Why International Relations?
Long term success in any profession — law, education, business, government or not-for-profit service — requires knowledge of the international domain.
Success After Pacific
Successful SIS graduates can be found the world over: at global think tanks in Washington D.C., in large companies, law firms, and entrepreneurial not-for-profit ventures; in well regarded master's and doctoral programs; and teaching in their own classrooms.
You have the option to earn your bachelor’s degree in three years. Do your part to stay on track, and you could shave a year off your undergraduate work. That means significant savings on tuition and you get a jumpstart on your career.
All students at the School of International Studies study abroad. If you are interested in international affairs, or if you want to be an international professional, there is no substitute for this experience of living and studying in another country.
All students at the School of International Studies are required to study abroad. For anyone interested in international affairs, or who wants to be an international professional, there is no substitute for this experience of living and studying in another country.
We want to match your personal and career interests with the right location and the right sort of study abroad experience. This is why we now offer you more than 100 program sites in more than 60 countries.
Our students tell us that living abroad is the most valuable personal, educational, and professional experience they could have had. It is a voyage of self-discovery as well as professional preparation; an adventure on which it is not unusual to find your future career path. Many combine their academic study abroad with internships, making professional contacts along the way. For anyone interested in starting an international career, having lived abroad is indispensable.
The study abroad programs at Pacific are administered by the Office of International Program Services in the Bechtel International Center. The study abroad adviser knows the options open to you and the way the various study abroad programs fit with School of International Studies major requirements. You can meet major and general education requirements while studying abroad, and all units earned abroad count toward graduation.
Alumna works for Nobel Peace Prize-Winning organization
After 20 years of working on crises around the world, University of the Pacific alumna Sheila Grudem ’89 was able to see her humanitarian organization achieve the ultimate recognition. The United Nations World Food Programme, which works to eradicate hunger and poverty, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020.
Graduate works on refugee issues
Since he graduated from Pacific in 2010, Will Castillo Guardado has lived a full life. While at Pacific’s School of International Studies, he traveled to Japan to study the language. His professional career has taken him to Guatemala and Tajikistan where he worked on refugee and global humanitarian issues.
International studies alumna returns from career abroad to a changed America
Lisa Vickers graduated from University of the Pacific in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in international studies. She entered the Foreign Service and has spent nearly her entire career overseas, with stints in Mexico City; Edinburgh; Helsinki; Warsaw; Kyiv; Lilongwe, Malawi and Cairo.
SIS graduate brings global knowledge to LinkedIn
International relations graduate Kathryn Loper '14 started working for LinkedIn in 2015 as a data assurance analyst. Since then, she has worked her way up to program manager of the central operations team.
In 2019, Bianca Piedro interned for six weeks at the Consulate of the United States of America in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico working in the Commercial Service section.
The Open Assembly of the School of International Studies (OASIS) assists with numerous events, including lectures that bring global leaders to campus. Our seniors also mentor first-year students to encourage academic success.
The mission of Pacific's Model UN is to "advance understanding of the UN System and contemporary global issues through quality experiential learning programs that emphasize collaborative conflict resolution and prepare participants for active global citizenship." Each semester, the School of International Studies invites eight Pacific students to apply to be a part of the team. The team represents Pacific at a Model United Nations Conference each semester.
Student Conference on US Affairs at West Point
The Student Conference on U.S. Affairs is an annual four-day conference hosted by the United States Military Academy at West Point.
The purpose of the conference is to facilitate interaction and constructive discussion between civilian student delegates and West Point cadets in an effort to better understand the challenges the United States faces today.
About the International Relations Major
The international relations major is designed for students interested in global and international studies. The School of International Studies combines the resources of a comprehensive university and experiential learning with a rigorous international, interdisciplinary and intercultural curriculum designed to prepare you for success in global professions in government, industry, education and nonprofit organizations.
In addition to the CORE Requirements and General Education Requirements, you will choose a series of upper division electives, in consultation with your adviser, that allows you to focus on political science, anthropology or economics. Each of these disciplines provides an excellent foundation for a range of careers in the United States and abroad.
Choose an area of focus:
Political science upper division electives are taken by students interested in comparative and international politics. Students can take up to three upper-division courses in international or comparative politics in addition to an anthropology course that approaches international politics from a different disciplinary perspective. This prepares students for careers in government and law, as well as for graduate school.
Anthropology upper division electives are taken by students interested in culture and in learning about the diversity of human behavior. You can take up to three upper-division courses in anthropology in addition to a political science class that approaches social and cultural change from a different disciplinary perspective. These courses prepare you for working and living in different cultural settings, as well as for graduate school.
Economics upper division electives are taken by students interested in international economics, or who intend to work in international business. If you wish to focus on international economics, you can take two upper-division courses in economics, in addition to political science and anthropology courses that approach economic issues from the perspectives of their disciplines. The major prepares you for careers in business and economics, as well as for graduate school.