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The Best Colleges for International Relations Majors

by Dan Williams, studioD

A major in international relations can prepare you for a number of different exciting career paths in the foreign service, transnational businesses and the U.N. Students of international relations often look for schools with faculty who have practiced foreign policy, and for schools near the centers of policymaking. The Teaching, Research, and International Policy survey conducted by faculty at the College of William and Mary, and reported in "Foreign Policy," ranks the best international relations undergraduate programs.

Harvard University

Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the U.S. and a global hub of intellectual inquiry. Undergraduates at Harvard can take courses in international relations, international law, and courses in areas like Chinese foreign policy. Opportunities abroad contribute to the global experience at Harvard and allow students to explore the world and see policy in practice.

Princeton University

Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs is home to many former government officials and policymakers who have shaped foreign policy. Undergraduates can take a number of in-depth courses from the Politics of Development to Science and Global Security. Study-abroad opportunities include a semester at the world-renowned Sciences Po in Paris and the Princeton in Cuba program at the University of Havana.

Georgetown University

Georgetown's School of Foreign Service actually predates the founding of America's diplomatic corps by six years. Over its long history, the school has been a training ground for some of the top U.S. foreign policy figures, including President Bill Clinton and U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin. The school's proximity to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., gives students an up-close introduction to the politics, people and institutions that shape global policies.

Columbia University

Home of the United Nations and one of the most diverse urban neighborhoods in the world, New York offers a plethora of global experiences, all within a short subway ride. From its perch in north Manhattan, Columbia University offers access to all the city has to offer, as well as some of the best academic programs in international relations. World leaders often stop by to give speeches on their way to the General Assembly, and faculty includes Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, and Jeffrey Sachs, head of the United Nations Millennium Project to end poverty.

About the Author

Dan Williams is a former teacher who has written about education since 2008. His work has appeared in a number of publications, including the "Los Angeles Times" and "GlobalPost."

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