Online International Studies Degree for an International Relations Career in South Dakota

The U.S. Department of State indicates that South Dakota’s international programming, trade, and initiatives have increased the state’s visibility on the global stage by developing and strengthening ties with foreign stakeholders.

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Just a few of the ways that the Department indicates South Dakota has contributed to strong international relations include:

  • Offering asylum to 500 foreign refugees as of 2014
  • In 2014, Augustana College, Northern State University, and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology received 13 Brazilian students in a cultural and educational exchange program
  • Fulbright scholarships have been awarded to six scholars from South Dakota
  • South Dakota has been the welcoming state to over 1,100 foreign dignitaries, including doctors, au pairs, educators, and more, increasing international trust and cooperation through face-to-face hospitality

Through the state’s initiatives and partnerships—as well as other South Dakota-based nonprofit and private sector programs—the state continues to increase global visibility, develop international relationships, and promote trust, cooperation, and trade worldwide.

Finding the Right Degree for a Career in International Relations

International relations degrees are interdisciplinary, allowing students to specialize in the area that matters most to them—whether business, law, commerce, or humanitarianism.

In international relations programs, students often get the opportunity to put their classroom knowledge to practical use, participating in study abroad programs and international internships designed to provide the hands-on experience that prepares students for success in the workforce.

Many universities give an option to obtain international studies degrees online, allowing students to advance their education and career simultaneously.

Bachelor’s Degrees in International Relations

Bachelor’s degrees in international studies that prepare students to enter fields such as international law, international humanitarian aid, and international political policy include, but are not limited to:

  • Bachelor’s in Political Science—International Studies
  • Bachelor’s in International Conflict Negotiation
  • Bachelor’s in International Development
  • Bachelor’s in International Studies or Affairs
  • Bachelor’s in International Diplomacy
  • Bachelor’s in National and International Security

Core courses generally included in the international relations degree include courses such as:

  • International Research Methods
  • Comparative Religion, Politics, and Culture
  • Globalization and Religion, Politics, and Commerce

Once core courses are completed, students will begin studying their specialized area of study, which may include concentrations such as:


  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • International Trade and Commerce

International Law

  • Immigration
  • Immigration Law
  • Global Justice

Environmental Issues

  • Globalization and the Environment
  • Critical Water Issues
  • The Ecology of Slums

With a degree in international relations, students are prepared to enter international relations careers in fields such as:

  • Journalism
  • Marketing
  • Commerce
  • Banking
  • Advocacy
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Advancing to a Master’s Degree in International Relations

When considering advancing to a master’s degree in international studies, students must first consider eligibility requirements. Although each university is different, most master’s programs require that incoming applicants meet high admissions criteria, such as:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
  • Have a 2.8-3.3 GPA in bachelor’s degree
  • Complete the official GRE

Master’s degrees in international relations will prepare students for advanced careers in the fields of international law, international business, international security, and more. Degrees include, but are not limited to:

  • MA in International Management
  • MA in International Public Policy
  • MA in International Relations & MBA
  • MA in International Relations & Juris Doctor in International Law
  • MA in International Commerce & Economics
  • MA in International Journalism
  • MA in International Relations and Regional/Area Studies

Specialty degrees, or concentrations within degrees, will offer specialized courses, including, but not limited to:

MA in International Relations & Juris Doctor in International Law

  • International Rights
  • Humanitarian Law
  • Foreign Relations Law

MA in International Commerce & Economics

  • Economic Analysis
  • Principles of Economics
  • International Trade

MA in International Relations – American Foreign Policy

  • The Cold War: International History
  • America as a world Power
  • Diplomacy on the Ground

With in-depth, specialized degrees, international relations professionals are experts in their fields, trained to work in in top-tier private, government, and nonprofit organizations, including:

  • The European Union
  • The United Nations
  • The International Criminal Court
  • The World Bank
  • S. Department of State
  • The Red Cross
  • The World Health Organization
  • Council of American Ambassadors


South Dakota’s Contribution to International Development and Humanitarian Work

Some of South Dakota’s government and nonprofit organizations that contribute to the state’s global presence include:

  • South Dakota World Affairs Councilbased in Brookings, this council focuses entirely on educating South Dakotans on world affairs in order to spark interest in international relations, global cultures, and foreign policy. The Council promotes global understanding through hosting speakers and discussion, and encouraging south Dakotans to engage in global culture by hosting international leaders.

Past speakers, such as the Irish Consul General and Korea Officials, have given lectures such as, “Everyday Africa as seen through social media,” “The Past, Present, and Future of Korea,” and “Friends, Neighbors, Allies: Canada-U.S. Relationship.”

  • South Dakota State University Office of International Affairs – founded in 1988 for the precise purpose of creating international exchange and research partnerships, the Office of International Affairs, as of 2015, has developed educational partners on six continents.
  • Dacotah Territory International Visitors Program this program hosts international visitors in Rapid City—the gateway to the Black Hills. The organization creates specific, personalized programs for foreign dignitaries based on their background, including programs focused on labor, media, military, women’s issues, agriculture, education, and more.
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Agencies Based in South Dakota that Contribute to International Relations

South Dakota’s organizations that focus on international humanitarian aid, development, and trade include:



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