Preparing Thoughtful Leaders for International Relations Roles

APU’s Bachelor of Arts in International Relations prepares students to be effective leaders in their community, nation, and the world. Students learn to make sense of global events, to identify the degree to which both peaceful interactions and political crises shape the world, and to articulate Christian perspectives on relations between peoples and nations. The international relations major prepares students for many different vocations through rigorous training in international politics, philosophy, history, geography, diplomacy, and security studies.

International relations majors are encouraged to critique the variety of Christian responses to international issues and to consider how the Christian faith informs our thinking about global problems and opportunities. Students will confront the moral and ethical ramifications of past and present international organizations, laws, and conflicts, and will evaluate possible solutions for the future. Equipped with a solid liberal arts education, international relations majors graduate from APU ready to boldly defend and promote truth and justice.

Pathway from Education to Vocation

Download the International Relations Major Brochure to learn more about APU’s pathway from education to vocation, including graduate school and career opportunities.

Why Study International Relations

As issues in international relations continue to evolve and grow in complexity, so does the need for thoughtful men and women to develop and articulate constructive ways to interact with and influence current structures. We have seen evidence of these new challenges in the emergence of radical nonstate actors including Al-Qaeda and ISIS, in the repudiation of supranational entities during the United Kingdom’s vote to exit the European Union, and in the vast disagreement on how nations should respond to a series of crises in the Middle East.

The international relations major prepares students to address these and similar issues through a variety of careers in government, including foreign policy formulation or analysis, as well as vocations in international business and trade, foreign aid and development, military and security policy, and international law. Many students continue their study at the graduate level with a degree program in foreign affairs, law, or international politics.

Gain In-depth Learning Experiences

In addition to classroom, research, and seminar experiences, students in the program are encouraged to seek opportunities to get involved in the field through internship experiences at the national or international levels.

APU students participate in internships with government, research, and law through the American Studies Program in Washington, DC, congressional offices, and other legislative, judicial, and executive offices of the federal government. Internships ensure that international relations majors graduate with contacts in their chosen field, solid evidence of their skills, and substantial experience on their résumés.

Program Goals

The Department of History and Political Science prepares students who are able to:

  • Explain the principles, purposes, and main features of American government.
  • Explain the main features of international politics.
  • Articulate the main schools of thought respecting international relations and describe the principal interests and ideas that inform U.S. foreign policy.
  • Analyze the writing of major thinkers in the history of political philosophy.
  • Articulate a Christian understanding of politics and government.
  • Demonstrate ability to write and cite sources to professional standards within the discipline.

Note: This information is current for the 2023-24 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.