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The International Relations major is a multidisciplinary major that equips students with the skills and tools of political science, economics, business, and history, as well as other disciplines to excel at a variety of careers both domestically and abroad. Students who complete this major appreciate the flexibility of a multidisciplinary major combined with small class sizes, close connections with faculty, and an emphasis on learning abroad.

Why should I study international relations?

Our world is increasingly globalized, and more careers of every kind need to be familiar with the broader world to be competitive. This major prepares students for a variety of careers, both now and into the future. Our students spend their time at Bethel learning why some countries thrive while others fail. They study the history of human rights. They work on the puzzles of economic development amongst the poorest countries on the planet. They also intern in government, at think tanks, and in non-profit agencies in the Twin Cities and abroad. Once they graduate, our students work for international corporations, they serve in the ministry, they teach, and work for our government, both in Minnesota and in Washington, D.C.

What can I do with this degree?

A degree in International Relations prepares students for a variety of career options. Some of our students have become Foreign Service officers with the State Department. In recent years, our graduates have taken positions with companies like Target and Cargill. Other students have become teachers, both in the United States and around the world. Students have also worked for non-profit organizations, doing work as diverse as helping refugees settle in the United States to helping end human trafficking networks in India. Of course, our students also go on to attend prestigious graduate schools and laws schools, recently, Harvard University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Minnesota.

What skills will I develop?

International Relations, because it is a multidisciplinary major, gives students a wide variety of skills. Students will be able to read deeply, write clearly and persuasively, and communicate cogently. Students will be well familiar with history as well as contemporary politics around the world. They will also be able to interpret economic data and make plans for their future as well as the future of the world around them. Our students are also taught to capitalize on one or more study abroad experiences and to bring those experiences back to the rest of their education at Bethel.

What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?

International Relations majors are required to participate in at least one study abroad experience. In recent years, students have studied in the United Kingdom, China, India, Egypt, Israel, Belgium, and New Zealand, amongst many others. Students have a chance to network through their experiences abroad once they return to campus. Additionally, many majors participate in BUMUN, Bethel’s Model United Nations program, Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honorary, and United Cultures of Bethel.

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