Ohio Online International Studies Degree for a Career in International Relations

International relations professionals work to manage Ohio’s global security initiatives, humanitarian efforts, and diplomatic relations:

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  • In 2014, international program coordinators worked with the University of Cincinnati and the government of Ethiopia to install a solar energy project in that country
  • In 2014, the US State Department held a career event in Cincinnati to recruit for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • In 2013 the US Ambassador for Slovakia opened an art exhibition in Bratislava featuring the work of Cleveland-area artists as part of the Sister City program
  • An eco-partnership between Columbus and Hefei, its sister city in China, has launched projects for developing electric vehicles and biofuel energy, as well as programs to protect wetlands

Ohio’s international relations professionals also work with their counterparts in international business to help secure trade deals and facilitate international commerce by negotiating favorable export conditions with the state’s foreign trading partners. According to the US Department of Commerce, in 2014 alone Ohio’s international trade partners collectively bought $52.1 billion in products.

International relations professionals work in Ohio’s private, non-profit, and governmental sectors, ensuring the state maintains a strong presence on the international stage. Important government and government-affiliated agencies that rely on these professionals include:

  • Ohio Development Services Agency, Export Assistance
  • Office of TourismOhio
  • Cleveland Council on World Affairs
  • Cleveland Mayors Office of Government and International Affairs


Earning a Degree in International Relations in Ohio

From foreign outreach workers serving government trade associations to program directors for non-governmental organizations, a career in international relations begins with the right degree. A formal education is one of the best investments for those interested in lending their talents to such organizations as the IAEA, United Nations, Amnesty International, the Cleveland Council on World Affairs, or similar non-profit and intergovernmental organizations.

In addition to distance learning options, several colleges and universities in Ohio house schools of international studies that offer undergraduate and graduate programs in international relations.

Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations

Bachelor’s prepared professionals that majored in international relations often go on to become:

  • Ambassador’s assistant
  • University researcher
  • International programs analyst
  • Translator or interpreter
  • Humanitarian aid program officer
  • International marketing associate
  • Grant writer

As students complete their general requirements and move on to declare an International Studies major, they can expect to take core courses like:

  • International relations
  • International politics
  • American foreign policy
  • International cultural studies
  • Study abroad

Schools often offer the chance to choose a minor in such areas as:

  • Global studies
  • Diplomacy
  • International business
  • Foreign language
  • Journalism
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Master’s Degree in International Relations

When enrolling in a graduate program in international relations, entrance requirements often include:

  • GRE or GMAT exam
  • Personal essay regarding academic intent
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Minimum GPA requirement
  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree

Upon acceptance into a graduate program, students will complete one to two years of core IR courses, which include subjects like:

  • International negotiations
  • Conflict prevention and assessment
  • Internal state security
  • Global environmental politics
  • World power politics
  • International criminal law

These graduate programs often allow students to specialize by choosing a concentration. Specialized concentrations available to graduate students in international studies programs include:

  • International negotiation and conflict resolution
  • Communication and development studies
  • Foreign policy and national security
  • International development studies
  • Latin American studies
  • African studies
  • Global security
  • Asian studies

Master’s-prepared international relations professionals often serve in such key roles as:

  • Ambassador
  • International program director
  • Head of operations with an NGO
  • Humanitarian program director
  • Diplomatic service officer
  • Intelligence analyst
  • Immigration specialist
  • Department of State foreign service officer
  • Global quality specialist


Ohio’s Contribution to Global Security, International Development, and Humanitarian Aid

Ohio’s international relations professionals work in all sectors to further the state’s economic, diplomatic, and security needs. For example, the state’s Sister City program has had a positive impact for business development, the global environment, and diplomacy. Participating cities include:

  • Columbus – Genoa, Italy; Hefei, China; Seville, Spain; Dresden, Germany; Ahmedabad, India
  • Cleveland – Alexandria, Egypt; Lima, Peru; Taipei, Taiwan; Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Cincinnati – Amman, Jordan; Kharkiv, Ukraine; Harare, Zimbabwe; Munich, Germany
  • Toledo – Toledo, Spain; Qinhuangdao, China; Hyderabad, Pakistan; Tanga, Tanzania
  • Akron – Kiryat Ekron, Israel; Chemnitz, Germany
  • Dayton – Monrovia, Liberia; Oiso, Japan; Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Parma – Lviv, Ukraine

Cleveland Council on World Affairs

This is one example of an organization that benefits from the skilled input of international relations professionals. The goal of the Cleveland Council on World Affairs is to inspire corporate and individual citizen engagement in international affairs by sponsoring community activities like:

  • International speaker events
  • Participating in the Model UN and Bridges to the World programs
  • Partnering with the US State Department’s International Visitors Leadership Program

The council is also a member of Global Ties US and World Affairs Councils of America.

Cleveland Mayors Office of Government and International Affairs

Cultural experts and protocol specialists are among the international relations professionals who work with this government office. Responsible for representing the local government of Cleveland, the Cleveland Mayors Office of Government and International Affairs is the state and national contact for organizing events such as:

  • International dignitary coordination
  • Accommodation of foreign delegations
  • Welcoming of official visitors

This Office is also responsible for overseeing activities related to Cleveland’s Sister Cities partnerships.

Career Examples for Ohio’s International Relations Professionals

Some examples of career opportunities in the field of international relations in Ohio include the following (taken from a June 2015 survey and provided for illustrative purposes only):

Intelligence Specialist with the Department of the Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB – Part of the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System, this professional performs analysis and evaluation of raw intelligence data. A strong preference is shown to candidates with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Strategic Intelligence, or a related field of study.

Assistant Professor of Political Science at Ohio University in Athens – Teaching in a program co-sponsored by Ohio U’s Center for International Studies’ War and Peace Studies Program and the Political Science department, this professional will be responsible for teaching classes about the causes of war, American foreign policy, and international peace. Applicants should have an advanced degree in a field related to International Relations.

Relationship Manager with Catholic Relief Services in Radnor – This professional is responsible for providing a CRS presence on college campuses to recruit, establish awareness of CRS activities, and to promote CRS goals. Candidates must have a master’s degree in International Relations, Divinity, Education, or a related field.

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Local Resources for Professionals in International Relations

Prospective IR professionals can find additional resources with the following non-profits and government agencies in Ohio:

Non-Profit Organizations

Governmental Organizations

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