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Undergraduate Programme in International Relations

The Department is a highly interdisciplinary space, featuring courses that highlight the importance of integrating techniques of analysis from a variety of academic and policy-based perspectives into our classrooms. Collectively, we attract students from a variety of Departments, including History, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Media Studies and Mathematics.

From this year, students who will graduate in 2026 and after, can opt for a Major in International Relations. In addition, we also offer a Minor or Concentration in International Relations, as well as an Interdisciplinary Major in History and International Relations.

Students should take note of the pre-requisites of a course before enrolling. Please bear in mind that at least one (if not two) gateway courses (1000 level) must be completed before registering for intermediate or advanced courses for any of the Programs offered by the Department.

The Department also organises a weekly seminar series, aimed at showcasing recent trends of research in the field. Students who have opted for the programs offered by the Department should attend these.

Structure and Curriculum

Undergraduate programs in IR are structured around the number of courses that students take for completing the requirements of a Major, a Minor, an Interdisciplinary Major, or a Concentration.

Students can also crosslist a certain number of courses from other Departments, once this has been approved by both Departments, in each of the programs.

  • Major in International Relations

    To pursue a major in IR, students need to complete the following requirements:

    • 5 core courses in International Relations (These include: Theory of International Relations (1000 level) , History of International Relations (1000 level), Foreign Policy Analysis (2000 level), War & Strategy (2000 level), and Research Methodologies(3000 level). All of these must be completed by Year 3. Further details about these courses and their sequencing are included in the IR Student Handbook for AY 2023- 2024.

    • By the end of the 3rd year, students must also have completed at least 7 electives, up to 3 of which may be cross listed

    • In their 4th year of the Major, students have the option of pursuing a Dissertation of 12 credits, and thus obtaining a BA (Hons) with Research in IR. Students who are interested in applying for Masters programs within and outside of India are encouraged to pursue this option. Please note that the mandatory ‘Introduction to Research Methods’ course (2000) level must be completed by students before the Dissertation of 12 credits can be embarked on.

    • Alternatively, students may graduate with a ‘BA(Hons) in IR. For this, students will need to complete an additional 4 elective taught courses in their 4th year (in addition to the 7 completed the previous year), up to 3 of which may be cross listed.

    • Both the BA (Hons) and the BA (Hons. with Research) will carry the same number of credits.

    *Please note that students will only be eligible to graduate with a Major from 2026 onwards. They must have also completed all 5 core courses.

    • The Department may make minor additions to the number of required courses for the IR Major in the months to come. In case these are added, we will inform students of the additions in the coming months.

  • Minor in International Relations

    To pursue a minor in IR, students need to complete 6 courses in IR.

     The 6 courses in IR include:

    1. One mandatory 1000-level course (such as Conflict and Cooperation in International Politics, Introduction to International Relations Theory, Introduction to International History, Decolonisation: An International History and Global Cold War)

    2.  5 electives in IR (including up to 2 cross-listed courses)

  • Concentration in International Relations

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


    The 4 courses in IR include:

    1.  One mandatory 1000-level (such as Conflict and Cooperation in International Politics, Introduction to International Relations Theory, Introduction to International History, Decolonisation: An International History and The Global Cold War)

    2.  3 electives in IR (including 1 cross listed course)

  • Interdisciplinary Major of History and IR

     To pursue this interdisciplinary major, students must complete 16 courses in History and in International Relations. Students must complete at least 6* courses in International Relations and at least 8 courses in History.  The 6 courses in IR will include:

    • One gateway course offered by the Department (Introduction to International History)

    • One cross listed course

    *Students who will graduate in 2024 will need to complete 6 courses in IR. However for subsequent batches, the number of courses in IR will be amended, and students will be informed once these changes have been finalised.

    **For more on the History requirements, please contact the History Department.


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.

Currently, you need to take 6 IR courses to satisfy the IR component of your History and IR interdisciplinary major. However, this may be subject to change from the next Academic Year. Please contact the History Department to learn about the History requirements. The IR Department will also notify students next year in case there are any changes to the proportion of courses in History and International Relations.

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 1000 level requirement before taking any other course in IR. The Department advises you to take the first 1000 levels in your second semester itself.

For the purposes of AY2023- 24, for the minor, concentration, and ID History-IR Major, the only mandatory course is any one 1000-level IR course. You need to fulfil this mandatory requirement (in a prior semester) before you take other higher-level IR courses.

No. You must complete your 1000-level requirement in a prior semester before you take higher-level courses.

If you are interested in taking IR courses, or pursuing a Major in IR, it is recommended that you take your mandatory 1000-level courses 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, for the purposes of a Minor or a Concentration, if you have satisfied your mandatory 1000-level requirement, another 1000-level course may be counted as an elective. For the purposes of the Major, both 1000 level courses on Theories of IR and History of IR are mandatory. 

If you have completed your mandatory 1000-level requirement, you are permitted to take elective 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. 

In addition, do bear in mind, core courses must be completed sequentially. Professors may ask that the 2000 level core courses have been completed by students before opting for their 3000 level classes. In general, it is better to opt for the higher level elective courses after completing the requirements of the initial levels. 

First, you must ensure that you are fulfilling your 1000-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 1000 level course is mandatory. For the IR Major, there are 2 mandatory 1000 level courses and 3 mandatory 2000 level courses. 

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 that 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 at 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, Shohan Mohapatra at ir.rep@ashoka.edu.in  and the Department’s Manager, Pratima Kadian, at pratima.kadian@ashoka.edu.in

Yes. If you choose to do a dissertation in your 4th year, you will be awarded a ‘BA (Hons.) with Research’ degree, while if you choose to complete taught courses in your 4th year, you will be awarded a ‘BA (Hons.)’ degree.

Major: Up to 3 crosslists by year 3 out of 7 elective courses. In the 4th year, if pursuing a ‘BA (Hons)’, you could crosslist 3 out of 4 courses. 

Minor: 2 out of 6

Concentration: 1 out of 4. 

Yes. For the IR Major, after completing the 2 entry level courses, students are also required to complete the three 2000 level core courses.

We encourage students to follow the requirements of different levels at which courses are offered. 2000 level courses should not be opted for unless the 1000 level courses have first been completed.

No. The thesis is designed for students in their final year of undergraduate studies, and who have also taken the Research Methodology 1 course beforehand.

Yes– the course requirements of the final year, but not the course requirements of the 3rd year.

In the case of the IR Major, it is mandatory for all students to complete Research Methodology 1. This does not apply to students doing the Minor or the Concentration. However, if students are interested in pursuing a dissertation then they need to complete Research Methodology 1.

Yes, ideally by the end of the fifth semester, no later than the end of sixth semester.

Study at Ashoka

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