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Majid Sharifi PhD, Director | International Affairs Program
233A Patterson Hall
Cheney, WA 99004
phone: 509.359.6363
fax: 509.359.6049

International Affairs

The International Affairs (IA) Program, housed in the Political Science Department, is designed to provide students interested primarily in the fields of international relations and comparative politics with a body of knowledge, perspectives and critical skills for understanding the political, economic, historical and socio-cultural relationships and issues shaping today's global community. It offers a thoughtfully-integrated and relatively flexible interdisciplinary set of courses in the social sciences, leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts in international affairs. The goal of this major is to provide students with a solid foundation in the liberal arts for employment and/or advanced study in an international field.

What are the degree options?

The program of study provides a choice of three concentrations - global security processes, global socio-economic processes or global public policy. These concentrations afford students the opportunity to acquire a theoretically, and historically-grounded, understanding of one significant process in which people and countries are currently engaged. Students will be expected to apply these theories to the complex global process in question, and to put that process into socio-historical context. IA students learn to consider issues broadly, to see interconnections amongst processes and geographic regions, and to engage in critical and creative thinking about them. The IA major prepares students for employment, lifelong learning and life enrichment and fits Eastern Washington University's larger purpose of providing quality liberal arts education with meaningful career preparation.

The major requires students to minor in a foreign language or, if the student is a native speaker of a foreign (non-English) language, to minor in a field of his/her choosing. All IA majors are strongly encouraged to pursue study abroad or internship opportunities with public, private, semi-private and volunteer agencies as part of their undergraduate education. The IA major culminates in a senior capstone seminar, in which students demonstrate their ability to master analytical approaches to the complex process of globalization and to apply those approaches to a specific issue or process related to globalization. This course thus brings to bear their acquired knowledge of world events and their critical thinking skills on an issue, process or region of significance to the particular student.

What can I do with my degree?

Students majoring in international affairs will gain competency in global relations, proficiency in a foreign language and skills in research, writing and oral communication. Students will be prepared to go on to graduate study in a wide array of disciplines, such as international studies, development, education, political science or law. They will also be well-equipped for career opportunities in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

The International Affairs Program, in conjunction with the International Affairs Club, EWU's Model United Nations and EWU's chapter of the political science honor society, Pi Sigma Alpha, sponsors regular lectures, forums and debates on campus which encourage students and faculty to confront and consider the integrated character of global and regional political, economic and social issues. IA students regularly participate in these clubs and in the design and preparation for these IA program-sponsored events.

Documents of Interest

Revised curriculum, effective Fall 2009

More Career Information

Online resources to jobs in International Affairs & Government/Political Science (from which field International Affairs takes many of its courses)

Study abroad programs (an initial list, concentrating on programs sponsored by EWU but also including others. Many students find their own program and work out credit-transfer and financial aid arrangements through the EWU study abroad office, which can be contacted at

Working abroad - pointers (a document I've worked up to spark your imagination - it's not exhaustive)

Finding nonacademic work overseas

EWU Study Abroad Office

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