What Can I Do with My International Politics Major?

Overview

International politics majors study the way that states and non-state actors interact with one another on the international stage. Concerned primarily with understating the principal building blocks of international politics today, the major examines the prominence of both security and non-security issues, including those generated and governed by states, along with those created by outside entities. Students may choose from four fields in which to concentrate, including International Law, Organization, and Ethics; Trans-State Actors in World Politics; International Security Studies; and Foreign Policy and Policy Processes.

International politics 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 BSFS Majors 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.