International Relations

Rise to meet the world’s most complex challenges by preparing for your role as a change agent in Suffolk’s international relations program.

As an international relations major, you’ll gain a deep understanding of how states and organizations can address pressing problems such as human rights and transitional justice, nuclear proliferation, environmental degradation, underdevelopment and pandemic management. Working with expert faculty, you’ll develop practical tools to analyze the complex political, legal, economic and cultural dimensions of global governance--and build highly-specialized expertise that will help launch your career.

Learn about your global learning options at our annual Study Abroad Fair.

Learn about your global learning options at our annual Study Abroad Fair.

Students in our international relations program will:

  • Study global political power, ideas, ideologies, legislation, strategy and conflict
  • Develop negotiation and diplomacy skills
  • Write expertly in a variety of international policy domains, including policy analysis, op-eds, research papers and policy memos
  • Engage effectively with people from different cultures, aided by language learning and study abroad experiences
  • Learn how to code using R, an open-source statistical software

Experience is Everything

Program Options

The Major

Core classes in the international relations major include Introduction to Comparative Politics, Evolution of the Global System, and Research Methodology for International Relations. Once you’ve developed a solid understanding of domestic and international politics and sharpened your analytical skills, you’ll select elective courses in your areas of interest, such as environmental threats, international security, or human rights. Language, country and region-specific courses will deepen your understanding of global issues.

We encourage students to earn credit and explore potential careers with internships. Popular internship sites include Boston, Washington, D.C., London and Brussels, but you can pursue opportunities anywhere in the world in person or remotely.
View the International Relations Major Curriculum

The Minor

With a minor in International Relations, you’ll learn to navigate within a global environment while studying in the heart of Boston—a truly international city. To complete the minor, you’ll take two required courses, Evolution of the Global System and Introduction to Comparative Politics, then choose three electives.
View the International Relations Minor Curriculum

Customize Your Degree

Many international relations students choose courses, minors, or double majors in areas that will complement their skills such as:

International Relations Degree in Three

Earn your international relations degree in just three years and start making a difference sooner. By taking classes during summer sessions, you’ll save tuition money and graduate earlier to accelerate your career or graduate studies. You’ll also get special advising to keep you on track to graduate within three years.

Please note that students enrolled in this program are still eligible for any available financial aid programs (federal and institutional) and can receive their allotted institutional financial aid benefit throughout their three years here, including summers.
Learn more about the International Relations Degree in Three

Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s

Save time and kickstart your career by completing your undergraduate degree and MA in Global Public Policy in only 5 years. You can apply to this dual-degree program in your junior year at Suffolk, during the spring semester, and take your first graduate course the following fall.
Learn more about the Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s

"With a degree in international relations, I can be a foreign service officer, I can teach English abroad, I can work for a company abroad, or study international law and work with different countries."
Stephanie Bulega-Nasuna, Class of 2024 International Relations Major

Beyond the Classroom

Download the video transcript [PDF]

Since 1978, Suffolk University has partnered with The Washington Center to offer students unique and powerful career-building experiences in our nation’s capital.

Go straight to the epicenter of American politics, advocacy, law, media, and more: Washington, D.C. Engage face-to-face with leaders in government, news outlets, embassies, and think tanks, and network with D.C.-area Suffolk alumni. Our students participate in a range of programs, including:

  • Inside Washington Seminar: Participants have met and spoken with leaders like US Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Joe Kennedy; former RNC Chairman Michael Steele; and former Secretary of State John Kerry.
  • Campaign & Inauguration Seminars during presidential election years
  • National Security Seminar with national security experts
  • Semester- and summer-long internships at advocacy groups, nonprofit organizations, law and public relations firms, and government departments such as the Department of Education, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Trade Commission, the House Parliamentarian Office, and the offices of several members of Congress.

Student working at a computer

Go behind the scenes with leading pollster David Paleologos as you learn how to ask the right questions and analyze data that drives the political conversation. Not only will you craft and field a real poll on a topic the class chooses, but you’ll also have the opportunity to contribute questions to national polls conducted by the Center. It’s a unique resume-building experience that’s helped launch alumni directly into careers in the industry.

Established in 2002, the Suffolk University Political Research Center (SUPRC) conducts statewide and national surveys as well as bellwether polls. It examines political races and analyzes voters' opinions on key issues. Suffolk’s presidential polls have predicted outcomes in key battleground states, and its innovative Cityview polls provide valuable insight into major urban areas across the country. Nate Silver’s ranked the SUPRC at the top of its list of “The Most and Least Accurate Pollsters of 2021-22" for its polling of the 2021-22 Senate, House and gubernatorial races.

Two students facing each other and smiling as they work on a project

When you study or work abroad, you’ll become an ambassador for your home culture, country, and for Suffolk University— and learn more about the world as you prepare for your career in international relations.

You can dive deep into global issues through travel courses offered in the international relations major, or take advantage of short (1-2 week), semester- or academic year-long programs in more than two dozen countries coordinated by the University’s Study Abroad office. There are even options to study, teach, and work abroad after graduation.

Several students participate in Suffolk Votes

Suffolk offers so many ways to hone the skills and build the relationships you’ll need to succeed in international relations. Work with Suffolk Votes to encourage civic engagement. Learn about new cultures and practice speaking different languages through the Home Away From Home program. And gain experience analyzing complex problems and articulating clear solutions by participating in Model UN, International Relations Club or the National IR Honors Society, or the Mock Trial or College Policy Debate teams.

We bring leaders in policy, law, media and other fields to campus, as well as current and former members of Congress, and partner with organizations like Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University, The Washington Center, and the GBH Forum Network to present timely events.

Success after Suffolk

Here's a sampling of recent graduates’ current job titles and employers.

Business Manager
Acosta Marte, Inc.
Program Associate
The Philanthropic Initiative, Boston Foundation
Stepping Stones Group, LLC
Senate Page
State Senate, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Legal Assistant
Dhar Law LLP
Survey Analyst
Administrative Assistant
Innovation, Mass General Brigham
Treatment Coordinator
Massachusetts General Hospital
Program Assistant
Bridge Boston Charter School
Investment Administrative Support
Wellington Management

Questions? Get in touch!

Rachael Cobb

Rachael Cobb

Associate Professor & Department Chair of Political Science & Legal Studies

Email [email protected]

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