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Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

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. Learn more about admission requirements.

What are the admission requirements for the International Relations Program at the University of Toronto?

To be admitted to the International Relations Program at the University of Toronto, you would first need to be admitted to the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Arts and Science. For more information about admissions requirements to the University of Toronto, please review their website by clicking here. For more information about admission requirements as it applies to the Faculty of Arts and Science, please visit their website by clicking here.

Do I have to be a Trinity student to take the International Relations Program?

No. The program is available to all Faculty of 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 & Public Policy. 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), so to do students from many different Colleges. You do not have to be a Trinity student to enroll or to take part in the program and related events. 

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 MA and Ph. levels in international relations. In recent years, several have pursued the Master of Global Affairs, either alone or in combination with another professional degree such as law or business administration. Others find Master 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. 

How competitive is admission to the International Relations Program?

Admission to the International Relations program is very competitive. It is based on grades obtained in specific 100-level courses. The International Relations Program receives admission requests from about 300 students each year and regularly admits about 100 students each year. For more information about the enrollment requirements of the program, please refer to the academic calendar here. Please note that meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission into the program.

I did not gain admission to the International Relations program. I am still interested in studying International Relations. What should I do?

If you are not admitted to the International Relations program, we encourage you to also consider pursuing programs of studies in history, political science, and/or economics. These programs will give you the opportunity to take courses with significant content in International Relations. If you would like to discuss your situation and options, please feel free to reach out to the International Relations Program Office (irpro@trinity.utoronto.ca) or your college registrar’s office.

Program Selection

Should I take a Specialist or a Major program?

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.

What other programs might I consider in combination with the International Relations Program or as an alternative?

Among interdisciplinary programs, students might wish to investigate Peace, Conflict & 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. Click here for a list of program and subject areas within the Faculty of Arts & Science.

Course Selection

Can I substitute elective courses in the International Relations program for other courses I think are relevant to International Relations?

We encourage you to review the current academic calendar first for new courses that can be counted towards the International Relations program. You can find the current academic calendar by clicking here. If you would like to propose another course, please note that the course that you are proposing needs to substantially and directly address relations between and among countries at the state or society level. The course also needs to be approved by the International Relations Program Office. Please email us at: irpro@trinity.utoronto.ca

Can I take TRN350H1 and a 400-level TRN course at the same time?

Yes, you can take TRN350H1 and a 400-level TRN course at the same time.

Can I take TRN250Y1 and TRN350H1 at the same time?

No, since TRN250Y1 is a prerequisite of TRN350H1, you would need to successfully complete TRN250Y1 first before taking TRN350H1.

Why are my requirements on Degree Explorer different from the requirements listed in the academic calendar?

The requirements as listed on your Degree Explorer account reflect the program requirements at the time that you entered the program. The requirements listed in the academic calendar lists program requirements for the latest academic year. Please note that only the program requirements at the time that you entered the program apply to you. Therefore, please use the program requirements as listed in Degree Explorer to plan your courses.

Transfer Credits

I completed an IR-related course at another university/campus. Can that course count at the University of Toronto, St. George campus?

To find out whether you may be eligible to transfer credits to the University of Toronto, St. George campus for courses taken at another institution/campus, please consult the Transfer Explorer database by clicking here. Please note that the Transfer Explorer database does not automatically guarantee the transfer of credits for courses taken at other institutions.

I cannot find the courses I completed at another university/campus on Transfer Explorer. What should I do?

If your courses do not show up on the Transfer Explorer database, you would need to consult with the relevant academic department here at the University of Toronto, St. George campus to have them assess your courses. The department will then able to let you know whether those courses could count for equivalent course credits. For example, if you would like to transfer a history course taken at another institution/campus, you would need to consult with Department of History. You would also need to reach out to the Faculty of Arts and Science for assessment and approval. For more information, please click here.

The university has already approved my transfer credits. What do I need to do so that they count towards the International Relations program degree requirements?

Please contact the International Relations Program Office so that we can determine whether your approved transfer credits can be counted towards the International Relations program. Please email us at: irpro@trinity.utoronto.ca

Can I substitute another course that I am planning to take or have taken at another institution/campus in lieu of a TRN course?

No. TRN courses must be taken at the University of Toronto, St. George campus and cannot be substituted for courses taken at another institution/campus.

Learning Abroad

Does the International Relations Program Office pre-assess courses that I would like to take on a learning abroad experience?

No, the International Relations Program Office does not pre-assess courses that you would like to take on a learning abroad experience. You would need to consult with the relevant academic department here at the University of Toronto to have them pre-assess those courses. For example, if you are looking to take history courses while studying abroad, you would need to consult with the Department of History at the University of Toronto.

Could I go on a full-year learning abroad experience and still complete the International Relations program in 4 years?

With careful planning and a judicious selection of courses, it is possible to go on a full-year exchange and still complete the International Relations program in 4 years. You would need to ensure that you can take relevant courses that could count towards the International Relations program while studying abroad. This requires you to work with each academic department to have the courses you wish to take while studying abroad assessed for potential U of T course equivalencies. Please note that TRN courses cannot be substituted.

Other Questions

I have another question. How do I reach out to the IR Program Office for further support?

Please contact the Program Administrator at irpro@trinity.utoronto.ca or 416-946-8950.

 

 

Contact Us:

Gabriel Wee
International Relations Program
irpro@trinity.utoronto.ca
416-946-8950

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