GVPT Major Requirements- IR Concentration

Listed below are the five components of the International Relations Concentration for the GVPT Major. All major requirements must be completed with a grade of C- or higher (unless otherwise noted).

Every student must also complete their CORE or General Education requirements as well as electives to reach the required minimum of 120 cumulative credits for graduation. Please reference the following major cards:

Students Matriculating to the University of Maryland Fall 2012 or Later: General Education GVPT-IR Major Card

Students Who Matriculated to the University of Maryland Prior to Fall 2012: CORE GVPT- IR Major Card


Gateway Requirements

  • Directly admitted freshman must complete gateway courses within 45 credits at the university (excluding IB/AP credits).
  • Internal transfer students must complete gateway requirements prior to applying. Detailed information about gateway requirements can be found here.
  • Students may complete one of the following courses to satisfy the math gateway requirement: MATH107 or STAT100. A calculus class (MATH 140, 130 or 120) with a grade of C- or higher may be substituted. Students may not apply the course used to fulfill the math gateway course toward the skills requirement.


GVPT Theory Requirement

  • All students are required to complete GVPT241: The Study of Political Philosophy: Ancient and Modern.
  • Students who have AP/IB credit for GVPT170 must complete GVPT241 in place of GVPT170 with a B- or higher.


GVPT Methods Requirement

  • All students are required to complete GVPT201 (formerly GVPT100) Scope and Methods for Political Science Research.


GVPT Courses of Choice

Students pursuing the International Relations Concentration are required to take nine courses as outlined below:

  1. GVPT200: International Political Relations
  2. GVPT280: Comparative Politics OR GVPT282: Politics of the Developing World
  3. GVPT Course of Choice
  4. GVPT Course of Choice 300/400 Level
  5. IR or Comparative Course of Choice 300/400 Level
  6. IR or Comparative Course of Choice 300/400 Level
  7. IR or Comparative Course of Choice 300/400 Level
  8. IR or Comparative Course of Choice 300/400 Level
  9. IR or Comparative Course of Choice 300/400 Level
  • In addition to GVPT201, GVPT170, and GVPT241, students must complete a minimum of 27 GVPT credits. At least 18 of these 27 GVPT credits must be at the upper level (300-400).
  • No more than 42 GVPT credits can be applied toward the 120 credits that are required for graduation. GVPT201 (formerly GVPT100), GVPT 170, and GVPT 241 are included in the 42 credit limit.
  • No more than six GVPT experiential learning credits will apply toward the minimum of 36 GVPT credits. Only internship credit that is taken for a regular grading method in the GVPT department may be included in the minimum of 36 credits. Note most internship credit is pass/fail and does NOT count toward GVPT requirements. Internships counting for the IR Concentration must be related to international relations.
  • At least 12 upper-level GVPT credits (4 upper-level courses of choice) must be completed at UMD.
  • Please click here to find a sample list of courses by subfield.


Skills Requirement

The skills category comprises four requirements:

  1. ECON 200
  2. Entire level of elementary foreign language
  3. Quantitative skills course
  4. Intermediate foreign language

Students may not apply courses used to fulfill the skills category toward the supporting sequence nor apply the course used to fulfill the math gateway requirement toward the skills category. Click here for a complete list of approved skills requirement courses. 

1. Microeconomics

All students must complete ECON 200: Microeconomics.

2. Elementary Foreign Language

Students must complete a foreign language through the entire elementary level. Normally this requires three or four credits of study beginning with the initial elementary course. The entire elementary level in some languages requires twelve hours (e.g. ARAB, RUSS). Students may be exempt from the foreign language requirement if they have satisfied one of the following options:

a. High School Proficiency

Students who are proficient through the entire elementary level of a foreign language because of study in high school or from studying abroad may speak to a GVPT advisor about fulfillment of this requirement. Students must have completed level 3 of the same foreign language at high school level with a “C-” or better in all attempts to be exempt from this requirement. GVPT majors must demonstrate exemption by bringing an official high school transcript to the GVPT advising office no later than the semester in which they reach 90 credits. Students may also check with their GVPT advisor to see if they can access their transcript from their UMD application. *Note- Exemption from elementary foreign language from GVPT does not necessarily guarantee your placement into intermediate or advanced level of the language. Please contact the respective language departments for clarification on intermediate placement.

b. CLEP Foreign Language Exam

Students must complete one of the following language exams and earn the corresponding score to be exempted from this requirement. GVPT majors must demonstrate exemption by having their CLEP scores sent to the University of Maryland. The exam score must be posted to the student's record no later than the semester in which they reach 90 credits.

  • EXAM and Score:
  • French Language, Level 2 - 67
  • German Language, Level 2 - 58
  • Spanish Language, Level 2 - 71

Proficiency in language level II will satisfy the Language Skills Requirement at the elementary level for the Government and Politics major. Please note no credit is awarded. This test is only used to determine a student's proficiency of the language. For additional information you can contact the CLEP Administrator in the Counseling Center, Room 0106A Shoemaker Hall (301) 314-7688.

c. Proficiency Exam through a Private Agency

Students may have a proficiency exam administered by a private source. GVPT majors must submit a signed and sealed letter documenting that he/she is proficient at the elementary level or higher of a given foreign language. Students should contact the appropriate language department for suggestions on where to go for a proficiency test.

3. Quantitative Skills Requirement

This requirement is designed to insure that our students graduate with an introduction to rigorous skills in argumentation, reasoning, and statistical inference. Student may choose a quantitative course from an approved list. Click here for a complete list of accepted skills requirement courses.

4. Intermediate Foreign Language Course

Students must complete the first course in an intermediate foreign language. Placement levels are determined by the foreign language placement test and may require the completion of the necessary prerequisite introductory foreign language course(s). Click here for a list of approved intermediate level foreign language courses.


Supporting Sequence

  • The Supporting Sequence must contain five courses (15 total credits) from a single department outside GVPT or have courses from multiple departments approved by a GVPT advisor.
  • At least two of the five courses (6 credits) must be at the upper level.
  • Courses used for the skills requirement cannot also be applied to the supporting sequence. 
  • Experiential learning courses (e.g., internship, practicum/field work, teaching/research assistantship) may not be used in the Supporting Sequence.