IA DUAL MAJOR: Policy, Curriculum & Requirements

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Overall Structure of the IA Dual major

Students take IA 401, the first core course, to provide a broad overview of International Affairs and then progress into IA 501 where they begin designing an international research project.  The research is connected to the country where travel for the international experience will take place.  Prior to the international experience, students take their Foreign Area elective (one of the three IA electives, as listed below) focused on the country or region where they will conduct their international experience.  The Foreign Area elective is meant to help prepare students both for their international experience in that country/region and to give depth to their capstone research focused on that country. 

The international experience must be a minimum of eight weeks and ideally immerses students in a different culture, develops their foreign language skills, and strengthens their knowledge and skills relevant to their intellectual and/or career interests.  (See details and other requirements below.)  Students are encouraged to conduct some of the research for their capstone projects while abroad, though this may not be feasible in all cases.  Research projects can focus on a range of topics, as long as the chosen topic relates to the country of the international experience.  If students wish to devise a research project focused on more transnational or international themes not specifically connected to that country, they will need to submit a petition to their IA advisor.  All capstone projects will in some way draw on or relate to the international experience. 

Upon return from the international experience, students take IA 701 during the spring semester of their senior year, where they will write up their IA capstone papers and present at UNH’s Undergraduate Research Conference

General Policy

  • All International Affairs course requirements must be completed with a grade of ‘C’ or better.
  • Coursework for the International Affairs dual majors may not be taken pass/fail.
  • International Affairs students are expected to maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA (which is the minimum required for study abroad at UNH).
  • The IA dual major requires no additional credits for graduation beyond the 128 required of all UNH students.
  • Students are expected to declare IA as their second major before completing their international experience.
  • Students should meet one-on-one with their IA advisor to update their plan of study at least once a semester.

Declaring the Major

To declare International Affairs as a dual major, a student must:

  • Complete IA 401 with a grade of ‘C’ or better.
  • Have declared (or be prepared to declare) a primary major.
  • Have a 2.5 cumulative grade point average.

Once a student meets the declaration requirements, they must file a Change of Program Form (Change of Major Form) signed by an IA official, in order to declare IA as their second major. Students should meet with an IA advisor to track their progress in the major.

Students should declare IA before they begin their international experience!

Core courses

Permission is required for all IA core courses. Contact CIEGE for registration details.

IA 401 - International Perspectives: Geography, Science and Politics

IA 401 is a team-taught course (in three modules) meant to provide a broad overview of international affairs from geographic, scientific, and political perspectives, with an overarching focus on global environmental issues. 

IA 401 is to be taken no later than fall semester of the sophomore year.

IA 501 – Global Issues in International Affairs

IA 501 has two goals: 1) to introduce students to a set of pressing global issues (this substantive focus changes depending on the faculty member teaching the course), and 2) to introduce the process of designing and conducting research.  At the end of IA 501 students write a research proposal for research on/in the country of the international experience.

This course is recommended during the sophomore year; pre-requisite is IA 401 and must be completed before the international experience.

IA 701 – Seminar in International Affairs

IA 701 supports the researching, writing, and presenting of the IA capstone research paper.  At the same time, the course encourages students to think critically about a range of global issues and to situate their research projects in a global context.

IA 701 is usually taken in the spring of the senior year; pre-requisites are IA 401, IA 501, foreign language competency and the international experience.  Students must be declared IA majors in order to register for IA 701.  There is an assignment due the first day of class; you will receive details about this assignment about a month before the first day of IA 701.

ECON 401A - Principles of Economics (Macro) International or ECON 402A - Principles of Economics (Micro) International or EREC 411 Environmental and Resource Economics Perspectives

Students who just wish to take ECON 401 or ECON 402 can get credit for the IA dual major.
You may register yourself via WebCat after meeting with an IA advisor.


Choose one elective course from each category below:

Foreign Area
Science, Technology and Private Sector
Policy and Theory in International Affairs

Complete list of electives (pdf)

Summer 2016 semester electives (pdf)

Fall 2016 semester electives (pdf)

Courses used to satisfy International Affairs elective requirements must be from outside the student’s disciplinary major(s). Students pursuing two disciplinary majors in addition to International Affairs may count one of the courses in either disciplinary major as an International Affairs elective.

  • For any major with 14 or more required courses (or 56 or more required credit hours), the IA program permits counting a maximum of three courses or 12 credits from the major program as International Affairs electives.
  • International Affairs electives may be used to fulfill Discovery, honors program, and/or minor requirements.
  • Two of the three IA electives must be UNH courses, offered on-campus or by a managed study abroad program. Only one elective can be taken at another institution, e.g., while abroad or transferred from another university.
  • The Foreign Area elective is taken prior to study abroad and must be approved by an International Affairs advisor as relevant to the country or region where the student will study.

Foreign Language Competency

IA majors must demonstrate functional reading, writing, speaking, and listening ability in a foreign language at the advanced college level. Students who are taking a language at UNH that is not offered at the 3rd year level, will be required to satisfy the 600 level IA language requirement by studying a minimum of 8 U.S. semester credits (or the equivalent) at an accredited institution or on an approved study abroad program.

Foreign language competency requirement can be satisfied through:

  • Completing the study of the chosen language through the 3rd year, 2nd semester (generally this is the 632 level).
  • A grade of 'C' or better in an examination measuring competency in the chosen foreign language, equivalent to that required in the 3rd year, 2nd semester.
  • Students who pursue less commonly taught languages such as Arabic, Chinese or Japanese should speak with the Education Abroad Program Manager about suitable approved programs.  For those who choose to study Arabic, it is required that students take the introductory and intermediate level courses at UNH prior to their international experience.
  • Foreign language competency must be established before a student may register for IA 701.
  • Most IA dual majors also graduate with a minor in their foreign language.

International Experience

A minimum of eight weeks of study, directed research, internship, or professional experience in a foreign country must be

  • conducted after a student has completed IA 501 & declared IA as a dual major.
  • completed before enrollment in IA 701.
  • planned for at least one full year before term abroad.

The IA international experience seeks to provide students with a significant experience abroad that strengthens their analytical, linguistic, and cultural competencies. Ideally, the international experience should provide IA students with:

  • Immersion in a different culture and ability to see the world from diverse perspectives.
  • Development and deepening of second language skills.
  • Strengthening of knowledge and skills relevant to intellectual interests (such as the IA capstone project) and future career paths.

IA strongly encourages students to plan the international experience in a country or region that speaks the second language they have studied to the advanced level.

Should IA students wish to study in a country not tied to their advanced language study, they should meet with their IA advisor to discuss alternatives, and submit a petition, including a 1-2 page proposal that provides a compelling case for where they will study.  Petitions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis depending on the strength of the proposal. 

Students interested in directed research may wish to explore the Study Abroad Research Grants available through the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, Hood House 209.

Students who wish to complete the international experience requirement through an internship or professional experience abroad should first check the approved programs list for opportunities.  If there is no suitable program available then students should meet with their IA advisor to discuss the next steps which may entail a detailed petition and proposal process.  All materials should be submitted by the middle of the semester prior to the term in which the internship or experience is to occur.