Frequently Asked Questions about International Relations

What Do I Do with an International Relations Degree?

The program is designed to offer students the best undergraduate education available in Canada regarding the nature of international relations – so you have many options. Some students go on to do graduate work at the M.A. and Ph.D. levels in international relations. In recent years, several have pursued the Munk School of Global Affairs’ Master’s program in Global Affairs, either alone or in combination with another professional degree such as law or business administration. Others find Masters of Public Administration programs to offer a practical complement to the knowledge they have acquired as IR students, or pursue other career training such as teacher’s college, journalism and media studies.

Other students seek, and find, direct entry into the public sector at the federal or provincial levels, or enter into careers with international organizations or in the field of international development, either directly or through internship programs. Still others apply their knowledge of international relations to pursue careers in the private sector in fields such as finance, banking, law and commerce.

Do I Have to be a Trinity Student to Take the International Relations Program?

No. The Program is available to all Arts & Science students enrolled at the University of Toronto’s St. George campus. The Program's administrative offices and the offices of some of its Faculty members are housed at the Munk School of Global Affairs. While many Trinity students play an active role in the Program and in the organization of extra-curricular activities (especially through the student-run International Relations Society), you do not have to be a Trinity student to enroll or to take part fully in the Program and related events.

Should I Take a Specialist or a Major degree?

Students wishing to concentrate their studies most fully in the field of international relations should consider the Specialist degree. The Specialist degree is also designed to provide the most effective foundation for further studies at the graduate level or for professional work in a related area. This degree stipulates the completion of 13 full courses or their equivalents from a specified list of required and optional courses in International Relations. The Major degree offers a solid introduction to international relations and is a valuable alternative focus of study. For this degree the student must complete 7.5 full courses or their equivalents from a specified list.  Many students also pursue combined Major degrees and combinations with Minor degrees in other fields. It is possible, with the permission of the Director, to transfer from one degree to the other while studies are in progress.

How do I Get Advice?

Please contact the Program Administrator. The Administrator will also schedule appointments for students with the Director.

How Do I Gain Admission to the International Relations Program?

Students are admitted to the Program only after the successful completion of first-year prerequisites and only after meeting the stipulated grade standards. All students must complete a statement of interest. Those selected will be invited to attend an information session, arranged through the office of the International Relations Program.

What Other Programs Might I Consider in Combination with the International Relations Program or as an Alternative?

Among interdisciplinary programs, students might want to investigate Peace, Conflict and Justice Studies, European Studies, the Dr. David Chu Program in Asia-Pacific Studies and the Latin American Studies Program, as well as the single-discipline degrees offered in Economics, History, and Political Science. The Division of the Environment offers a range of programs that will be of interest to students. The choices are large. Students should feel free to consult with the Director about their options.