Bachelor of Arts (BA)

International Relations

International relations helps make sense of our complex world, and prepares students for challenging careers in an array of fields.

Photo by Prof. Adam JonesPhoto by Prof. Adam Jones (Gibara, Cuba, 2003)

What You Need to Know

Why study international relations at UBC’s Okanagan campus?

Career opportunities
Build a broad foundation with a globally recognized UBC degree. A UBC degree in international relations prepares graduates for career positions such as lawyer, politician, diplomat, communications specialist, policy analyst, and non-governmental organization worker.

Access to professors
Visit your prof during office hours or volunteer to discuss their work on genocide and structural violence, gender and international political economy, humanitarian intervention and peace building, and Latin American race and class—just some of the topics renowned UBC faculty researchers are exploring.

Interdisciplinary learning
Explore the dynamics of globalization in international relations studies, which draws from multiple, interconnected disciplines such as anthropology, economics, history, political science, and sociology.

Co-op experience
Put your classroom learning to the test with Co-op job placements throughout the region and beyond. Co-op helps you to gain beneficial skills such as how to build your resumé, apply for jobs, expand your professional network and earn money to pay for tuition.

Program Overview

Get your UBC degree in international relations (IR) and learn how to critically examine global issues and interactions between state and non-state actors.

The IR program draws on diverse disciplines, including political science, history, sociology, economics and anthropology to bolster students’ understanding and equip them with the skills necessary to critically assess the contours and dynamics of international politics and events—from conflicts in Afghanistan and the Congo, to the rise of women as political actors.

Graduates of the international relations program may go on to work in diverse fields such as government, academia, business, journalism and international development.


UBC Okanagan’s international relations program offers a wide variety of foundational and advanced courses that cover Canadian social issues, race and ethnicity, media and society, gender and crime, and the international relations of Latin America, China, Africa, and South Asia.

Sample courses:

  • ANTH 211 — Indigenous Peoples: North America
  • HIST 151 — Modern Latin American History
  • ECON 260 — Poverty and Inequality
  • SOCI 301 — Sociology of Development
  • POLI 323 – South Asian Government and Politics

International Relations courses are offered through several UBC Okanagan departments. Browse courses and descriptions from associated departments:

Degree Options

The following link takes you to international relations program details in the Okanagan Academic Calendar, a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services, and academic policies at The University of British Columbia:

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Graduate Studies
The Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences offers MA, MSc and PhD degrees in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies program in which students may build an individualized program.

Visit the international relations homepage within the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences.


British Columbia High School Requirements

  • English 12 or English 12 First Peoples
  • Three other approved grade 12 courses
  • A language 12 other than English 12 is recommended for students applying to the bachelor of arts degrees. If you do not have a grade 12 language course, you must take a language as part of your degree program.

For general admission requirements and program specific requirements, all Canadian high school, international high school, Canadian post-secondary or international post-secondary applicants should visit

Students are encouraged to declare their major in international relations at the end of their first year in order to take the prerequisite second-year courses. Refer to the Academic Calendar for admission requirements for the BA Major in international relations.

Deadlines and Fees

Application Deadlines
Plan ahead to ensure you meet important deadlines and other target dates listed at

Tuition Fees
UBC Okanagan's fees compare favourably with universities of the same high calibre. See Financial Planning for helpful resources, and add up your first-year costs with our Cost Calculator.

How to Apply

Apply to UBC at—there are just five steps in the application process. Soon you could be studying at one of the world's top universities.

Check out the steps to apply to UBC, and be sure to choose "Okanagan campus."

Or let our Student Recruitment & Advising experts guide you: call 1-877-807-8521.

UBC Okanagan

Your Career Options

Build a broad foundation and great career potential with undergraduate International Relations studies. Earn a UBC degree respected by employers around the globe. Job opportunities in international relations range from political aide, to lawyer, journalist, and policy advisor.



  • Political Aide
  • Lawyer
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Event Planner
  • Market Researcher/Analyst
  • Diplomat/Embassy Officer
  • Journalist/Reporter/Critic
  • Financial Planner/Advisor
  • Foreign Aid Worker
  • Public Policy Analyst
  • Human Rights Officer
  • Labour Relations Mediator
  • Lobbyist/Activist
  • Intelligence Agent
  • Media Analyst/Researcher
  • Fundraiser
  • Policy Advisor/Researcher
  • Speech Writer
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Labour Organizer/Negotiator
  • Community Relations Specialist
  • Community Worker
  • Immigration Officer
  • University Relations Advisor
  • Social Compliance Analyst

Potential Employers

  • Civil Service
  • Media and Journalism agencies
  • International Development agencies
  • Financial Institutions
  • Post-secondary Institutions
  • Not-for-profit Organizations

Co-op Experience

Learn and earn with Co-op, a paid opportunity for students to enrich their education with work experience. At UBC’s Okanagan campus, sign up for Co-op to: build your resumé with professional experience; learn valuable tips on how to successfully apply for jobs; expand your network of industry contacts; and earn money to pay for tuition. Inquire about Co-op by phone at 250.807.9623 or by email.

Further Studies

UBC Okanagan offers an Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) program with Master’s and PhD degrees. Students of these programs may have an international relations faculty member as their primary supervisor.

Gain Valuable Experience

Learning experiences beyond the classroom help prepare you for a career and life after university. Expand your horizons while studying abroad, conducting meaningful research, or working in the community with your UBC colleagues.

Travel and Learn

  • See the world through Go Global, a UBC program for exchange and study with more than 150 international partner institutions. Experience university life abroad as a resident, or earn academic credit while participating in summer group-study courses led by UBC profs.

Undergraduate Research

Follow your ideas and jump-start your career:

Research Scholarships

Get a financial boost to start your research experience. Pay for travel and other expenses. Win merit-based cash awards that look impressive on your resumé.

Work Opportunities

  • Learn through doing, create strong connections, and develop professional skills with a campus job arranged by UBC’s Work Study Program.
  • Meet a community need and get practical experience by volunteering for a Community Service Learning project—a life-changing experience.
  • Co-op puts your classroom learning to the test, allowing you to explore career options while earning money. Inquire about Co-op by phone at 250.807.9623 or by email.

Meet Your Peers and Profs

Find out what students, faculty, and alumni have to say about UBC Okanagan's international relations program:
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Celine Conly

Student experience: “You can personalize your International Relations degree.”

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Adam Jones, UBC Professor

“I’m a real globalist who works to bring the world to my teaching at UBC.”

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Savannah Hallworth, UBC Alumna

“You’ll really get a chance to get your feet wet in whatever you want to do.”

Welcome to UBC's Okanagan Campus

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. In the International Relations program at UBC’s Okanagan campus, you’ll gain all the benefits of attending a globally respected university while studying in a close-knit learning community.


Tour the Campus

  • Get a glimpse into life on UBC’s Okanagan campus at
  • Take a virtual tour of our state-of-the-art labs, modern facilities, campus residences.
  • Visit the campus for a personal guided tour led by a student ambassador.
  • Tour the campus, city and lake with this interactive 360-degree Kelowna From Above* video.
  • * Best viewed in Chrome and Firefox

Day One: What to Expect

On the first day of university, faculties offer "Meet the Dean" sessions where you can get to know the Dean, professors, and the staff who provide student support. It’s all part of CREATE, UBC Okanagan’s new student orientation.

Attend an orientation tailored to your needs as an aboriginal student, domestic student, international student, or student living in residence. You can even register your parents for an orientation that includes a workshop and campus tour.

Academic Support

  • Peer mentors are a great resource — ask questions and learn from students who've been there, done that.
  • Navigate your studies with the help of a professor, your Program Advisor.
  • Use the library which offers print, audiovisual and electronic research materials, a leisure-reading collection and loaner laptops. It also offers research consultations, instruction and workshops.
  • The library’s Writing and Resource Centre can help you articulate your ideas. Pursue your research in a range of subject areas and scholarly genres including essay writing, grammar, presentation skills, punctuation, thesis development and coursework.
  • Familiarize yourself with resources designed to help you succeed. Student Services offers a variety of academic supports, from study sessions to tutoring and writing workshops.


Take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved and stay active—from workout space in the new Hangar Fitness Centre, to athletic courts, intramurals, fitness classes, and varsity athletics.

Learn more at Sports and Recreation, which includes links to fitness facilities, sport clubs, intramurals and recreation programs, as well as the nationally ranked UBC Okanagan Heat varsity teams that compete in the Canada West Universities Athletics Association.

    Clubs and Associations

    Living in Residence

    Meet new people while living in a study-oriented environment with easy access to academic and personal support. UBC Okanagan offers modern residence living surrounded by hiking and biking trails.

    One of the newest residences, Purcell, includes a rooftop patio that offers a panoramic view of the campus and the Okanagan Valley.

    Find out more about living in residence at

    The Okanagan: What to Expect

    UBC’s Okanagan campus borders the dynamic city of Kelowna, a hub of economic development with a population of more than 150,000 people—the fourth fastest growing population in Canada.

    More than 160 buses travel daily from campus to key locations such as Kelowna's cultural district and thriving downtown waterfront. The campus is two minutes from the Kelowna International Airport, one of the Top 10 busiest airports in Canada.

    UBC Okanagan is situated within the First Nations territory of the Okanagan Nation, whose spirit of stewardship for the land is reflected in the university’s respect for sustainability.

    A diverse natural region with sandy beaches, beautiful farms, vineyards and orchards, and snow-capped mountains, the Okanagan Valley features sweeping stretches of lakeside and endless mountain trails for biking and hiking.

    Explore the Okanagan lifestyle at


    Last reviewed shim10/4/2018 1:15:09 PM