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Undergraduate | In-Person

International Politics, BA/BS

Educating and equipping the next generation of world-changers.

Why Major in International Politics? 

Do you aspire to be a diplomat, a leader in international business, an expert in foreign affairs, a translator, a government official or even go to law school? All of these are possible through Belmont's International Politics program. Our department is led by highly qualified and experienced professors who place special emphasis on advising and active student interaction. Classes are kept purposely small to facilitate a nurturing learning environment, where each student is offered individual guidance and mentoring in order to best serve them in reaching their aspirations, whatever they may be.

International Politics students will learn the foundations of government as a whole and investigate the role of politics in regions across the world. In addition to taking a deep dive into the foundational documents and texts of global governments, students are also invited to explore issues such as international security, global violence and social science research methods. Our students develop broad knowledge and adaptable skills as well as a specialization in the culture of their choice. In recent years, international politics students have landed at a number of elite graduate programs or moved on to rewarding careers in diplomacy, teaching, research and lobbying.

While at Belmont, International Politics majors are required to develop proficiency in at least one foreign language and are offered the opportunity to complement their in-class studies with exciting study abroad experiences. The department’s international Maymester courses, in particular, enable students to be exposed to a variety of cultures around the globe. The ultimate goal of the international politics degree is to provide a rigorous and challenging program that cultivates motivated, responsible and curious students who will take their knowledge far beyond our classrooms and impact the broader world.

What You'll Learn 

  • Investigate the role of politics in regions across the world
  • Interpret foundational documents and texts of global governments
  • Understand and investigate international security and global violence
  • Social science research methods
  • Expand your knowledge political systems around the globe

Career Possibilities

  • Policy Analyst
  • Legislative Assistance
  • Lobbying
  • Government Program Administration
  • Legislative, Executive or Judicial Services
  • Attorney
  • Historian
  • Political Affairs Officer
  • Diplomat
  • Campaign Manager

Program Details


The international politics major leads to either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science. It requires 128 hours of coursework:

  • BELL core requirements: 53 hours
  • Major requirements (including 18 hours of electives): 36 hours
  • Foreign Language requirements: 12 hours
  • Minor requirements: Waived
  • General electives: 27 hours

See All Program Requirements

Courses You'll Take

PSC 2200 American Political Institutions

The focus of this course is on Congress and the Presidency, the political branches of American government and the bureaucracy. As an introduction to the sub-field of American politics, the course will study these institutions in greater depth through looking at the approaches the discipline takes toward them. In studying these three institutions in greater detail, it will also investigate how they interact to create public policy.

PSC 2300 International Relations

A survey of the sub-field of international relations, this course gives special emphasis to political and economic factors which contribute to conflict and cooperation among nations.

PSC 2400 Comparative Politics

This course examines political, economic and social divergence between nations. As one field of political science, comparative politics attempts to identify patterns of divergence and to determine their causes. A particular focus of this course is how differences in institutional arrangements across countries affect differences in outcomes.

PSC 2500 Political Theory

An introduction to the foundations of normative political theory, with emphasis on great political ideas and thinkers.

PSC 2600 Social Scientific Methods

This course is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the various sub-fields, approaches and methods of Political Science. Special emphasis is placed on honing the research, writing and critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in the discipline.

PSC 4600 Research Seminar in Political Science

A culminating research seminar designed for majors in their last year of matriculation. Students will examine the many sub-fields in the discipline and complete and present a major independent research thesis.

PSC 3320 Global Conflict and Violence

Drawing from the expansive literatures in comparative politics, international relations and political theory, this course explores the nature of historical and contemporary conflicts and how violence is used both by states and non-state actors to achieve political objectives.

PSC 3340 National Security Policy and Process

Examines the evolution of security policy and the primary institutions involved in decision-making related to issues of foreign policy and defense.

PSC 3710 International Political Economy

This course examines how two different forms of organizing human activity, states and markets, interact on a global scale. Thus it focuses not only on international trade and the forces that drive it, but also the policies and institutions that attempt to control it; not only on the policies that attempt to control international trade, but on the forces that drive those policies. Prior instruction in economics is not necessary but would be helpful.

PSC 4320 International Law

A survey of public international law, this course focuses the nature of international law, its origin and capabilities and the actors involved. It then pursues these larger issues through specific topics in international law, such as laws of war, sea or environment.

INB 3300 International Business

An introduction to the theories and practices of international business. The course gives special emphasis to the impact of environmental forces on multinational firms and on management responses to changing international conditions.

ECO 4400 International Economics

An examination of the special problems and issues surrounding the economic interaction of sovereign nations. Topics include gains from trade, patterns of trade, balance of payments, determination of exchange rates, free trade and protectionism, international capital markets and issues in international policy coordination.

PSC 3410 Politics of Africa

This course focuses on the development of modern political and economic institutions in contemporary African states. The course centers on the issues of political development and democratization, considering the impacts which the legacies of slavery and colonialism, cultural diversity and the integration of Africa into the modern world economy have produced for the evolution of the modern African state.

PSC 3420 Politics of Latin America

This course focuses on the issues of political development and democratization in Central and South American states, and the role of domestic and international institutions in those processes.

PSC 3430 Politics of Asia

This course examines political, economic and cultural factors shaping governmental institutions and processes in the nations of modern Asia, with heaviest emphasis given to the emergence of China.

PSC 3450 Politics of Europe

This course focuses on the process of regional integration in Europe. It covers theoretical explanations of integration as well as the institutions of the European Union and the policies they produce.

PSC 3480 Politics of the Middle East

This course examines the political, economic and cultural factors that contribute to conflict in the Middle East region. Special attention is given to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the relationship between religion and politics, competition for leadership in the Muslim world and the role which the United States plays in managing the dynamics of Middle Eastern politics.

PSC 3481 Israeli Politics

This course analyzes the origins and politics of modern Israel. The course examines the political and cultural forces that gave rise to the modern Zionist movement of the 19th century and the subsequent issues, events and challenges that led to the creation of the modern state of Israel. The course explains how Israel’s political system is structured, the plethora of political parties, the role of the military in providing national security and the changing relationship between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Its relationship to the broader international community, particularly the United States, is also studied.

PSC 3510 Foundations of Democracy

This course examines one of the prerequisites for democracy, a civil society and institutions which support it. It focuses first on the theories which describe the role of civil society and its underpinnings, then on the application of these theories to current society.

ECO 3800 Comparative Economic Systems

This course investigates the organization of economic systems in the world’s major industrialized nations. Through comparative analysis of social, private sector and governmental institutions, students learn the strengths and weaknesses of national economies. The economics of China, the European Union, Japan and the Commonwealth of Independent States are the primary areas of interest for this course. Particular emphasis is placed upon the impact of globalization in each economy.

  • Student Government Association: SGA positively impacts Belmont University, to the best of their ability, by collaborating between students and administration, supporting student organizations, fostering character and abiding by the Christian standards set forth by Belmont University. Through this, SGA will enable students to have an impact on Belmont and the surrounding community that will outlast themselves.
  • Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL): This is an annual legislative session conducted by college students from across Tennessee that provides students with an opportunity to learn about the Tennessee state government and to express their opinions on state issues. This model legislature convenes in the State Capitol for four days and consists of a Senate and a House of Representatives, which debate bills that are produced wholly by the students.
  • College Democrats: Belmont College Democrats is a student organization centered around diversity celebrating, community building, robust discussion, civic activism and the exploration of political ideology.
  • College Republicans: Belmont College Republicans encourages whomever considers themselves to have conservative values or beliefs (or none at all) to come out and see what they are all about. Their focus is to spread the true meaning of what it is to be a Republican, and they hope to straighten out some misconceptions. We hope to form a community of students who enjoy discussing their political opinions, creating a healthy amount of political awareness on campus.
  • United Nations Association at Belmont University: The United Nations Association is a nationwide organization with a mission to educate, advocate and inspire on behalf of the United Nations. What makes our chapter unique is our concerted effort to serve locally and inspire globally in accordance with the 17 sustainable development goals released in 2016. Our chapter will host knowledgeable global leaders to educate us on global issues. We will also host monthly meetings and volunteer opportunities based on the sustainable development goals we are passionate about as an organization. Please join us and learn how to serve as a global leader and local leader!
  • Belmont Pre-Law Society: This organization is dedicated to educating students on trial advocacy and social justice, all the while giving them the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in law school. Our goal is to build a community of ambitious students who are invested in helping members of the student body reach informed decisions about their futures. We aim to promote general interest in legal processes and professions by hosting engaging speakers from different areas of the legal field and organizing a diverse series of information sessions, LSAT preparation workshops, volunteer opportunities, networking programs and social events. Additionally, we are affiliated with the American Mock Trial Association and sponsor two competitive mock trial teams that compete numerous times each year. Through our pre-law programming and participation in collegiate mock trial, we hope to enhance student preparedness through providing the tools and resources necessary to effectively navigate the law school admissions process.
  • UNICEF Belmont: UNICEF’s mission is to promote the rights and well-being of every child. This organization carries out various activities to meet the needs of children in developing countries. This organization is designed to educate, fundraise and raise awareness and will fundraise for UNICEF each semester.
  • Belmont Ascend: The organization's main goal is to create a diverse community, foster a global mindset among all Belmont students, develop cross-cultural fluency and prepare Belmont graduates to lead on a global scale. In collaboration with Center for Global Citizenship, Ascend student organization will sponsor monthly series, including global summit, global executive spotlight, townhalls, global experiences, volunteering in the community and opportunities to engage with students from other countries.
Gabe DeGraeve

Alumni Testimonial

"Belmont's Political Science professors focus largely on discussion-based learning, combined with research, to help students engage with the material and understand the wide range of topics. The professors are well connected around not only Nashville but at the state and national levels, helping to get students internships wherever their interests may lie."

Gabe DeGraeve, Class of 2023

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