Home > Study: Arts & Science > International Relations > Courses & Program Requirements

Courses & Program Requirements

Please click on the following links to view the requirements and suggested sequence of required courses in the International Relations (IR) specialist and IR major programs.



International Relations Specialist Program Completion Requirements



International Relations Major Program Completion Requirements

Note: Those students choosing to add a Focus should be guided in their selection of courses at the third and fourth year level by the courses listed in the specific Focus group they choose.



Students may change from the International Relations major to the International Relations specialist only if they meet current specialist requirements.


IR Certificate in International Affairs (U of T Global Scholar)

IR Certificate in International Affairs (U of T Global Scholar) Completion Requirements



Trinity students enroll in and take courses offered by the Faculty of Arts & Science. The two main tools used for course selection and enrollment are the Faculty of Arts & Science Calendar, which includes information on courses, programs and the rules and regulations of the university, and the Faculty of Arts & Science Registration Instructions and Timetable, which contain scheduling information and enrollment procedures. If you have any questions about the Calendar or Timetable, please contact the Office of the Registrar: 416-978-2687 or registrar@trinity.utoronto.ca.


The International Relations Program will be offering the following selected topics in TRN409H1 for the 2022-2023 academic year:

Fall 2022

TRN409H1F LEC0101: Selected Topics in International Studies – Canadian Defense Policy Since the Cold War

TRN409H1 – F LEC0101 – Mondays 14:00 – 16:00
Instructor:  Prof. Jack Cunningham

Canadian Defence Policy since the End of the Cold War    This course covers the evolution of Canadian defence policy since the close of the Cold War in the late 1980s. It addresses the efforts of successive governments to adjust to the changed post-Cold War security environment. Early sessions will cover the Cold War legacy and efforts to adapt such practices as peacekeeping to new circumstances. Later sessions will cover such challenges as Ballistic Missile Defence, Arctic security, reforming defence procurement, cyberwarfare, the mission in Afghanistan, and current threats to European security.


Winter 2023

TRN409H1S LEC0101: Selected Topics in International Studies – War and its Theorists

TRN409H1 – S LEC0101 – Mondays 14:00 – 16:00
Instructor:  Prof. Jack Cunningham

This course covers the evolution of warfare as a constant in human history, and the ways in which it was understood by major theorists and writers. Early sessions discuss the heroic myth of the warrior as exemplified in the works of Homer, and Thucydides and the realist analysis of war and peace. Subsequent classes explore the early modern “Military Revolution”, Clausewitz, Mahan and seapower, and the British poets of World War One, as well as early airpower theorists, theorists of guerrilla warfare, and the early nuclear strategists.

TRN409H1S LEC0201: Selected Topics in International Studies – Canada and Asia in Revolution, 1945 – Present Time

TRN409H1 – S LEC0201 – Tuesdays 10:00 – 12:00
Instructor:  Prof. John Meehan

This course examines the history of Canada’s relations with Asia since 1945.  The approach is broadly chronological but also explores key themes regarding diplomacy, trade, human rights, development and immigration during a period of great political, economic and social change.  While the main focus will be on official relations with East, Southeast and South Asia, we also will consider the role of business, military, cultural and other non-state actors.  Thus, we will examine not only “high politics” but also the role of non-governmental entities, including the impact of individuals and groups, through a consideration of case studies.  Throughout the course, we will place Canada within the larger context of global networks and alliances to examine what its relations with Asia reveal about its international presence more generally.  Course readings draw mainly from scholarly books and articles, though we also will consider biographies, memoirs and primary documents.  Since the course is in seminar format, students are expected to think critically about the readings, assessing interpretations of key events and themes in Canada’s relations with Asia since 1945.  This essential historical context will enable students to engage intelligently and meaningfully in contemporary discussions of Canada’s role in the region, which has only increased in importance in recent years.

TRN409H1S LEC0301: Selected Topics in International Studies – Multilateralism and Global Diplomacy

TRN409H1 – S LEC0301 – Tuesdays 14:00 – 16:00
Instructor:  Prof. Rosemary McCarney

In this course we explore the multilateral system through a range of challenging policy issues such as disarmament, climate change, global health, justice and accountability, trade and other issues with guest diplomats who have led and continue to lead the negotiations. Are the institutions of multilateralism and global governance that were created in a different historical time and context still fit for purpose? Are the rules, norms and practices of the institutions still essential and still practical? Students will develop skills in policy advocacy and deepen their understanding of diplomacy in a global context.

TRN409H1S LEC0401: Selected Topics in International Studies – Global Health Security Policy

TRN409H1 – S LEC0401 – Wednesdays 10:00 – 12:00
Instructor:  Prof. Rosemary McCarney

Policy formation is a key part of global health. Although the Covid19 pandemic is not without historical context, policy formation to protect, prevent and prepare in this pandemic continues to challenge national governments as well as multilateral institutions. Policy making in crises, especially a still unfolding and unpredictable one such as this pandemic offers important lessons for students and scholars of International Relations. Covid19 has unmasked vulnerabilities and weaknesses in our global governance systems and in leadership. It has made clear major failings in social consensus and equity. It has resurfaced tensions in state sovereignty and nationalism. Who gets to make health policy that impacts billions of lives and knows no borders? Is global health a global public good? What are the new institutions needed to make this the last pandemic? How do we sort human rights and public health mandates? How does scientific evidence recover in a world of disinformation and misinformation? 2022-23 will offer a real time lens on these questions and the global solutions being negotiated.

Contact Us:

Gabriel Wee
International Relations Program

Book a virtual appointment by clicking here or by sending an email.