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The international relations and global studies (IRG) major prepares students to make effective decisions as citizens of an interconnected world; encourages global perspectives; and increases students' opportunities to study other cultures in relation to their own. This interdisciplinary major focuses on relationships and tensions between cultures or regions by linking issues, approaches, contexts, and sources of knowledge in new ways. IRG majors learn to think critically about key issues in the field and develop aptitude in the areas of political awareness, economic understanding, cultural competency, international cooperation and problem solving, and global citizenship.

Declare This Major

Undergraduates currently enrolled at UT who wish to declare an international relations and global studies major must apply for an internal college transfer. To complete the transfer process, students are required to attend an internal transfer information session, held frequently throughout the semester.

Prospective University of Texas at Austin students should visit to learn about the application process and how to declare a major.

Required Courses

Visit the International Relations and Global Studies degree plan to see all required courses for the IRG major in the College of Liberal Arts.

Learn more about the IRG requirements and view course descriptions.


Students narrow their focus by selecting one of four available tracks:

  • Culture, Media, and the Arts
  • International Security
  • Science, Technology, and the Environment
  • International Political Economy

Students are able to learn about world history, art, culture, communication, economics, the environment, geography, government, science, and technology. IRG students also study foreign lands and languages. All IRG students must successfully complete at least six hours of upper-division foreign language. They must complete a 12-hour minor in a global area of concentration.


International relations and global studies majors epitomize the kind of knowledge and skills developed resulting from the classic liberal arts education.

  • Students learn to think critically and analytically about ideas, issues, and events that impact large regions of the world, and indeed that have a global impact.
  • They develop their reading, writing, and speaking skills at an advanced level that exceeds adult literacy. In a contemporary, digital, highly complex age that bar becomes increasingly higher.
  • A student who earns the degree should be well able to draft a business letter, a marketing letter, letter of recommendation, letters of apology, appreciation, complaint, inquiry; you name it.
  • IRG majors should be able to understand and digest complex reading materials from newspaper articles, to Supreme Court decisions, to policy papers.
  • Students who successfully graduate should be able to find work (dependent upon the entirety of their academic preparation and individual development) in international government, international security, government and business relations, international trade and commerce, foreign affairs, tourism, public relations, advertising, politics, the military, various media, and beyond.