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International Political Economy Major

*These requirements are valid from July 1, 2015 onwards 


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. 

Major Requirements

In addition to the general college requirements, a major in International Political Economy must complete a minimum of 16 units, distributed as follows:

 A.    Political Science Courses (5 units)

PS205 Foundations of Political Economy OR

PS270 Liberty and Equality OR

PS298 What is Political Philosophy? OR

PS292 American Political Thought


1 unit

PS209 Introduction to International Relations OR

PS225 Conduct of American 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 political science department. The Colorado College catalog lists Political Science courses by subfield.


 3 units


B.  Economics Courses (5 units)


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:

   EC343 Economic Development OR

   EC374 Economics of Latin America OR

Other economics courses (for example those numbered EC271-290, 371-390, 471-490, 493) with prior approval from the Economics and Business Department Chair that they qualify as international economics electives.

1 unit

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.  

C.    Mathematics Courses (2 units)

MA117 or 217 or BY220

Probability and Statistics OR Probability and Statistical Modeling OR Biostatistics and Experimental Design

1 unit

MA125 or 126

Pre-Calculus, Calc 1 /Calculus 1

        1 unit

 D.  Foreign Language or Foreign Study Requirement (2 or 3 units)

  1. 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

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

E.   Introduction to International Political Economy (1 unit)

PS375/EC275 Introduction to IPE

1 unit

F.  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 Political Science Department (as a one-block tutorial or a two-block thesis) or in the Economics Department (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 Political Science Department, 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 Economics and Business Department faculty;

1 unit


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

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 Economics and Business Department Chair.

2 units

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

Total of Minimum Required Courses: 16