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International Political Economy Requirements


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.

Competency in a foreign language or study outside the United States is required.


 The major requires a minimum of 16 units, distributed as follows:

A.   Political Science Courses  5 units
1. 205 -  Foundations of Political Economy OR (1 unit)
  270 -  Liberty and Equality OR  
  298 -  What is Political Philosophy? OR  
  292 -  American Political Thought  
 2. 209 -  Introduction to International Relations OR (1 unit)
  225 - Conduct of American Foreign Policy  

Either PS 209 or PS 225 can be counted towards the IPE major, BUT NOT BOTH


Remaining 3 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 political science department.  The Colorado College catalog lists Political Science courses by subfield.

B.   Economics and Business Courses 5 units
1. 150 -  (or 151 and 152) - Principles of Economics 2 units
2. 207 -  Intermediate Microeconomic Theory* OR 1 unit
  209 -  Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory*  
    *MA126 (Calculus1) or higher is a required prerequisite for either of these classes  
3. 342 -  Economics of International Trade OR 1 unit
  344 -  Economics of International Finance  

IPE Majors are also required to complete one of the following approved economics electives:

1 unit
  337 -  Economic Development OR  
  334 -  Comparative Economic Systems OR  
  339 -  The East Asian Tigers OR  
  390 -   Advanced Topics in Economics (some topics) OR  
  391 -  Advanced Topics in Business (some topics)  

(Please consult with the department chair or advisers in Economics and Business to verify whether a particular 390 or 391 course will meet this requirement.)

C.   Foreign Language or Foreign Study Requirement 2 or 3 units

Second-year college proficiency in a modern foreign language OR


Three units of credit from an approved program of study outside the United States

Second-year language proficiency means satisfactory completion of intermediate level courses or comparable achievement on placement examinations. Placement beyond the intermediate level would exempt students from this requirement.

D.   Introduction to International Political Economy 1 unit
  (PS 375/EC 375), normally taken in junior year
E.  Calculus (MA 125 or MA 126)
F.   Statistics (EC 200, MA 117, or BY 220) 1 unit
G.   Capstone Research Experience 1 or 2
  PS470 -  Seminar in International Political Economy (1 unit). With consent of department, IPE majors may also satisfy this requirement through PS 410 (Tutorial in International Relations) or PS 412 (Tutorial in Comparative Politics), OR  
  EC498 -  Senior Thesis in International Political Economy (supervised by Economics and Business Department faculty) (2 units)  [Prerequisites: EC 207 or EC 209 and Statistics and PS 375/EC 375]; thesis must be written based on an intermediate level course, OR  
  PS450 -  Political Science Thesis (2 units) [Prerequisites: high GPA and Dept. approved proposal]  

Whatever the choice of the three research experiences, students must participate in a non-credit extended format seminar to present their projects to their peers and to discuss the research of fellow majors.  Grade on the research experience will incorporate participation in the extended format seminar. 

While all IPE majors must complete a senior research experience, the course satisfying this requirement may be taken in either in the Political Science Department (as a one-block tutorial or a two-block thesis) or in the Economics Department (as 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.

Distinction in International Political Economy may be awarded to students whose GPAs within the major put them in the upper 20 per cent and who have also completed and received a grade of A in Senior Thesis done in either the Economics and Business department or the Political Science Department. (Students may also satisfy the senior thesis requirement in Political Science via a collection of 3-4 essays totaling at least 80 pages.  Further details available from the Chair of Political Science.) Faculty in both departments must approve the award of distinction to students who meet these qualifications.

Students majoring in International Political Economy are required to meet all-college requirements.

Advisers for the International Political Economy Major:

Professor Vibha Kapuria-Foreman, Economics (Campus extension 6419)

Professor John Gould, Political Science (Campus extension 6589),

Professor David Hendrickson, Political Science (Campus extension 6585)

Professor Kristina Lybecker, Economics (Campus Extension 6445)