Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to sub-navigation

International Political Economy

Advisers; Professors HENDRICKSON (Political Science), KAPURIA-FOREMAN (Economics); Associate Professors GOULD (Political Science), Assistant Professor MCKENDRY (Political Science)

The major in international political economy prepares students for careers in government, international organizations, international business, or private foundations; for further study in international economics and politics; and for constructive citizenship in a world of increasing interdependence. The major is designed for students with broad interests in international studies.

Major Requirements

The major focuses on the interaction between politics and economics in comparative and international settings. It examines the possibilities and constraints furnished by social structures, institutions, ideologies, and culture within and across societies, and it looks at the interplay of economic and political forces in the world arena.

Students are introduced to the field in their junior year when they take Introduction to International Political Economy, a course emphasizing theoretical foundations. They draw upon this body of theory as they undertake a research experience during the senior year.

A student majoring in international political economy must complete a minimum of 16 units of credit, including the following requirements: 

  1. At least five units of credit in political science, including one theory course (PS205, 270, 292, or 298)
    AND PS 209 or 225. Either PS209 or 225 can be counted towards the IPE major, but not both. The remaining three units must come from the comparative and international relations subfields, including one unit from each. Students may take a maximum of one pre-approved elective from outside the political science department;
  2. At least five units of credit in economics, including EC 150 (or 151 and 152), 207 or 209, 342 or 344, and one 300-level elective approved by the Department of Economics and Business, including: 337, 390 (some topics; e.g., Global Environmental Economics), or EC 391 (some topics);
  3. MA 125 or 126;
  4. Demonstrate second-year college proficiency in a modern foreign language OR three units of credit from an approved program of study outside the United States; second-year language proficiency means satisfactory completion of intermediate-level courses or comparable achievement on placement examinations. Placement beyond the intermediate level would exempt students from this requirement. 
  5. EC/PS 375 (normally taken in the junior year);
  6. Statistics (EC 200, MA 117 or BY 220);
  7. Capstone Research Experience — students must complete one of the following: PS 470 (or 410 or 412), EC 498, or PS 450.