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International Relations Minor

In the Einaudi Center’s international relations minor (IRM), you study the politics, economics, history, languages, and cultures of the world and gain a fresh perspective on your major field of study. The minor is open to all Cornell undergraduates and includes courses from across the university.

About the Minor

flags of many nations

IRM is an interdisciplinary undergraduate minor—not a major or a department—open to students enrolled in any of Cornell’s undergraduate colleges. In addition to your regular degree courses, you have the flexibility to take a range of courses across colleges and departments.  

Your opportunities as an international relations minor extend beyond the Ithaca campus. If you study abroad for a semester or year, you can complete some of the minor’s requirements, including the language requirement.  

IRM graduates have gone on to higher education in disciplines such as political science and anthropology, as well as to successful careers in international law, economics, agriculture, trade, finance, journalism, public policy, and government service.

Cornell Chronicle: International Relations Minor Sets Graduates on Global Paths

For Current IR Minors

international graduate with Global Cornell stole and cords

The minor has revised requirements in academic year 2021–22! If you enrolled in the Einaudi Center’s international relations minor before July 1, 2021, you may switch to the minor's new requirements—or you are welcome to follow the "legacy" plan, particularly if you're a graduating senior.

For students enrolled before July 2021: View IR minor legacy requirements. Contact faculty advisor Oumar Ba if you have any questions about how to complete the requirements of your international relations minor.

Course Requirements

Your courses will reach across the university, concentrated in four groups. Courses within these groups are designated as core or elective. You must complete six courses selected from the four groups, including one core course in each group. You may select among two tracks in the minor (see below). All courses for the minor must be taken for a letter grade.  

See the Registrar's full description of requirements and core and elective courses.

Core Courses

Group 1: International Economics and Development

  • AEM 2300—International Trade and Finance (cross-listed)
  • AEM 4300—International Trade Policy
  • ECON 2300—International Trade and Finance (cross-listed)
  • ECON 3545—International Finance and Macroeconomics (cross-listed)
  • ECON 4510—International Trade Theory and Policy
Please note that the International Economics and Development core courses require ECON 1110—Introductory Microeconomics as a prerequisite, with ECON 1120—Introductory Macroeconomics recommended prior to taking these courses. 

Group 2: World Politics and Foreign Policy

  • GOVT 1817—Making Sense of World Politics

Group 3: International Policy

  • AEM 2000—Contemporary Controversies in the Global Economy
  • GDEV 1102—Introduction to Global Development
  • GDEV 2010—Population Dynamics
  • GDEV 3150—Climate Change and Global Development: Living in the Anthropocene
  • GDEV 3311—Environmental Governance (cross-listed)

Group 4: Regional Specialization

Core courses by region (choose one).


  • HIST 1590—History and Popular Culture in Africa
  • GOVT 3353—African Politics


  • ASIAN 2208—Introduction to Southeast Asia
  • ASIAN 2211—Introduction to Japan
  • ASIAN 2212—Introduction to China
  • ASIAN 2218—Introduction to Korea
  • ASIAN 2222—From Samurai to Superpower: Japan in World History II
  • ASIAN 2275—History of Modern India


  • GOVT 2553—Inside Europe 
  • HIST 1511—The Making of Modern Europe, from 1500 to the Present 

Latin America

  • HIST 1960—Modern Latin America
  • GOVT 3293—Comparative Politics of Latin America  

Middle East and North Africa 

  • HIST 2674—History of the Modern Middle East
  • GOVT 3313—Middle East Politics 

Minor Tracks

Choose your focus: 1) base track, or 2) regional specialization. Select your courses to support one of the tracks.  

Base Track

  • One core course from each group

  • Two additional electives from any of the groups
  • No language requirement

Regional Specialization 

  • One core course from each group
  • Two additional electives, one of which must be from the regional specialization group
  • Must complete language requirement

Regional Track: Language Requirement

Students on the regional track must complete additional language study beyond the College of Arts and Sciences degree requirement of "proficiency." For most languages, proficiency is attained by completing a course at the 2000 level, covering basic grammar and structure of the language.

The language requirement can be fulfilled in two ways: 

  • Demonstrated facility in one foreign language (proficiency plus one course that uses the language to explore some aspect of a foreign culture, such as literature or film)

  • Demonstrated proficiency in two foreign languages

One or both of your languages should be commonly used in your area of regional specialization. All language courses must be taken for a letter grade.  

Study Abroad

All international relations minors are strongly encouraged to study abroad. Your international experience will bring a practical dimension to your expertise in international issues. To learn more about programs available for study abroad, consult Education Abroad, part of the Office of Global Learning

Office Hours

To meet with the IRM administrative coordinator, please stop by 140A Uris Hall during the following hours:

  • Tuesday and Thursday, 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

  • Friday, by appointment

How to Apply

Please submit the form (below) to enroll in the international relations minor.

Contact the administrative coordinator if you have further questions or to schedule an appointment. Faculty advisor Oumar Ba is an additional resource for international relations minors.  

Enrollment Form

Month and Year
Do you have a foreign language that you are interested in?
Are you interested in a particular region of the world? If yes, which one?
What kind of career path in the international realm interests you?
2 + 2 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.
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