BA in International Relations


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Whether you want to work in government, a global corporation, academia, or a non-governmental organization, a degree in international relations can open many doors.

You can specialize in different fields such as European integration studies, Asian security studies, politics of Eastern Europe, energy politics, or international law, just to mention a few. 

Our international classrooms, with students and faculty from all around the world, enhance the different political and cultural discussions, leading to a better understanding of this exciting field. 

As an international relations major, you will have an intellectually-challenging and academically outstanding program of lectures, research topics, interactive coursework, field trips, and tutorials. 

Your professors will be highly experienced and top-level academicians, diplomats, and foreign affairs experts, offering you a comprehensive insight into the world of IR. Through their academic and professional networks, our faculty members are able to give you the rare chance to meet leading actors at the national and international levels for the first-hand dialog. Current students and graduates alike cite these experiences as highlights of their education at Webster Leiden.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of International Relations, through their insight, knowledge, and transferrable skills, are prepared for the workforce and a wide range of careers in international agencies, governmental organizations, and the global private sector on an international scale.

Webster students pursue internships and are provided with valuable opportunities to embark on careers in organizations such as the United Nations, The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Peace Corps, government ministries, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, multinationals and embassies/consulates, or to work as political consultants, lobbyists or journalists.

Program Curriculum

The 42 credit hours required for the International Relations major include the following*:

  • INTL 1050/POLT 1050 Introduction to International Relations (3 hours)
  • POLT 1070 Introduction to Political Theory (3 hours)
  • or INTL 2680 International Relations Theory (3 hours)
  • POLT 1080 Introduction to Comparative Politics (3 hours)
  • or POLT 1060 Introduction to American Politics (3 hours)
  • or POLT 2250 Politics in the Industrialized World (3 hours)
  • or POLT 2550 The Politics of the Developing World (3 hours)
  • INTL 2700 Methods of Political Inquiry (3 hours)
  • or POLT 2600 Research Methods and Approaches in Political Science (3 hours)
  • INTL 1500 The World System since 1500 (3 hours)
  • A 2000-level or above HIST course with an international focus (3 hours)

Three of the following sub-field courses (9 hours): 

  • INTL 2030 International Law (3 hours)
  • INTL 3100 International Political Economy (3 hours)
  • POLT 3310 Conduct of Foreign Policy (3 hours)
  • INTL 3800 International Security (3 hours)
  • INTL 3500 Environmental and Energy Security (3 hours)
  • INTL 3700 International Organizations: Structure and Political Conflict (3 hours)
  • INTL 4000 Research Requirement (to be taken in conjunction with a designated 3000-level or 4000-level course) (0 hours)
  • INTL 4620 Senior Overview (0-1 hours)
  • INTL/POLT/HIST electives (15 hours, 9 of which must have an international focus)

*Note: Not all courses from the curriculum will be available in one academic year. For more information on course planning, please contact the undergraduate adviser.

International Human Rights Certificate

This certificate is well suited to students with a strong interest in human rights, but who are majoring in another subject.

Core Courses

  • HRTS 1100 Introduction to Human Rights (3 hours)
  • HRTS 3590 Theories of Human Rights (3 hours)
  • HRTS 4500 Human Rights Field Experience (3 hours)

Pick a course from each of the 3 following groups*:

Group 1: History, Politics, and International Relations

  • HIST 2050 Topics in African History (3 hours)
  • HIST 2040 Topics in Latin American History (3 hours)
  • HIST 2070 Topics in Non-Western History (3 hours)
  • HRTS 2500 Current Problems in Human Rights (3 hours)
  • HRTS 3500 International Human Rights Law (3 hours)
  • POLT 1080 Introduction to Comparative Politics (3 hours)
  • POLT 2550 The Politics of the Developing World (3 hours)
  • INTL 1500 The World System Since 1500 (3 hours)
  • INTL 2030 International Law (3 hours)
  • INTL 3300 Governments and Politics of Eastern Europe (3 hours)

Group 2: Behavioral and Social Sciences

  • ANTH 1100 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3 hours)
  • ANTH 4260 Globalization (3 hours)
  • ANTH 4330 Gender and Sex (3 hours)
  • SOCI 4475 Class, Status and Power (3 hours)
  • ANTH 3130 Race and Ethnicity (3 hours)
  • HRTS 3210 Prejudice and Discrimination (3 hours)
  • HRTS 3600 Topics in Mass Violence (3 hours)
  • HRTS 3700 Human Rights and Business (3 hours)

Group 3: Communications, English, Philosophy, and Religious Studies

  • ENGL 1060 Protest Literature (3 hours)
  • HRTS 2086 Topics in Human Rights (3 hours)
  • HRTS 3080 Advanced Topics in Human Rights (3 hours)
  • HRTS 3160 Human Rights in Film: Documentaries (3 hours)
  • HRTS 3170 Human Rights in Film: Narrative Films (3 hours)
  • HRTS 3200 Human Rights Area Studies (3 hours)
  • HRTS 3400 Human Rights and the Environment (3 hours)
  • MULC 1100 Introduction to Multicultural Studies (3 hours)
  • MEDC 2800 Cultural Diversity in the Media (3 hours)
  • PHIL 2320 Contemporary Moral Problems: Emphasis on Human Rights Issues (3 hours)
  • RELG 2050 Religion and Human Values (3 hours)

*Note: Not all courses from the curriculum will be available in one academic year. For more information on course planning, please contact the Undergraduate Advisor.

Program Outcomes

Our campus provides access to many global and non-governmental organizations. Our students frequently obtain internships/jobs at these institutions or specialized agencies, including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), International Criminal Court (ICC), NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI) and International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). 

Other graduates pursue careers in politics, international business, national foreign services, or become aid workers. Webster’s IR graduates are regularly admitted to prestigious postgraduate programs in Europe and the USA. Most importantly, graduates leave with a network of lifelong friends and colleagues from around the world, an essential component of success.

Average intelligence analyst salary in The Netherlands: €43,448

Admission Requirements

At Webster University we look for high potential individuals with a global mindset, who are not only motivated to succeed academically but also to thrive in society. We are proud to welcome students from different countries and backgrounds with the belief that embracing such diversity can only contribute to their overall development and enhance their experiences both inside and outside of the classroom. The Board of Admissions reviews every application carefully to decide who will be offered a placement.

Undergraduate Applicants

Application Form: The process begins with the submission of your online application form. Applicants are required to upload a number of supplemental items to support their application. These are listed below.

Supplemental items: After receiving your application form you will be able to upload the following remaining documents into your application:

  • Copy of a recent CV or Resume
  • Letter of motivation (one page) stating why you want to pursue the program and how it ties into your current career or future professional goals
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official certified copy of transcripts showing the last 3 years of secondary and all post-secondary education
  • TOEFL 550/80 or IETLS 6.0 scores or Password English Test (6.0)
  • Financial documents 

Why Webster Leiden?

Webster Leiden Campus was founded in 1983 and since then we have had over 2,000 students from over 50 countries graduate. We are the only institute for Higher Education offering American-accredited degrees in the Netherlands with five schools and colleges include Arts & Sciences, Business & Technology, Communications, Education and Fine Arts. 

Our mission is bold and appropriate for these times: Webster University, a worldwide institution, ensuring high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.

Top Reasons to Study at Webster Leiden Campus

If you are planning to study an American degree abroad here are our top reasons why you should choose Webster Leiden Campus as your study destination. 

  • Study in the heart of Europe
    • Located in the heart of the Netherlands, our Leiden campus neighbors The Hague and Amsterdam, home to many organizations and businesses with a diverse and international workforce and clientele. Our strategic location and global reach attract a network of world-class faculty, often coming straight from the same international businesses and organizations, who provide our students with a unique learning experience where deep academic knowledge is combined with professional expertise.

  • American education in Europe
    • Webster Leiden is the only university that facilitates the ability to get an American education and accreditation in The Netherlands.

  • Flexible Degree Structure
    • Webster’s flexible degree structure promotes academic depth and intellectual breadth, encouraging you to explore diverse interests. Approximately half of your courses will be focused on your major area of study. Your remaining courses can be allocated to a second major, emphasis, minor, or certificate.   

© Webster Leiden Campus - Webster University USA

  • It’s affordable
    • In comparison to other European destinations like the United Kingdom, the Netherlands is an affordable place to earn a degree. The cost of living is significantly lower in “university towns” like Leiden, especially in comparison to what you’ll find in London or Paris. The NS, the country’s national train company, also offers heavily discounted tickets for students via its OV-Chipkaart program. In addition to the many student discounts offered by restaurants, theaters, and other businesses, living without a car isn’t just an option, it’s practically a way of life. It’s much easier to get around on a train or a bicycle.

© Webster Leiden Campus - Webster University USA

  • Orientation year ‘Zoekjaar’ for graduates
    • Following graduation from Webster, a world of exciting opportunities will become available to you. The ‘Orientation Year for Graduates Seeking Employment’ is a residence permit aimed at retaining foreign talent for the Dutch labor market. You have up to three years after graduation to apply for this one-year residence permit.

© Webster Leiden Campus - Webster University USA

  • Career Service
    • Webster University’s Career Center aims to give students the opportunity to present the best of themselves when applying for internships or jobs. The Career Center's mission is to educate our students about the career development process and industry options, empowering them to make informed career decisions. Further, we aim to prepare our students for experiential learning (i.e. internships and community service), employment, and further education and to connect hiring organizations with our diverse student talent. 

© Webster Leiden Campus - Webster University USA

  • Webster University’s global recognition
    • Webster University continues to be ranked in the top tier of the Regional Universities-Midwest category of the 2020 U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges
    • Study Abroad programs ranked in the top 2 percent of the 1,500 colleges and universities surveyed in the “America's Best Colleges” 2019 edition of U.S. News & World Report 
    • Forbes' "America's Top Colleges" 2018, and recognized among the best in the nation for study abroad programs
    • recognized Webster for being among the best online master's program


Webster University Leiden
Boommarkt 1, 2311 EA Leiden, Netherlands
Province: South Holland
Telephone: +31 71 516 8000
Last updated May 2020

About the School

Founded at St. Louis, Missouri in 1915, Webster University is an accredited, non-profit American university with over 100 locations.

Founded at St. Louis, Missouri in 1915, Webster University is an accredited, non-profit American university with over 100 locations. Read less
Leiden , Shanghai , Geneva , Beijing , London + 4 More Less