Major in International Relations and Politics (IRP)
The International Relations and Politics (IRP) major analyzes the role of politics at the national, regional, international, and transnational levels; examines political arrangements within and among these levels; and investigates the phenomenon of globalization. Statesmen, scholars, and policy makers often discuss globalization in terms of the deepening economic and political integration among states. Building on Carnegie Mellon University's interdisciplinary approach to research, the IRP major investigates globalization as the intersection of international politics, culture, markets, and technology. Furthermore, the major examines, through interdisciplinary intellectual lenses, the way in which states construct grand strategy and the effect of grand strategy on the international system.
No single discipline can grapple fully with the ever-evolving process of globalization and the role played by grand strategy. The IRP major, rooted in the discipline of political science, relies upon analytical social science for important insights into these complex areas. The major also utilizes the intellectual strengths of the Department of Social and Decision Sciences, which include behavioral decision science, history, complex social systems, economics, and the department's program in strategy, entrepreneurship, and technological change. Students' understanding of globalization, international politics, and grand strategy is further informed by courses and colloquia offered by CMU's top-ranked departments, divisions, and schools in business, computer science, engineering, and the humanities.
Knowledge of the theoretical underpinnings of international relations is the core objective of IRP. Thus, students pursuing this major will be trained to apply analytic tools to enduring problems in the international system. These tools include rational choice theory, political history, economic analysis, and theories of behavioral decision making.
Students are required to complete the intermediate (200) level, or its equivalent, in a modern language other than English. Advanced-level study is strongly encouraged.Open to all Carnegie Mellon undergraduates, Carnegie Mellon University's Washington Semester Program (CMUWSP) allows students to study public policy and intern in Washington for one semester. Courses taken through CMUWSP will count toward elective sequence requirements for IRP majors.
IRP majors interested in developing their research skills are encouraged to apply for a research position with the Center for International Relations and Politics. They are also encouraged to join the International Relations Organization (IRO) on campus, which sponsors the Model UN, and other student organizations focused on domestic or international politics. Becoming involved in the Social and Decision Sciences Department (SDS) and the Student Advising Council (SAC), as well as attending lectures and events sponsored by the Center for International Relations and Politics and SDS, will provide additional opportunities for students.