The international relations program exposes students to essential questions regarding the processes by which the complexities of interdependence meet with deeply held individual values. Broadly speaking, this involves answering the fundamental question of who gets what, where, when, how, and why in international relations. International relations is an interdisciplinary program that equips students with the breadth (i.e., perspectives) and depth of coverage to contemplate and effectively respond to these questions. More detailed inquiry into a specific geographical region is also possible within the program.

Students pursuing this major are strongly encouraged to incorporate more foreign language and international travel into their academic program. A variety of May Term and semester-long opportunities exist. Moreover, we encourage students to double major in a related field, such as economics, foreign language, history, international business, political science, religion, or sociology to further enhance their understanding and preparation.

Student Learning Outcomes

Utilize numerous interdisciplinary perspectives in the study of international relations.

Recognize the existence of complex interdependence within and among cultures.

Gain a greater understanding of international affairs and statecraft.

Increase their ability to think critically about international affairs.

Demonstrate competent research skills in a professional manner.

Effectively communicate in both oral and written forms.

Be prepared for entry into government service, intergovernmental service, non-governmental service, international business, and/or graduate school.

Alumni Outcomes

Wartburg graduates find satisfying jobs and are admitted into top graduate and professional schools. Wartburg alumni can be found in all 50 U.S. states and over 70 foreign countries. Below is only a sample of the types of positions Wartburg graduates from the Social Science Department have had in the past.

Sample of Alumni Positions from International Relations Majors:

  • Study Abroad Advisor at University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis
  • Research Officer at Center for International Private Enterprise, Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Open Source Intelligence Analyst at Google, San Francisco
  • Director of Refugee and Immigrant Services at Catherine McAuley Center, Waterloo
  • Judicial Law Clerk, Minneapolis-St. Paul
  • Economist at Bonneville Power Administration, Portland

Sample of Alumni Positions from International Relations & Political Science Double Majors:

  • Strategic Development & External Affairs Specialist, World Bank, Washington, D.C.
  • Assistant Professor, University of North Georgia
  • Senior Business Analyst and Owner at The Vyne Group, Minneapolis
  • Deputy Minister at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora – Republic of Kosovo
  • Assistant Analyst Centre for Strategic Studies, The Hague
  • Senior Analyst – Strategic Intelligence at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.


May Term is an ideal time for off-campus travel and study. Faculty members accompany students on a variety of courses.

Find a tight-knit mentoring community. Experience more.



Bret Billet

Professor of Political Science / Co-coordinator of International Relations

Daniel Walther

Gerald R. Kleinfeld Endowed Chair in German History