World Politics (BA)

World Politics provides an in-depth understanding of political institutions and processes around the world at the national, cross-national and international levels. This major will prepare students to live and work in a globalized environment in which international events influence domestic politics and vice versa, with increasing intensity. The World Politics major provides a globally-focused, innovative, unique, high quality program that is responsive to the needs and interests of a rapidly growing number of Ohio State students.

The major is organized into four areas of specialization: foreign policy and security, political economy and development, political institutions and processes in countries outside the United States and international political theory. Students are required to take at least one course in each of these four areas and to acquire depth by taking at least four courses in one of them.

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Career Opportunities

A major in World Politics prepares students for careers in a variety of areas, including intelligence and national security, foreign policy and diplomacy, international business, political consulting and lobbying, journalism, international development, conflict mediation and resolution and secondary and higher education. The skills you will gain in research and writing, data analysis and critical thinking are vital to any career path. 

Graduates will be prepared for employment with: 

  • Federal agencies dealing with foreign policy and security (e.g. the U.S. Institute for Peace, the State Department) 
  • International governance bodies (e.g. The United Nations, the World Health Organization) 
  • International humanitarian and development organizations (e.g. CARE, Oxfam, USAID)
  • International financial institutions (e.g. International Monetary Fund, World Bank)
  • Global consulting and investment firms
  • Research institutes and globally-focused think tanks (e.g. Center for Strategic Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)



This major will help to prepare students for careers in intelligence and national security, foreign policy and diplomacy, international business analysis and consulting, international finance and global investment banking, international humanitarian and development organizations, international governance organizations, conflict mediation and resolution, research institutes and think tanks with a global focus and secondary and higher education.

courses you might take:

POLITSC 4320: Strategies for War and Peace

Strategies for War and Peace examines how political leaders make decisions, emphasizing issues such as leaders’ reasoning processes and the impact of public opinion and foreign policy bureaucracies.

POLITSC 3460: Global Justice

The Global Justice course examines the idea of justice between states and among the people of the world. What would a just world look like? How should we live in our unjust world? The course will also consider current debates about war, the environment, diversity and poverty.

POLITSC 4250: African Politics

The African Politics course provides a survey of Sub-Saharan African politics from the pre-colonial period to the contemporary era. Students will gain an understanding of how context shapes political behavior and how historical and political forces have influenced politics and development across forty-nine countries.

POLITSC 4331: The United Nations System

This course looks at the evolution and role of international organizations, specifically the United Nations, in shaping contemporary international relations. Students will examine the activities and potential of the United Nations system in promoting economic well-being, environmental management, resource sharing, social justice, and control of violence around the world.

POLITSC 4381: Comparative Political Economy

Students in the Comparative Political Economy course will survey the foreign economic policies followed by European and other advanced industrial economies since the Napoleonic Wars, with a special emphasis on Britain, France, Germany, the United States and Japan.


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