International Affairs, Bachelor of Arts

Department of Politics and International Affairs

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

The bachelor's degree in International Affairs presents a global viewpoint of international public policy and the governments at work around the world. In-depth and timely coursework will introduce interconnections, synergies, and conflicts between countries, political movements, multinational corporations, and non-governmental agencies. Students may study the regions of the world that most interest them along with gaining a firm foundation in comparative politics.

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's diversity, liberal studies, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.

    The full policy can be viewed here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • At least 60 units of major requirements
  • At least 16 units of language requirements

  • Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements.

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units.

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA 2.0
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 114
Foreign Language Required
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
Research Optional
Study Abroad Optional
University Honors Program Optional
AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-A Recommended
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan

Purpose Statement

The Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Affairs provides students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to understand and participate in the political systems of the world.  This degree has an interdisciplinary global focus that will prepare students to take meaningful roles in our increasingly interconnected world.

This degree builds a strong foundation in the basic knowledge of the international political system, and enables them to use key concepts and analytical approaches from U.S. Government and Politics, Comparative Politics and International relations.  This degree grounds students in a wide range of factors shaping the international system and international politics, including history, religion, culture, and language.

Building upon this fundamental knowledge, our curriculum ensures that students can define, design, and implement effective research projects in international political science.  In addition, they will be able to make clear and effective presentations of their work in writing and in public presentations.  Students will also leave this program ready to understand, and be able to meet, the expectations of professionalism and citizenship.  Students will also leave with an ability speak, read, and write in a second language.  They will develop a broad perspective on the experiences and realities of the entire international system.

Our goal is to train students to be active, engaged, and informed participants in the global system who cannot only understand the world around them but also shape and influence it.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Conceptual and Analytical:  Students should have a basic knowledge of the international political system, and be able to use key concepts and analytical approaches from U.S. Government and Politics, Comparative Politics, and International relations.  This degree grounds students in a wide range of factors shaping the international system and international politics, including history, religion, culture, and language.
    • Compare and contrast basic political and governmental structures, processes, and policies between western and non-western countries and apply this information to current issues.
    • Understand the history, structure, and operation of the international system and apply this to modern political systems and conflicts.
    • Identify the role and impact of the US in the international system and analyze ongoing political issues in light of this information.
    • Identify the principal arguments for and against alternative forms of government.
    • Analyze, synthesize and evaluate the interconnectedness and interdependence of the human experience on a global scale.
    • Understand and apply forces shaping political outcomes such as history and culture to current events and issues.
  • Inquiry and Research:  Students should be able to define, design, and implement effective research projects in international political science.
    • Devise a basic research design.
    • Test hypotheses with basic empirical data.
    • Write the findings in a research report.
  • Communication:  Students should be able to make clear and effective demonstrations of their work in writing and in public presentations.
    • Students will demonstrate advanced writing skills and be able to summarize and explain scholarly political science articles.
    • Analyze and critique the material read /discussed.
    • Suggest and discuss alternative possibilities and outcomes.
    • Engage and interest the reader.
    • Speak in public settings.
    • Demonstrate an ability to apply the discussion to policy and “real world” applications.
    • Proficiency in and an ability to speak, read and write in a language other than English.
  • Professional and Citizenship:  Students should know, understand, and be able to meet the expectations of professionalism and citizenship.
    • Demonstrate professional behavior in terms of demeanor, personal presentation, ethics, and civic participation in experiential learning and classrooms settings.
    • Demonstrate the skills and ability to participate in global affairs.
    • Acquire the skills and knowledge base to understand the importance of and options for environmental sustainability and its tenuous relationship with economic development in local and global terms.
    • Critically reflect upon the nature and consequences of diversity (e.g. race, gender, class, ethnicity, religion, culture, nation), and develop an understanding of how this diversity both alters and is altered in a world characterized by increasing global interaction.

Major Requirements

    This major requires 76 units.

    • International Affairs Course Requirements: 57 units
    • Experience of Difference Requirement: 3 units
    • Foreign Language: 16 units

    Take the following 60 units with a cumulative 2.0 GPA.

    Experience of Difference Requirement (3 units):As part of their degree program, students are required to complete 3 units of an experience of difference.

    You must obtain prior written approval from a POS faculty member if you take POS 408, or POS 485. You may only use experience of difference coursework with a course prefix other than POS in exceptional circumstances, with your advisor's approval. If you take more than 3 units of experience of difference coursework, they will count in general elective credit.


Foreign Language Requirement
  • You must demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English that is equivalent to four terms of university coursework in the same language. You may satisfy this requirement by taking language courses or through credit by exam. (16 units)

General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.

    You may take these remaining courses from any of the academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. You may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.

    We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.

  • Bachelor/Juris Doctor 3+3 Program

    This plan is eligible for NAU’s 3+3 program offered in conjunction with the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law. This program allows outstanding students to substitute their final year of undergraduate studies with their first year of law school and earn an undergraduate (BS or BA) and law (JD) degree in six years instead of seven years. Please refer to the Bachelor/Juris Doctor 3+3 Program for more information.