International Relations Certificate

The Department of Political Science offers an opportunity for students to pursue an interest in international relations as a complement to their majors. The Certificate in International Relations is comprised of relevant political science courses focusing on the concepts and issues on international affairs and the workings of the diplomatic world.  This 18-credit certificate is intended for students seeking to ... 
i. ... pursue a career in bureaucracies involved in international politics (e.g., the State Department) or international (governmental or non-governmental) organizations (e.g., the United Nations, Amnesty International), 
ii. ... learn more about foreign affairs and diplomacy, and/or 
iii. ... study global politics and international development.

Importantly, the certificate is open to all UWSP students.  That is, majoring in Political Science is NOT required.

If you are interested in the International Relations Certificate, please complete the online application form here.

International Relations at UW-Stevens Point

The Department of Political Science in UWSP is home to faculty with extensive educational experience in Europe, South America, and Asia.  The faculty’s research interests in foreign affairs and international relations include state compliance with international organizations and law, democratization, indigenous political movements in South America, corruption and ethnic discrimination in Europe, international environmental policy and climate change, and American states, federalism, and foreign trade.

The Certificate in International Relations provides students with a working knowledge of the international governance system including international security, international political economy, international organizations and law, and foreign policy.  Students develop research and analysis skills for addressing policy questions in international relations and also learn about the political, legal, and constitutional constraints and opportunities the federal and state governments face when engaged in international relations.

Employment Opportunities

The Certificate in International Relations is designed for students who are interested in pursuing graduate education and/or careers in international affairs.  Future employment opportunities include, but are not limited to, working for the U.S. government's foreign policy or intelligence agencies; the U.S. military; foreign policy think tanks; international government or non-governmental organizations; the national security industry; multi-national corporations; state commerce departments; and even local governments that conduct international trade policy.  Students not interested in a political career can use their expertise in international relations to make a mark for themselves in the field of law and business.  In addition, the Certificate is also an effective way of indicating to graduate schools (as well as future employers) that you have a strong interest in world affairs.​

International Relations JobsForeign Service Officer, Policy Analyst, Political Advisor, Intelligence Analyst, Lobbyist, International Trade & Commerce Specialist, etc.

Potential EmployersU.S. Department of State, U.S. Military, Central Intelligence Agency, State Governments, U.S. Peace Corps, United Nations, Amnesty International, etc.

Student Testimonials

Here is what our students have to say about UWSP's International Relations Certificate:

"The versatility of the course work associated with the International Relations Certificate is what initially piqued my interest in the program. The required coursework, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and International Organizations and Law, provides students with a basic understanding of how, why, and through which mediums countries may choose to (or may choose not to) interact with each other. A basic understanding of these relationships is beneficial to anyone in any major. We are all members of the international community, and the best way to understand what a person can do with that role is to promote a better understanding of how the community works as a whole. Although my personal interests lie in American politics, the International Relations Certificate has helped me recognize how international contexts guide American policy decisions. Being able to study international politics through a separate degree track allowed me to focus my Political Science major coursework on American politics without losing an international perspective. Now that I’m applying for law school, having a strong base of coursework in both American and international politics makes my application stand out against other applicants who were limited to choosing one field of study or the other." Morgan Tomczyk, 2018

"As a freshman, I had no idea what I wanted to study until I took an International Relations class that both challenged and interested me. I was glad when the IR certificate was offered as it is the overlap of my interests from both my majors, Political Science and International Studies, and because it has increased my understanding of politics, cultures, and the world."  Nicole Yedica, 2018

"When transferring to UW-Stevens Point my freshman year, I began my academic career not sure what I wanted to do in compliment with Political Science until I was introduced to International Relations. My desire to learn the way international governments and foreign leaders influence global policy grew from my first IR class. As I continued in my academics, I found that International Relations would lead me in a direction that would develop skills that I would be able to carry into my future. With my International Relations Certificate, I will be able to use what I have learned in real life as I pursue a career in law enforcement. I have acquired skills that will be employable at a national level, due to the requirements that I completed during my time in the certificate program. I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in Political Science to consider an International Relations Certificate because it applies to domestic policy in an increasing globalized world."  Amelia Heup, 2017

"Before I graduated from UWSP, I had the foresight to take advantage of many of the opportunities offered academically in the Political Science Department. One I found to be most interesting and valuable was the certificate in international relations. First and foremost, the requirements overlapped with many of the courses that I was already enrolled in and expanded upon them to offer a deeper look at international relations. International relations itself was an interesting topic for me due to the rapid globalization and interconnectivity we see in the world today. With social media and the internet we become more and more entwined with the global community and understanding how nations interact with each other is key for any aspiring political scientist. Looking back after after college, the course content and certificate itself appear even more valuable. In today's competitive job market, doing everything you can to set yourself apart is a must. Everyone coming out of college has degrees, but what did they do above and beyond the base requirements of the program? This is where the certificate in international relations shines. Whether you are applying for a job in the political science industry or elsewhere, showing that you pushed beyond the borders of “just enough” results in a significant increase to your hireability." Will Robbins, 2017

"I am currently a candidate for my Master’s Degree from Columbia University's Oral History Master of Arts Program. My majors at UW-Stevens Point were history and political science with minors in anthropology and music. The International Relations Certificate is beneficial to me because it is integral to history in general. To understand the reason why certain countries are hostile to each other or why certain countries receive aid, while others don’t, one must understand the historical context to certain international organizations and relations. This certificate is also beneficial because it helps [...] see how our ever-changing world functions and in what way future policies will impact the power dynamic of our world."  Kyle Ebelt, 2016


Minimum grade point average:  2.5/4.0 in certificate courses

Number of credit hours to be earned:  18

Required Courses: (9 credits)

Poli 160 – Comparative Politics

Poli 180 – International Relations

Poli 385 – International Organizations and Law

Electives: (9 credits from the following list)

Pax 200 – Dilemmas of War and Peace

Poli 305 – International Environmental Politics

Poli 363 – Politics of the European Union

Poli 374 – Political Development

Poli 376 – International Political Economy

Poli 380 – Conflict, Security, and Peace in International Relations

Poli 382 – Latin America in World Affairs

Poli 383 – U.S. Foreign Policy

Poli 386 – Politics of Terrorism

Poli 387 – International Simulation

Poli 490 – Selected Problems in Political Science (topic must focus on international relations)

Poli 455 – Internship (internship must be in appropriate agency or similar entity that focuses on international relations or must be with a foreign government office, agency, business, etc.  The following online internship opportunity with the Department of State provides a good example: Virtual Student Foreign Service.)

Poli 499 – Special Work (a.k.a. Independent Study––topic must focus on international relations)


For more information about the certificate, please contact Dr. Mert Kartal.

If you are interested in the International Relations Certificate, please complete the online application form here.