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gmitil10gmitil10 Registered User Posts: 193 Junior Member
edited October 2008 in Cornell University
Hey guys- I have a dilemma. I love everything about Cornell and think that I would be a perfect fit in it. But the problem is, I plan to major in International Relations and Cornell doesn't have a major for it. I know I can choose the Government major w/ a concentration in International Relations. How good is Cornell in this area? And how is the government major w/ the concentration?

Right now, I am planning to ED to Cornell, but am worried that it isn't good enough for the social sciences (esp. Government/International Relations). These two things have been my life-long passion and I want to attend an institution where I can explore them to the fullest extent.

Post edited by gmitil10 on

Replies to: Cornell?

  • Jennifer ShinJennifer Shin Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Hi! Though I'm still a High School Senior, I'm also interested in majoring in Internatioanl Relations, hope my reply helps you a little.
    Although that Cornell's Government major is not as strong as Georgetown's SFS or HYPS, I still believe that it has a considerable strength, as mentioned in Fiske College Guide book too. Cornell offers a "Semester Study in Washington DC" program for Government major students, and its IR concentration is good too. I was also unsure of applying to Cornell in the beginning because I didn't know how strong its Government/IR programs were, but I decided to apply there for ED because of its strong programs in East Asian Studies, which is what I want to study.
    I hope this helped. Good luck!
  • ResurgamBellResurgamBell . Posts: 2,269 Senior Member
    unlike all the other schools cornell has CAS, ENGR, HOTEL, ILR, HE, CALS, AAP...

    the international coursework offered in all these schools/colleges would probably surpass the coursework offered elsewhere...

    i'm not sure how many outside college credits you can take with Arts and Sciences but as an ILR student I have felt that the number of international courses offered (and the # of international professors here) will prepare me to work anywhere I want in the world.
  • memphismommemphismom Registered User Posts: 1,019 Senior Member
    I am a Cornell alum, married to a Cornell alum, parent to a Cornell alum, and parent to a Cornell student who was accepted EA to Gtown SFS. My d's GC advised her that at Gtown SFS everyone is trying for the same goal - at Cornell you have a better chance to stand out as a Govt major interested in IR - I have heard that few of the Gtown SFS grads actually go into the Foreign Service.
  • stargazerliliesstargazerlilies - Posts: 1,470 Senior Member
    OP, the IR program at Cornell is pretty good. I'm an NYU freshman majoring in IR who wants to transfer to Cornell and do Govt/IR minor. At first I was like wait - they don't have an IR major, so I'm not applying. However, I did more research and realized that the program there is really strong. I think in the long run, someone who does the Govt major/IR minor at Cornell is stronger than an IR major at other schools, like American U, which boasts about their program.

    Look at this thread for more info: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/tufts-university/242345-tufts-undergrad-ir-ranked-1-a.html It really helped me. I know you might be worried also about Cornell's location - even though Ithaca is hardly ideal, the truth is most Govt majors do internships over the summer. You can do an internship in NYC or Washington over the summer and get more experience than someone who did a couple hours a week over the fall. Going to Georgetown/American or colleges with strong IR programs in the DC isn't going to score you a super internship at Congress or something.

    When I visited American U, all they did was brag about their IR. NYU also boasts their location when talking about IR - the truth is, most students don't end up interning at the
  • gmitil10gmitil10 Registered User Posts: 193 Junior Member
    Thanks alot for all the responses guys! I feel alot better about applying to Cornell now. Also, how is the Russian/Slavic Area Studies major at Cornell? I'm thinking that I want to double major in it and Gov. w/ IR concentration. Do you think such a combination is ideal for someone who wants to eventually work in foreign service? Thanks.
  • CayugaRed2005CayugaRed2005 Registered User Posts: 4,041 Senior Member
    I feel that Cornell is significantly underrated when it comes to international relations. Our area studies -- especially Europe, Latin America, and East and Southeastern Asia are incredibly strong. So our Cornell's language programs. And across the disciplines, from comparative literature to political economy, hotel management to rural development, Cornell has a strong international orientation.

    And in actuality, I think the fact that Cornell doesn't have an IR major is one of the strongest selling points. It forces you to integrate a major (anything from philosophy to labor relations, sociology to agriculture) in with your knowledge of international affairs. And study abroad programs abound.

    I had no trouble scoring an internship in D.C. as a Cornell student in Ithaca.

    If you look at the data, Cornell is typically in the top ten number of institutions for producing Fulbrights and students who go into the Peace Corps. And two out of the last three National Security Advisers and World Bank presidents have been Cornell alums. I don't think you can argue with that.
  • Jennifer ShinJennifer Shin Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Yay the responses to this thread are helping me too! Thank you so much everyone.
    I think it's important to explore more broad perspectives as an undergrad student. So although you and I want to major in International Relations, Cornell has more diverse, strong programs related it to it such as Hotel, ILR, HE, etc., compared to other schools. There you get more experiences and variety as an undergrad, instead of merely focusing on IR which most Gtown SFS, Tufts students probably do. Also, if you want to work in UN, World Bank, and other numerous international organizations, having a B.A. degree in Government/IR isn't enough - you should go to a professional graduate school in IR, which can give you more focus on it. I don't know much about Russian/Slavic Area Studies major at Cornell, but I'm sure its good, considering Cornell's strength in foreign languages and history. So yeah....... good luck! :]
  • stargazerliliesstargazerlilies - Posts: 1,470 Senior Member
    yep good point cayuga it's not like the awesome internships in washington/nyc are only given to local college residents.

    and yeah jennifer, in the end there's also grad school to define the focus further...this thread is convincing me to apply to cornell more and more!
  • Jennifer ShinJennifer Shin Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Speaking of things like UN, they want people who are specialized in other aspects not just IR. For example, getting a degree in Economics, Nutrition, Computer Science, Accounting, etc., AND a degree in IR is better, because UN and other int'l organizations don't focus on diplomacy only...

    Oh, and since you'll meet and make friends in different majors and interests at Cornell, I think it'll help building connections across different areas.. in the long run xD
  • stargazerliliesstargazerlilies - Posts: 1,470 Senior Member
    ok but let's say you're interested in diplomacy, then nutrition/computer sci won't help you out much...but the UN is very diverse so of course various majors are needed for such a huge organization.
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