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Closest thing to international relations?

undecided11undecided11 88 replies49 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
edited September 2010 in Columbia University
I have been looking at majors on Columbia's webpage, and I haven't seen a major available to freshmen in international relations/studies. I read about SIPA, but to my understanding... students apply to SIPA after they've been to Columbia for a few years.

What majors (that are available to freshmen) are closest to perhaps... international relations, international studies, and international business at Columbia?

(So far, the closest I have found is the Econ-Poly Sci Major)
edited September 2010
3 replies
Post edited by undecided11 on
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Replies to: Closest thing to international relations?

  • admissionsgeekadmissionsgeek 1645 replies34 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    polisci major at columbia requires you to sub-specialty, one of them being international politics. columbia provides opportunity to do area studies, which often is what folks really want to do when they use the term 'international studies,' rarely do you find someone who truly is 'international' in their 'international studies' unless they study outdated concepts like empire. for the most part folks want to become experts in a region of the world and figure out how that region operates, and how that region operates with regards to the United States.

    international relations is an amorphous concept that has come to mean a whole number of sins that which it was not intended to imply. for the most part folks think it means diplomacy which is rarely provided for at the undergraduate level. others think it means transnational or transregional studies; but that is something you could get by doing history or comparative politics, sociology or anthropology, but some universities have decided it is 'hot' to create an international studies major as if it has a methodology unto its own - to be an international studies person you will eventually have to decide where you want your methodological home to be - history, political science, sociology, economics or anthropology.

    international relations ought only refer to the set of theories that posit how nations interact on the world scene, it is for the most part not interested in processes that break the rules of its theories (so many historical or transnational processes don't count), and so it is for the most part related to the way some political scientists, economists and sociologists - those that still find the 'nation' to be a very useful category of analysis - wish to understand the world.

    i write this mostly as a notice to think a bit before you say you want to study international relations, what does it even mean to you, what do you think it means, and what does the school pretend it to mean. rarely will you have a program that implements the case study method of analysis that is popular in grad programs in international affairs, for the most part it is a set of vague courses that often have ntohing to do with each other and leave you ill-prepared in any specific methodology to do well if your interest is further graduate study. it sounds cooler than it really is.

    as for international business - get a good grasp of IPE through courses at columbia or elsewhere and then work in the business world, that is the best education you can get, few places will teach you how to be a business person, but there are plenty of rants on here about the follies of business majors (at least most of them).
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  • undecided11undecided11 88 replies49 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks for the response. It looks to me that I didn't make myself clear enough in my first post. I am interested in international studies as a study of a broad, global spectrum of different regional policies and relations towards one another. I also plan to pair this "international study" with a more practical usage... after all the end goal of college (to me, at least) is to get a better education, be prepared to use your knowledge in the real world, and actually be able to make a good career out of whatever it was you chose to pursue.

    I've chosen to pair international studies with a business or economics study. To me, it sounds like I can ultimately get a general, broadly based education in my first few years of college and then eventually find a region to go very much in depth into and pair all of this with an in-depth knowledge of how to conduct business and how to "make deals" (so to speak).

    Now that I (hopefully) made myself much clearer, can anybody help me find a major that somewhat suits what I'm looking for?
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  • undecided11undecided11 88 replies49 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    bump 10 char
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