International Relations

Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts in International Relations analyzes the nature of modern global relationships and provides you with an improved understanding of diplomacy, foreign policy analysis, international organizations, global development, and international relations theory. This online bachelor’s degree explores the interconnectedness of global economies, societies, and cultures. You will focus on civic engagement and social responsibility while developing broad critical thinking skills in politics, economics, culture, and history. This online program provides an excellent foundation for careers in government agencies, the diplomatic service, international organizations, world trade and finance, and international media careers.

Program Courses

The curriculum for this online bachelor’s program is reviewed by an advisory council of industry experts for relevancy to today’s marketplace. Course topics include:

  • Information literacy for global citizenship
  • Scientific research questioning and strategies
  • International and global politics
  • American foreign policy, including ideologies and major figures
  • International organizations and development
  • International laws and regimes
  • Research, analysis, and communication skills

View all courses.

Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Distinguish the political, economic, social, and security theories, methods, and historic patterns of international relations as applied to contemporary issues and actors within the world system.
  • Explain the process and implications of interdependence among individuals, groups, states, and regions in the context of globalization.
  • Analyze the theories, assumptions, and causes of conflict within international systems as related to the institutions of international law, diplomacy, and world order, including the prospects for sustainable peace.
  • Assess the unique principles, structure, organization, and impact of international organizations and other non-state actors within the international system of states.
  • Evaluate the multidimensional effects of globalization and integration as applied to issues in human security, conflict resolution, and sustainable economic development.

Degree at a Glance

Concentrations

Concentrations are designed to help you group courses together so you can further specialize in your field and pursue a more focused path to degree completion. You will be asked to select a concentration when you enroll in this program.

Explore the concentrations available for this program.

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African Studies

Probes the history, essential tenets, and central practices of different cultures within Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the ethnic, tribal, cultural, and religious divides that exist there today. Also addresses the historical, sociological, economic, geographic, political, and defense factors as they relate to issues and events now and in the future.

Sample Courses

  • IRLS300 - Comparative Political Systems
  • IRLS322 - African Politics
  • IRLS392 - Globalization and the Market Economy
  • IRLS412 - Comparative Foreign Policy
  • IRLS213 - Political Geography
  • HIST340 - History of Africa
  • IRLS310 - Introduction to Human Security
  • LITR370 - African Literature
  • RELS353 - Islam
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Asian Studies

Evaluates various sociological, historical, economic, geographic, political, and defense factors as they relate to current events within Asia. Assesses ethnic, tribal, cultural, and religious divides that exist in Asia and their impact on internal and regional stability.

Sample Courses

  • IRLS300 - Comparative Political Systems
  • IRLS392 - Globalization and the Market Economy
  • IRLS412 - Comparative Foreign Policy
  • IRLS331 - Asian Politics
  • HIST230 - History of East Asia
  • IRLS310 - Introduction to Human Security
  • IRLS213 - Political Geography
  • TLMT442 - International Trade and Regulations
  • PHIL310 - Studies in Chinese Thought
  • PHIL311 - Studies in Japanese Thought
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Comparative Politics

Takes an in-depth look at politics in systematic and comparative terms by focusing on domestic politics in various countries. Explores the political history, social background, culture, and institutions of those countries; the roles of various actors in developing and implementing domestic and international policy; and globalization’s impact on public policies.

Sample Courses

  • IRLS300 - Comparative Political Systems
  • IRLS322 - African Politics
  • IRLS392 - Globalization and the Market Economy
  • IRLS412 - Comparative Foreign Policy
  • IRLS213 - Political Geography
  • IRLS343 - Government and Security of Russia
  • IRLS344 - European Politics
  • IRLS355 - Latin American Politics
  • IRLS460 - Government & Security in the Middle East
  • IRLS463 - Arab-Israeli Conflict: Contemp. Politics & Dipl.
  • IRLS331 - Asian Politics
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European Studies

Explores various sociological, historical, economic, geographic, political, and defense factors as they relate to current events within Europe. Topics include essential tenets and central practices of different cultures within various European societies, as well as ethnic, tribal, cultural, and religious divides that exist in Europe and their impact on internal and regional stability.

Sample Courses

  • IRLS300 - Comparative Political Systems
  • IRLS344 - European Politics
  • IRLS392 - Globalization and the Market Economy
  • IRLS412 - Comparative Foreign Policy
  • FREN100 - French I
  • IRLS343 - Government and Security of Russia
  • IRLS416 - The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
  • IRLS213 - Political Geography
  • FREN101 - French II
  • GERM100 - German I
  • GERM101 - German II
  • RUSS100 - Russian I
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Globalization and Human Security

Takes an historical look at human rights topics and discusses how human rights and human security are intertwined. Delves into environmental security threats such as climate change, water scarcity, consumption patterns, urbanization, food security, and globalization. Some courses in this concentration may lead to eligibility to obtain a certificate of completion from the United Nation's Peace Operations Training Institute.

Sample Courses

  • IRLS310 - Introduction to Human Security
  • IRLS400 - Human Rights
  • IRLS405 - National and Transnational Justice
  • IRLS409 - Environmental Security
  • INTL411 - International Criminal Organizations
  • INTL451 - Terrorism and U.S. National Security
  • IRLS413 - International Conflict Resolution
  • IRLS417 - International Civil Order
  • IRLS414 - Principles of Peacekeeping
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International Studies

Provides an in-depth examination of international and transnational issues that affect the global community as a whole and nation-states as individual entities. Looks at theories on the nature of conflict and cooperation post-Cold War, norms and purposes of international structures and regimes, and various manifestations of globalization and their impact on political, economic, and social systems.

Sample Courses

  • IRLS392 - Globalization and the Market Economy
  • IRLS413 - International Conflict Resolution
  • INTL434 - Threat Analysis
  • INTL411 - International Criminal Organizations
  • SCMT319 - Global Terrorism
  • IRLS400 - Human Rights
  • IRLS405 - National and Transnational Justice
  • INTL451 - Terrorism and U.S. National Security
  • IRLS491 - Special Topics in International Relations
  • IRLS417 - International Civil Order
  • TLMT442 - International Trade and Regulations
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Latin American Studies

Explores the history, tenets, and central practices of Latin American cultures, as well as various sociological, economic, geographic, political, and defense factors as they relate to current events. Also discusses ethnic, tribal, cultural, and religious divides that exist in Latin America, their impact on internal and regional stability, and key issues that lie ahead for relations within regions.

Sample Courses

  • HIST360 - History of Latin America
  • IRLS300 - Comparative Political Systems
  • IRLS355 - Latin American Politics
  • IRLS392 - Globalization and the Market Economy
  • IRLS412 - Comparative Foreign Policy
  • IRLS310 - Introduction to Human Security
  • IRLS213 - Political Geography
  • SPAN100 - Spanish I
  • SPAN101 - Spanish II
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Peacekeeping

Traces the principles and foundations of peace operations within the context of international and regional mechanisms. Topics include the nature of conflict and diplomatic negotiations in the post-Cold War era, and the role of UN and regional peacekeeping initiatives in specific peacebuilding and peacekeeping operations in conflict areas. Completion of this concentration may lead to eligibility to obtain a certificate of completion from the Peace Operations Training Institute.

Sample Courses

  • IRLS310 - Introduction to Human Security
  • IRLS405 - National and Transnational Justice
  • IRLS415 - Peacekeeping Logistics
  • IRLS414 - Principles of Peacekeeping
  • MILH422 - History of Peacekeeping: 1988-Present
  • IRLS409 - Environmental Security
  • IRLS416 - The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
  • IRLS413 - International Conflict Resolution
  • IRLS417 - International Civil Order

Admission Requirements

  • All undergraduate programs require a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent (i.e. GED).
  • New undergraduate students may be asked to complete our College Readiness Assessment (ADMN100). If you have successfully completed 9 or more hours of college credit, you may reach out to your admission representative to inquire about waiving this requirement.
  • If you have previous college experience, you will be asked to submit your transcripts from previous schools where you earned academic credit.
  • There is no fee to complete our admission application. View steps to apply.

Need help?

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an admission representative at 877-777-9081 or info@apus.edu.


Undergraduate Tuition Rates 

Per credit hour: $270 | $250 with military grant*

View Tuition and Fees Details  

*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, we offer a tuition grant for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, Guard, Reserve, military spouses and dependents, and veterans that caps undergraduate tuition at the military TA limit. See all military-affiliated student benefits.

Paying for School

Because our university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), (the same as the Ohio State University, Univ. of Chicago, and U.S. Air Force Academy, to name a few), we can accept the following forms of financial aid and payments:

Ways to Save

Undergraduate Book Grant

Ebooks are provided at no cost if you are enrolled in undergraduate courses for credit. The undergraduate book grant is estimated to save $250 per academic semester if you are registered as a full-time student.

Transfer Credits

Accelerate your degree completion by taking full advantage of our transfer credit options, including credit for your previous college courses, military service schools, American Council on Education (ACE) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and prior learning experiences.  

Employer Contributions

The university has educational partnerships with many employers and associations. Be sure to accurately enter your employer information when you complete our admissions application. Your employer might also offer a tuition reimbursement plan as one of your benefits.