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Undergraduate Programme in International Relations

Ashoka University’s Department of International Relations offers undergraduate programmes which equip students with a thorough knowledge of theories, histories and substantive domains of international politics, while gaining skills to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

Structure and Curriculum

The Department of International Relations has designed a curriculum which includes subjects like International History and Security, Conflict Analysis, Asian Geopolitics, Gender and Populism. Students develop core skills in leadership and communication, analysis of issues and problems, and synthesis of different disciplinary approaches. 

  • Prerequisites

    You must complete at least one 100-level course. You cannot take higher-level courses unless you have fulfilled the 100-level requirement in a prior semester. You cannot do your 100-level requirement and higher-level courses simultaneously. This applies to the major, minor as well as the concentration. The department recommends that you take a 100 level IR elective in the second semester itself.

    There is no level-wise sequence of courses that you will have to take. After the first 100 level, you are free to take any other elective. Also, there is no minimum number of level-wise courses that you must take, other than the mandatory 100 level course.

  • Minor

    The Department of International Relations offers a Minor in International Relations, where students will have to complete the requirements of six courses of their choosing. Students are encouraged to pursue courses that they feel will be relevant to their own interests, as well as disciplinary perspectives. The component can be designed in a way that would offer additional insight and analysis which would apply and enrich other fields of study.  

    To complete a minor in International Relations, a student must do 6 courses:

    • One 1000 introductory level course
    • Five electives to be offered by the department
    • Up to 2 cross-listed courses from another department can count towards the minor

    Important: It is mandatory to complete a 1000 level course in a prior semester before opting for higher level courses. If students have an area of interest that has not been explored by any of the offered electives, they may also approach faculty to propose the possible creation of an Independent Study Module (ISM) that focuses on the subject in question. The availability of ISMs will depend on the consent of the faculty advisor. Students can take up to a maximum of one ISM on a topic of their devising.

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  • Interdisciplinary Major

    A prospective interdisciplinary major student in History and International Relations must complete 16 courses, including 10 courses in History and 6 courses in International Relations.

  • Concentration

    The Concentration in International Relations is the opportunity to pursue 4 courses of choice in International Relation. This is ideal for students who are curious about the discipline of IR and would like to gain an introductory entry point to the field. 

    This is designed to enable students gain initial exposure to the field, and to study a combination of courses which can contribute to a fuller analysis of aspects of the Major the student is engaged in. 

    To pursue a concentration in IR, students need to complete 4 courses in IR.

    The 4 courses in IR include:

    • One mandatory 100-level (such as Conflict and Cooperation in International Politics, Introduction to International Relations Theory, Introduction to International History, and Global Cold War)
    • 3 electives in IR (including one cross-listed course from another department).
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Joining Undergraduate Programmes

Ashoka University’s department of International Relations offers a range of undergraduate programmes. Students get a foundational understanding of international and regional institutions in world politics. It is both rigorous in its requirements and flexible in how they can be met.

Student Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

You need six courses to finish a minor in IR. You need four courses to finish a concentration in IR.

You need to take 6 IR courses to satisfy the IR component of your History and IR interdisciplinary major. Please contact the History Department to learn about the History requirements.

Yes, it is possible to finish the minor within three years. However, it is important to plan your courses accordingly. Please keep in mind the 100 level requirement before taking any other course in IR. The Department advises you to take the first 100 level in your second semester itself.

As mentioned earlier, the only mandatory course is any one 100-level IR course. You need to fulfil this mandatory requirement (in a prior semester) before you take other higher-level IR courses. Though particular higher-level electives may have further pre-requisites. For more, refer to the ‘Mandatory Courses and Pre-requisites’ section above.

No. You must complete your 100-level requirement in a prior semester before you take higher-level courses.

If you are interested in taking IR courses, it is recommended that you take your mandatory 100-level course early in your undergraduate, either in your 2nd or 3rd semester at Ashoka. This will ensure that you have access to sufficient higher-level IR courses to complete an IR minor/ IR concentration/History and IR interdisciplinary major. This is also advisable for the ASP students who wish to take up an IR minor/ concentration in their fourth year.

Yes, if you have satisfied your mandatory 100-level requirement, another 100-level course may be counted as an elective.

No, as long as you have completed your mandatory 100-level requirement, you are permitted to take courses of any level – so long as any particular course does not have further pre-requisites. However, while choosing your courses, do keep in mind that the levels indicate how advanced a course would be. So although you can take high level courses, they may be difficult for you.

First, you must ensure that you are fulfilling your 100-level mandatory requirement early enough. Second, you may consult the course descriptions provided on the LMS. Third, you may reach out to your peers or seniors who have already taken courses you may be interested in. A combination of these approaches will help you make an informed decision.

There is no such requirement to take a specific number of courses of each level. Only the first 100 level course is mandatory.

No, it is normal for courses to not be cross-listed with other departments in every semester that they’re offered. If you took a course which was cross-listed in the semester that you took it in, it will count towards your degree. Please cross-check the course code of such courses in the LMS.

Third-years and ASP students are eligible to become TAs. The department calls for applications in the beginning of each semester – interested students can apply through that.

No, only ASPs can write a thesis with the IR department. But you can do an ISM (Independent Study Module) with the department in the third year.

You can contact the IR Student Representative and CC the Department Manager, Anjali Panwar, at anjali.panwar@ashoka.edu.in.

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