To qualify for the Certificate in International Relations a student must fulfill three kinds of requirements:

  1. Foreign language:  Proficiency in a foreign language at least up to the intermediate college level;
  2. Introductory courses:  Courses in international politics, economics, and the history of the contemporary international system
  3. Advanced courses:  Upper-level courses in Global Systems and Area Studies.


The Foreign Language requirement is met by coursework through the intermediate college level in any foreign language, or by demonstration of proficiency gained elsewhere. The intermediate level corresponds to four semesters of college-level language instruction or the equivalent.

With the approval of the appropriate department, a course taken elsewhere and accepted by Wesleyan for transfer credit may count toward this requirement.


Students are required to take one course Introductory course from each of the following subjects from options identified in the International Relations area on WesMaps

  1. Government*
  2. Economics
  3. History*

*For government and history classes, candidates may also take any course listed under "Global Systems" as a substitute for the introductory course. If this option is chosen the course cannot also be counted as an upper level course.


Advanced International Relations courses are categorized on WesMaps as follows:

  1. Global Systems
  2. Area Studies 

Candidates for the Certificate must take five advanced courses, meeting the following distribution requirement:

  • At least one course from each of three different disciplines
  • At least two Global Systems courses and two Area Studies courses
  • At least two Area Studies courses must focus on developing countries

A course that is listed under more than one heading may be counted only once toward the Certificate.  

An average grade of B+ or better over these 5 courses is required.  Students failing to satisfy this grade requirement may qualify for the Certificate by successfully completing a sixth course from either category.


Up to two of the five courses may be taken during a semester abroad, and up to three during a year abroad. 

No more than one of the five courses may be a credit transferred from another U.S. institution.  

Any course taken at another institution, whether Wesleyan-approved or not, must be certified in writing by the appropriate department chair as having been granted Wesleyan credit; once this is done, the Center for Global Studies will determine the course's suitability for credit toward the Certificate.  Note that most departments require prior approval for courses taken elsewhere, so students should seek the chair's approval of credit before they take a course at another institution.