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First Year of International Relations and Diplomacy

Objectives of the 1st Year

The first year of studies in an International Relations and Diplomacy program is foundational. It aims to equip students with the essential knowledge and skills necessary for a thorough understanding of the field. The primary objectives of the first-year curriculum are as follows:

  1. Introduction to Core Concepts and Theories:

    • Objective: Familiarize students with the basic concepts, theories, and frameworks that form the foundation of international relations and diplomacy.

    • Outcome: Students should be able to understand and explain key theories such as realism, liberalism, and constructivism, and apply them to analyze international events and issues.

  2. Development of Analytical and Critical Thinking Skills:

    • Objective: Encourage analytical and critical thinking through the examination of historical and contemporary international issues.

    • Outcome: Students should be able to critically evaluate different perspectives on international relations, identify underlying assumptions, and construct well-reasoned arguments.

  3. Understanding Global History and Politics:

    • Objective: Provide a historical context for current international relations, emphasizing the development of the modern state system and major global events.

    • Outcome: Students should have a solid understanding of significant historical events and their impact on current international relations and global politics.

  4. Introduction to International Organizations and Law:

    • Objective: Introduce students to the role and function of international organizations and the basic principles of international law.

    • Outcome: Students should be able to identify major international organizations (e.g., the UN, NATO, WTO) and understand their roles, as well as grasp fundamental concepts of international law, such as sovereignty, treaties, and human rights.

  5. Development of Communication Skills:

    • Objective: Enhance students' oral and written communication skills, essential for careers in international relations and diplomacy.

    • Outcome: Students should be able to present ideas clearly and persuasively in both written and spoken forms, engage in informed discussions, and write structured essays and reports.

  6. Introduction to Research Methods:

    • Objective: Introduce students to basic research methods and techniques used in the field of international relations.

    • Outcome: Students should be able to conduct basic research, including literature reviews, data collection, and analysis, and present their findings in a coherent manner.

  7. Understanding Cultural and Global Diversity:

    • Objective: Foster an appreciation for cultural diversity and global interconnectedness, which are crucial for effective diplomacy.

    • Outcome: Students should develop a sensitivity to cultural differences and an understanding of global interdependence, preparing them to work in diverse international environments.

  8. Language Proficiency Development:

    • Objective: Begin the development of proficiency in a foreign language relevant to international relations and diplomacy.

    • Outcome: Students should achieve basic proficiency in the chosen language, focusing on foundational grammar, vocabulary, and conversational skills.


The first-year curriculum in an International Relations and Diplomacy program is designed to lay a strong foundation for advanced study and professional practice. By the end of the first year, students should possess a broad understanding of key concepts and theories in international relations, the ability to think critically and analytically about global issues, basic research skills, effective communication abilities, an appreciation for cultural diversity, and foundational language skills. These objectives ensure that students are well-prepared for the more specialized and advanced coursework that follows in subsequent years.

First Year of International relations and Diplomacy

Designing a first-year curriculum for a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations and Diplomacy involves a balance of foundational courses that provide a broad understanding of key concepts, theories, and skills. Here is a structured first-year curriculum at the United States Institute of Leadership and Diplomacy:

First Semester:

1. Introduction to International Relations

  • Overview: This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts, theories, and issues in international relations.

  • Key Topics: Realism, liberalism, constructivism, state sovereignty, power, and international system.

  • Assessment: Exams, essays, and class participation.

2. Introduction to Political Science

  • Overview: Provides a comprehensive understanding of political systems, ideologies, and institutions.

  • Key Topics: Democracy, authoritarianism, political ideologies, and the role of government.

  • Assessment: Exams, essays, and class discussions.

3. World History Since 1900

  • Overview: Covers significant global historical events and trends from the 20th century to the present.

  • Key Topics: World Wars, Cold War, decolonization, globalization, and contemporary conflicts.

  • Assessment: Exams, research papers, and presentations.

4. Academic Writing and Research Methods

  • Overview: Develops essential academic writing and research skills necessary for university-level coursework.

  • Key Topics: Research methodologies, citation styles, academic writing formats, and critical analysis.

  • Assessment: Research projects, essays, and writing workshops.

5. Foreign Language I

  • Overview: Introduction to a foreign language relevant to international relations (e.g., French, Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin).

  • Key Topics: Basic grammar, vocabulary, conversation skills, and cultural contexts.

  • Assessment: Quizzes, oral exams, and written assignments.

Second Semester:

1. Introduction to Diplomacy

  • Overview: Explores the practice and theory of diplomacy, including diplomatic history, institutions, and techniques.

  • Key Topics: Diplomatic negotiations, protocols, international treaties, and the role of diplomats.

  • Assessment: Exams, case studies, and role-playing simulations.

2. Comparative Politics

  • Overview: Examines different political systems and governance structures across countries.

  • Key Topics: Comparative methods, types of government, political culture, and policy-making processes.

  • Assessment: Comparative essays, exams, and class debates.

3. International Organizations

  • Overview: Studies the role and functioning of international organizations in global governance.

  • Key Topics: United Nations, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, and non-governmental organizations.

  • Assessment: Exams, research papers, and group projects.

4. Economics for International Relations

  • Overview: Introduction to economic principles and their application to international relations.

  • Key Topics: Microeconomics, macroeconomics, international trade, and economic development.

  • Assessment: Exams, problem sets, and economic analysis essays.

5. Foreign Language II

  • Overview: Continuation of foreign language study with an emphasis on advancing communication skills and cultural understanding.

  • Key Topics: Intermediate grammar, expanded vocabulary, complex conversations, and cultural immersion.

  • Assessment: Quizzes, oral exams, and written assignments.

Additional Components:

Workshops and Seminars:

  • Introduction to International Relations and Diplomacy Workshop: Interactive sessions focusing on current events, practical skills, and career insights in international relations and diplomacy.

  • Research Skills Seminar: Workshops to enhance library research skills, database usage, and online research techniques.

Extracurricular Activities:

  • Model United Nations (MUN): Participation in MUN to develop negotiation, public speaking, and teamwork skills.

  • Language Clubs: Engage with language-specific clubs to practice conversational skills and cultural exchange.

Learning Outcomes:


By the end of the first year, students should:

  • Understand the basic theories and concepts in international relations and political science.

  • Develop foundational knowledge of global historical events and their impact on contemporary issues.

  • Gain introductory skills in diplomacy and the workings of international organizations.

  • Acquire basic economic literacy relevant to international relations.

  • Improve academic writing, research skills, and foreign language proficiency.

This curriculum is designed to provide a solid foundation for further study in international relations and diplomacy, preparing students for more specialized and advanced courses in subsequent years.

International Relations and Diplomacy Degree Programs

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