Prepare yourself for a career in our global society by studying international issues through the lenses of politics, economics, history, languages and anthropology.

As an international relations (IR) major, you’ll integrate the study of politics, economics, history and foreign languages to gain the skills you need to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

IR students spend at least a semester abroad for a first-hand introduction to a foreign society. A thesis and study in one or two languages are required.

Our IR program gives motivated students core skills in leadership and communication, analyzing issues and problems, and synthesizing different disciplinary approaches—all qualities needed for careers in a global context.

Common career paths include public service, non-governmental organizations, business, law and academia. Pomona is among the top 50 U.S. colleges and universities with career diplomat graduates.

  • Majors at Pomona College: International Relations
    Prof. Pierre Englebert on the flexibility of studying international relations
  • In class with Professor Pierre Englebert
    In class with Professor Pierre Englebert
  • In class with Professor Heather Williams
    In class with Professor Heather Williams

What You'll Study

  • U.S. foreign policy
  • Modern history course focusing on Europe, Asia, Africa or Latin America
  • International economics
  • One or two foreign languages
  • Study abroad for at least one semester
Of IR majors study abroad and are proficient in at least one foreign language.

Learning at Pomona

  • Aldair Arriola-Gomez ‘17
    The Impact the Mexican War on Drugs Has on Human Rights

    Thanks to the International Relations Senior Thesis Fund, Aldair Arriola-Gomez ’17 traveled to Mexico during his senior year to conduct research for his thesis where he met with journalists and scholars.

  • Sameer Rana '17
    Review or Rhetoric? An Analysis of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review

    Sameer Rana '17 looked into the significance of the peer and periodic review process and how it can be improved to achieve its stated objectives.

  • "The Long-Term Implications of U.S. Drone Use Today" Jacob Merkle '18

    He argues that while drone strikes are effective today, they are a counterproductive long-term strategy that should be discontinued. 

Sameer Rana '17

International Relations intertwines the study of politics, economics, history, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, foreign languages, and more. I greatly appreciated the study abroad component as well, as the major allowed me the flexibility to spend a semester each in Geneva and Paris studying international human rights and diplomacy, as well as solidifying my French language skills. 

Faculty & Teaching

Our core faculty’s expertise includes U.S. diplomacy, international trade, development economics, political development, managing international crises, democratic transition, political sociology, peacemaking, political and ethnic violence, global food politics, human rights and non-governmental organizations. 

Professor Pierre Englebert

IR is an ideal multidisciplinary major for a globalized world. It is both rigorous in its requirements and flexible in how they can be met. The two-semester senior thesis requirement is a popular capstone exercise. IR student and faculty form a strong supportive community across the College.