Online International Relations Degree Programs

A college degree in international relations can be useful in both the private and public sector. International relations is the study of foreign affairs, global issues, role of the state, and multi-national corporations. Typical courses include macro and microeconomics, history, law, and philosophy. You can gain an understanding of world affairs, culture, international politics, and inter-relations between states.

International Relations Career opportunities include diplomat, foreign affairs analyst, journalist, international management consultant, or working in government affairs establishing public policy. Corporations hire individuals with degrees in international relations to advise on best approaches for entering new markets. Besides having the opportunity to enter a prestigious career, the income level can be attractive. According to the 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for individuals working in international development is listed below:

If you are already working, but want to expand your career opportunities and knowledge, an online college may be a good way to expand your career training.


To be included in these rankings, all schools must meet the following initial criteria for the specific subject being ranked.

  1. Offer an undergraduate degree (either associate or bachelor’s) in that subject.
  2. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in the most recent year of IPEDS data available.

Based on those criteria, we ranked all 2-year and 4-year schools in IPEDS that reported data for all of the following points. Ratings are calculated on a 10-point scale, using the weights specified.

  1. In-state undergraduate tuition & fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  2. Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  3. Accessibility, based on admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  4. Institutional spending, based on two equally weighted factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
    • Instructional and academic support expenses per full-time enrolled student
    • Instructional and academic support spending as a percentage of all expenses
  5. Student-to-faculty ratio, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  6. Flexibility, based on the following factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
    • Percent of students enrolled fully or partly in distance education
    • Whether the school offers programs that can be completed entirely in the evenings and on weekends
    • Whether the school offers academic and career counseling
    • Whether the school offers job placement services for students who complete their programs
    • Whether the school offers any alternative tuition plans, such as a payment plan or guaranteed rate
  7. Size of program, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  8. Related subjects, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
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