graduation. A few examples of these tracks include:

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

Several examples of track-specific courses include:

Foreign Policy and Security Studies Track

  • American Foreign Policy: Practice and Process
  • Nuclear Security
  • Southeast Asia in World Politics
  • Islam and Politics
  • Intelligence in a Democratic Society
  • US-Pakistan Relations
  • Drugs and Security in the Americas
  • Rise of China
  • The Great War and the Fragile Peace
  • International Relations of South Asia

Asia Track

  • India and the World: the Foreign Policy of a Rising Power
  • Introduction to Modern Chinese History
  • Southeast Asia: Tradition and Development
  • Political Economy of China
  • Rise of China
  • Contemporary South Asian Societies
  • Islam in South Asian Politics
  • Modern Japanese Society: Family, School, and Workplace
  • Introduction to India and South Asia
  • Introduction to Modern Japanese History
  • Interwar Japan and the Pacific War

Environment and Development Track

  • Urban Ecology
  • Development Policy
  • Wealth, Poverty, and Culture
  • Global Justice
  • Coping with Crisis in Contemporary Africa
  • Political Economy of the Middle East
  • Science, Politics, and Climate Change
  • Sustainable Energy: Technology, Resources, Society, and Environment
  • Nature’s Past: Histories of Environment and Society

International Economics, Business, and Politics Track

  • North-South Relations
  • International Political Economy
  • Africa and Globalization: Opportunities and Obstacles
  • International Management Policy
  • Global Governance and International Organization
  • Southeast Asia in World Politics
  • The Chinese Economy
  • Southeast Asia in World Politics
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Master’s Degree Programs in International Relations

Graduates of international relations master’s degree programs are the future of global humanitarian, security, and diplomatic work. Given the importance of this kind of work, many programs have strict requirements for admission including a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate studies and strong GRE scores.

Just some of the master’s degrees that lead to these types of careers include:

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

In addition to specific majors, many programs offer concentrations with specific coursework designed to give students knowledge in niche areas. Examples of these concentrations and their corresponding courses include, but are not limited to:

Global Security

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

International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

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

Through specific career-oriented preparation, these students often go on to jobs such as:

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


How Maine Contributes to Developing and Maintaining Strong International Relations

A large portion of Maine’s collective global outreach work stems from the nonprofit sector. Examples of nonprofit organizations in the state and their various initiatives include:

  • The World Affairs Council of Maine organizes events to promote the state’s standing within the world and educate Maine residents on various international affairs. The council employs an executive director who graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in International Relations and French and has an M.A. in Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern Maine Muskie School of Public Service.
  • The Mid-Coast Forum on Foreign Relations organizes local events that delve into current international relations topics. Members of the forum include journalists, lawyers, business professionals, and educators, among others, who have had experience in the foreign outreach field. Speakers at the forum have included S. and foreign government officials and diplomats.
  • The Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE) focuses on helping individuals gain the skills and knowledge necessary to work abroad. The council’s staff includes a director of community outreach, an information officer, a vice president of the study abroad department.
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Resources for Maine’s International Relations Professionals

Maine is home to several governmental and non-governmental organizations dedicated to global outreach and collaboration. Among these organizations:


Government and Academic

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