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International Relations at Lehigh

Women at the United Nations


International Relations is taught in most American universities as part of political science. Lehigh is among the few higher educational institutions in the US that has long had a separate department of IR. This means that students with a particular interest in international affairs will benefit from a concentrated program of study that few other schools offer. IR is not part of a larger intellectual enterprise for us—it is the focal point of our teaching and research.

The expertise of Lehigh's Department of International Relations covers all of the functional and theoretical areas of the field. The department also has particular depth in certain geographical areas, namely, the post-Soviet states and the Middle East. By stressing the interplay between the functional and geographical areas, our curriculum offers students an education that combines theoretical sophistication with a substantive understanding of the world.

IR Program

International Relations does not absolutely require any specific preparation, but pre-collegiate students interested in the study of international relations should take as much college preparatory work in social sciences as is available to them, including economics, history, government, and geography. At least one foreign language is desirable, though there is no specific requirement.

In recent years IR majors have numbered between 45 and 50 per academic class. They come from all over the world (though a majority are U.S. citizens) and display a wide range of interests. Many add a minor or even a second major in subjects as diverse as economics, religion, Asian studies, or language programs. Another 10 or 15 students per year minor in International Relations. Class sizes range from 40 or more in our beginning courses to as small as 10 or fewer in our advanced research seminars.

Our courses are designed to enable students to analyze problems in a manner that is theoretically-informed and conceptually rigorous, to place current global problems in historical perspective, and to write, speak, and think with clarity and precision. These intellectual assets are essential to success in careers such as law, business, journalism, diplomacy, public service, and academics. Our majors have gone on to work in each one of these professions.

A Commitment to Research

The Department of International Relations has a strong commitment to supporting undergraduate research. Useful tools for research include journals, catalogs, and other information, including:

Departmental citation standards
Policy on Intellectual Integrity, Plagiarism, and Documentation

Anastassiya Perevezentseva '18 alumna and assistant director of the Iacocca International Program at Lehigh University

From Student to Staff: Alumna Returns to Alma Mater

Anastassiya Perevezentseva ‘18 never imagined that her journey would come full circle, as she returned to Lehigh to take on the role of Assistant Director of the Iacocca International Internship Program (IIIP) in September.

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