International relations is the study of the relationships between countries and between governmental and non-governmental organizations. It examines the impacts of economic, social, technological, environmental, military, and political processes, as well as issues of justice, responsibility, and human well-being.
Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences
Degree options: BA major or honours; Any degree, minor in international politics
The international relations program at Mount Allison is centred around courses in economics, language, and political science.
In first and second year you will take introductory courses in economics, political science, and international relations.
In third and fourth year you will begin to specialize. International relations is inter and multidisciplinary and in addition to your core courses, you will have the opportunity to choose two streams of study from the following disciplines:
- political science (politics in Europe, the U.S., Africa, the Middle East; security studies; foreign policy analysis)
- history (war and society in Europe, Japan and modern Asia, environmental history)
- sociology (social movements, refugee studies, globalization)
- anthropology (indigenous knowledge systems, social inequality, globalization and social change)
- economics (game theory, environmental economics, international development)
- geography and environmental studies (Canadian environmental policy, international environmental affairs, sustainable development)
- English (African literature, Caribbean literature, literary representations of race and culture)
- religious studies (gender issues in eastern and western religions, contemporary ethical issues)
International relations also has a university-level language requirement. Mount Allison offers courses in French, Spanish, German, and Japanese.
You are encouraged to gain international experience by studying or working abroad or by doing international work in Canada, and to carry out independent research.
Find a list of international relations courses in the academic calendar - politics and international relations.
Popular career paths for international relations graduates include:
- humanitarian aid worker
- global health aid worker/policy developer
- foreign service officer
- international development worker
- public policy analyst
- foreign affairs analyst/specialist
- immigration officer/specialist
- intelligence officer
- international project manager
- community development specialist
“The international relations program was what first made me want
to come to Mount Allison. I had always been interested in so many
topics in school and the thought of choosing just one to study in
university was terrifying! Because the international relations program
is interdisciplinary, it was going to allow me to explore a multitude
of subjects all in my interest range. Mount Allison offers the only
program of this kind in Eastern Canada, and I wanted to stay close
to home for my first degree.”
International relations, minor in history (’14)
Saint John, NB
“The special thing about the IR program, and about Mount Allison in
general, is putting your education into action. In less than two years
of IR, I’ve studied in the Middle East, learned Turkish, represented my
country at a UN conference in Brazil, and biked across Canada — all
supported by Mount Allison in one way or another. Ralph Emerson writes
that action is 'the preamble to thought, the transition to which it
passes from the unconscious to the conscious' — basically that education
doesn’t count until you can start acting on it. I really believe that.
In fact, taking action on my education is the most important reason why
I study at Mount Allison.”
Honours environmental studies, major international relations (’15)
Powell River, BC
“I love that this program is what you make it. My primary interest is
in international law and politics, so I have been able to shape my
degree program to reflect that. If you’re interested in another
sub-field— international development, for example — you can focus on
that! There is so much freedom in choosing what courses you want and
what topics you want to study.”
International relations, minor in political science (’14)
Mount Allison has one of the best records per capita of Rhodes Scholars in the country — 53 in total and 12 in the past 14 years alone. A large number of our Rhodes Scholars are international relations students. Seven of Mount Allison’s past 12 Rhodes Scholars have majored in IR.
International relations students are active in a wide variety of clubs and societies on campus, including:
- Political Science and International Relations Society
- ATLIS (Atlantic International Studies Organization)
- Free the Children
- Model United Nations
You can also take advantage of the Centre for International Studies, a joint student/faculty-run project that aims to help you integrate your passions and interests into your studies in international relations and to produce concrete action on global issues.
Mount Allison offers study abroad and exchange opportunities in 17 countries, including Australia, Norway, South Korea, China, France, India, Ireland, Germany, and Japan.
Summer research grants are available to support independent student research. Students also have opportunities to work as research and teaching assistants.
Mount Allison has a number of internship opportunities geared toward to the interests of international relations students including the Mansbridge Internship.