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International Political Economy

Applicable for the 2020-2021 academic year.

International Political Economy Website

Advisers; Professors GOULD (Political Science), KAPURIA-FOREMAN (Economics); Associate Professor ACRI (Economics), MCKENDRY (Political Science)

The major in International Political Economy prepares students for careers in government, international organizations, international business, or private foundations; for further study in international economics and politics; and for constructive citizenship in a world of increasing interdependence.  The major is designed for students with broad interests in international studies.

The major focuses on the interaction between politics and economics in comparative and international settings.  It examines the possibilities and constraints furnished by social structures, institutions, ideologies, and culture within and across societies, and it looks at the interplay of economic and political forces in the world arena. 

Students are introduced to the field in their junior year when they take Introduction to International Political Economy, a course emphasizing theoretical foundations.  They draw upon this body of theory as they undertake a research experience during the senior year.

Major Requirements

The Major

In addition to the general college requirements, a major in international political economy must complete a minimum of 16 units, distributed as follows:

  1. Political Science Courses (5 units)

PS290 Introduction to Political Philosophy*


PS205 Foundations of Political Economy 


1 unit

PS209 Introduction to International Relations OR  

PS225 United States Foreign Policy 

(Either PS209 or PS225 can be counted toward the IPE major, BUT NOT BOTH


1 unit

Remaining units must come from the Comparative Politics and International Relations subfields, including at least one unit from each. Students may take a maximum of one pre-approved elective from outside the Department of Political Science. The Colorado College Catalog of Courses lists political science courses by subfield.  


 3 units  

 *The new introductory theory requirement takes effect starting with the class of '24. Students in the class of ’20, ’21, ’22, and ’23 can fulfill the theory requirement EITHER under the old OR the new requirement. OLD THEORY REQUIREMENT: PS205 or PS270 or PS292 or PS298  


  1. Economics Courses (5 units)

Notice that while International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level and Advanced Placement (AP) courses may count toward college credit as the equivalents of Economics 100, 101 and/or 102, they will not substitute for Economic Theory I (EC201), a course which uses calculus as a fundamental tool of the discipline. 

EC201 Economic Theory 1

(note that MA125 or 126 Calculus 1 is a prerequisite for EC201)

1 unit

EC301 Microeconomic Theory II

1 unit

EC302 Macroeconomic Theory II

1 unit

EC347 Economics of International Trade OR EC377 Economics of International Finance

1 unit



At least one of the following courses:

   EC371 Money, Banking, and financial Markets

   EC372  Economic Development

   EC373 East Asian Tigers

   EC374 Economic Development of Latin America

         Other economics courses with prior approval from Economics and Business Department Chair that they qualify as international economics electives from the following classes:

              EC211-EC290 (excluding EC275  Introduction to IPE)



1 unit

  1. Mathematics Courses (2 units)

MA117 or 217

Probability and Statistics OR Probability and Statistical Modeling

1 unit

MA125 or 126

Pre-Calculus, Calc 1 /Calculus 1

        1 unit

  1. Foreign Language or Foreign Study Requirement (2 or 3 units)
  2. Second-year college proficiency in a modern foreign language (i.e. completion of the intermediate level of Colorado College’s curriculum, or comparable achievement on placement examinations).  Placement beyond the intermediate level would exempt students from this requirement OR
  3. Three units of credit from an approved program of study outside the United States.       
  4. Introduction to International Political Economy (1 unit)

PS375/EC275 Introduction to IPE

1 unit

  1. Capstone Research Experience (1 or 2 units)

While all IPE majors must complete a senior research experience, the course satisfying this requirement may be taken in either in the Department of Political Science (as a one-block tutorial or a two-block thesis) or in the Department of Economics (as a one-block tutorial or a two-block thesis).  Supervising faculty in the two departments will seek to accommodate the interests and needs of IPE majors.  Students must follow the guidelines of the respective department in registering for the Capstone Research Experience. One of the following:


Seminar in International Political Economy (PS470) or, with consent of Department of Political Science, students may satisfy this requirement through a Tutorial in International Relations (PS 410) or a Tutorial in Comparative Politics (PS 412);  

1 unit



Seminar in International Political Economy (EC470), supervised by Department of Economics and Business faculty;

1 unit


Political Science Thesis (PS450), with prerequisites of a high GPA and approval by the Department of Political Science;  

2 units


Economics Thesis in International Political Economy (EC498), with prerequisites of EC347 or EC377 or an approved international economics elective and approval by the chair of the Department of Economics and Business.

2 units

Whatever the choice of research experience, students must present their projects to their peers and discuss the research of fellow majors.

Distinction in International Political Economy may be awarded to students whose GPAs within the major put them in the upper 20 percent and who have also completed and received a grade of A in their Capstone Research Experience. Faculty in both departments must approve the award of distinction to students who meet these qualifications.

Advisers for the International Political Economy Major:

Professor Vibha Kapuria-Foreman

Economics (Campus extension 6419)

Professor Corina McKendry

Political Science (Campus extension 6788)



Professor Kristina Acri

Economics (Campus extension 6445)

Professor John Gould

Political Science (Campus extension 6589)

Last updated: 02/22/2021