A World of Opportunity

The International Relations Department offers rigorous courses with the flexibility to pursue your fascination for world affairs and train for post-graduate careers. Courses within the curriculum provide an interdisciplinary foundation while you dive deep on a thematic track in:

  • global security and diplomacy
  • political economy and development
  • politics, culture and identity
  • transnational issues and cooperation

Student Spotlight Building a Network

Saima Mashori ’22

Saima Mashori ’22

Saima made the most of her experience during the Day on the Hill trip. Connecting with HWS alums led to her internship with Beyond the Bomb in Washington D.C. She’s also had an internship with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pakistan.

Experiential EducationThe Talk of the World

experiental learning

Work on a podcast about world affairs or attend lectures on globalization hosted by the Fisher Center for the Study of Gender and Justice.

At Hobart and William Smith Colleges, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.

Global Education

No Borders: Global Education

Explore racial identity in Brazil, study political relations in Tunisia or gain insight into the European Union in Germany.

Wherever you go, our top-ranked global education program will allow you to apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose.


and Research

International Relations students looking to engage more in their work can study and complete Honors and research projects in a chosen topic with the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Past examples of Honors projects include:

  • Grant A. J. Emerson ’20: Identity and the Foreign Policy Decision-Making Process: Analyzing U.S. Foreign Policy in Cuba from 1959 to 1963
    Kevin Dunn, Adviser
  • Mike F. Goulart, ’20: Political Institutions, Corruption, and their Economic Implications: An Institutional Analysis of Brazil
    Vikash Yadav, Adviser
  • Lawson MacDougall ’20: An Assessment of Canada’s Position in a Global Economy
    Vikash Yadav, Adviser
  • Katherine Eleanor Howard ’19: How Myth Frames U.S. Foreign Intervention Decisions
    Richard Salter, Adviser
  • Julia R. Sipos ’18: Manufactured Consent: The Role of Women in the Construction of Middle-Class Complicity During the Dirty War in Argentina (1976-1983)
    Colby Ristow, Adviser

Through multiple lenses – geopolitical, economic and historic, among others – explore the theories, aspects and effects of how countries interact with one another.

  • POL 180 Intro to International Relations

    Build a foundation in the basic concepts of world politics, an appreciation of the evolution of the current state system and a sampling of various approaches and theories.

  • ECON 240 International Trade

    Build on your economics understanding by learning of international trade concepts like the theory of gains from trade and comparative advantage to discover how with an emphasis on how economic and financial relations among countries have very different consequences for different groups of people.

  • ARAB 101 Beginning Arabic I

    Begin your journey into the Arabic language and Arab cultures.

Alum Impact A Global Connection

Janey Blackwell-Orr ’19
Program Assistant at the United States Agency for International Development

Janey wanted to learn how the world operated outside the United States and to unpack her subconscious biases regarding international systems. At Hobart and William Smith, she was able to do that and develop a knowledge of international development that would lead to her current work at USAID.

Companies that employ our graduates

  • Nieman Marcus Group
  • Pakistan-China Institute
  • J.P. Morgan
  • Bank of America
  • Corrigan, Bennett and Belfort, P.C.
  • Freedom House
  • International Food Policy Research Institute
  • Magna Global Trading
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria
  • Nova Group
  • Peace Corps
  • Shell Oil Company Foundation

Universities where our graduates are studying

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • American University
  • Albany Law School
  • Boston College Law
  • Georgetown University
  • Harvard Law
  • Maxwell School at Syracuse University
  • New England Law
  • New York University School of Economics
  • Northeastern University School of Law
  • Northwestern University School of Law
  • Syracuse Law School
  • University of Pittsburgh Law School
  • University of Rochester
  • Widener University of Law