Curriculum and Programs - Overview

This page offers an overview of the IAFS curriculum. A link for the major requirements can be found below, along with a planning worksheet. Feel free to print out the worksheet to help with course planning, and to stay on track to fulfill major requirements.

Students may also wish to explore related academic departments and programs, student groups, study abroad programs, and professional development possibilities.

IAFS Major Requirements | Major Requirements Planning Worksheet | Major Requirements Summary

The University of Colorado offers a comprehensive and flexible interdisciplinary program in international affairs leading to the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. Our major requirements include courses from the Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History and Political Science departments, as well as other departments across the college and campus. In addition, through your geographic concentration, you will become well-acquainted with at least one selected region of the world outside of the United States and attain proficiency in the language of that region, as well as familiarity with its cultural and political activities. Regions of concentration include: Africa/Middle EastAsiaEurope/Eurasia, and Latin America. The program offers an internship class and an honors program, as well as an International Media Certificate jointly with Journalism.

IAFS majors begin their studies with a survey of the most compelling global issues of the day and then go on to perform a detailed analysis of international relations and economics. Courses also focus on issues of international development, the environment, political economy, political geography, international institutions, global gender issues, human rights, and United States foreign policy. As the curriculum progresses, students analyze the effects of international trade, investment, world population, and the use of resources. In addition, students may choose elective courses that apply the theories of conflict behavior and social organization to the problems of war and peace. 

The undergraduate degree in international affairs emphasizes knowledge and awareness of:

  • major political, economic, social and ­cultural problems facing the international community, including international economic relations, world population and ­resource utilization
  • the international political system in the broadest global context, international organizations and alliances and foreign political systems and processes
  • ethical issues involved in international relations
  • patterns of conflict and ­cooperation among nations and peoples
  • chief historical factors that give rise to existing international institutions and processes<
  • problems and issues in United States foreign policy  

In addition, students completing the ­degree in international affairs are expected to acquire the ability and skills to:

  • analyze an international problem from a political, economic, historical and cultural perspective
  • read, critically evaluate and synthesize information obtained from international affairs literature
  • analyze international phenomena critically 
  • communicate, orally and in writing, findings to other students of international affairs and to a broader audience
  • communicate in other cultural contexts through advanced foreign language study