What Can I Do My International Political Economy Major?

Overview

Students who choose to major in international political economy commit themselves to a rigorous evaluation of the ways in which the disciplines of economics and political science overlap. The major is designed around the idea that many issues on the international front are impossible to fully understand without a strong background in both international economics and international politics. Students thus focus on both the traditional methods of analyzing aspects of political economy - such as formal modeling, comparative methods, and statistical techniques – along with new ways of examining the effects of changes in the economy and various political factors. This combination of study allows students to develop a comprehensive understanding of a wide variety of issues, including trade, distribution of natural resources, development, policy, and legislation in countries ranging from the developed to the emerging.

International political economy majors, like all students within the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, develop acute analytical and critical thinking skills. In addition, they are required to develop proficiency in at least one foreign language during their time as an undergraduate – a skill that often makes them more competitive upon graduation. With an emphasis on excellent communication skills and objective analysis, students graduating from the School of Foreign Service are well-prepared for careers in both the public and private sectors, as well as success in both graduate and law school.

Skills Acquired with the BSFS Degree

Critical Thinking

  • Understanding complex factors within problems
  • Perceiving patterns/structures
  • Comparing/contrasting interpretations
  • Assessing cultural differences
  • Assessing conflicting viewpoints

Communication

  • Analytical writing
  • Editing
  • Drafting documents
  • Summarizing and presenting information
  • Public speaking
  • Language proficiency
  • Strong writing skills

Research

  • Defining problems
  • Formulating and assessing hypotheses
  • Gathering and analyzing information
  • Using original sources
  • Understanding cultural contexts
  • Interpreting data
  • Evaluating evidence and results
  • Reading critically
Sample Internship Opportunities
  • White House Fellows
  • U.S. State Department
  • International labor organizations (e.g. AFL-CIO)
  • U.S. or State Congress
  • Research Institutes/Think Tanks (e.g. Brookings Institute, Urban Institute)
  • International development and relief (e.g. Freedom House, AED, USAID)
  • Environmental organization (e.g. EPA, PIRC, Green Peace)
  • Educational programs (e.g. Summerbridge)
  • Financial services (e.g. The Emerging Markets Private Equity Association)
  • Consulting firms (e.g. Drum Cussac Inc.)
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Intelligence and National Security (e.g. Intellibridge.com, CIA)
  • Political Action Committees (PACs) (e.g. American Israeli PAC)
  • Government consulting (e.g. DFI, SAIC)
  • Non-Governmental Organizations (e.g. Search for Common Ground)

Where are SFS Graduates Now?

  • Attorney
  • Campaign staffer
  • Consultant
  • Creative writer
  • Development associate
  • Economist
  • Editorial assistant
  • Financial Analyst
  • Foreign Service officer
  • Intelligence officer
  • Journalist
  • Legislative assistant
  • Librarian
  • Military Services
  • News producer
  • Paralegal
  • Physician
  • Policy analyst
  • Production coordinator
  • Professor
  • Program assistant
  • Reference researcher
  • Social worker
  • Speech writer
  • Student Services administrator
  • Teacher
  • University admissions officer
Relevant Web Sites/Publications

For more information about career options, internships and full-time opportunities contact the Career Education Center at One Leavey Center, (202) 687-3493. For more information about the major and degree requirements visit the School of Foreign Service website or stop by 301 ICC. The department can also be reached at (202) 687-5696.