International Relations

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

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

International Relations Undergraduate Program

Why study International Relations at UBC’s Okanagan campus?

Career opportunities

Earn a UBC degree respected by employers around the globe. Build a broad foundation and acquire the skills to pursue careers 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 topics like: genocide; structural violence, gender, and international political economy; humanitarian intervention and peace building; 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.

what you need to know

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.

At UBC Okanagan, you can complete a Bachelor of Arts (BA) major in international relations.

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:

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)

For your application to be considered, you will need to:

  • meet general requirements (e.g., graduate from secondary school)
  • demonstrate a certain level of English competency
  • meet specific requirements for the degree you’re applying to

Then, UBC will take a closer look at your application. We’ll read your Personal Profile to get a sense of who you are and what you’ve achieved. We’ll also look at all of your Grade 11 (junior level) and Grade 12 (senior level) courses, paying special attention to the courses that relate to the degree you’re applying to.

Find your specific requirements at https://you.ubc.ca/

WHEN TO DECLARE YOUR MAJOR

Declaring helps you plan your program more effectively, build your education, and stay connected.

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.

Application Deadlines

Plan ahead to ensure you meet important deadlines and other target dates listed at you.ubc.ca.

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.

Apply to UBC at you.ubc.ca — 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.

Your Career Options

Build a broad foundation and great career potential with a UBC degree—respected by employers around the globe. Job opportunities in international relations range from political aide and lawyer to 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/aesearcher
  • 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
  • Civil service
  • Media and journalism agencies
  • International development agencies
  • Financial institutions
  • Post-secondary institutions
  • Not-for-profit organizations

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
  • earn money to pay for tuition

Inquire about Co-op by phone at 250.807.9623 or by email.

UBC’s Okanagan campus offers MA, MSc and PhD degrees in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) program, which offers innovative interdisciplinary themes and individualized options in which students can have a 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.

  • 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.
  • Travel to conferences or competitions with financial assistance made available through the Tuum Est Student Initiative Fund, which provides financial support up to $3,500.

Follow your ideas and jump-start your career:

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.

  • Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Awards: Up to $7,500 plus $1,500 for expenses, and for international students, up to $9,000 plus $1,500 for expenses
  • 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.
  • 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.

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 gain all the benefits of attending a globally respected university while studying in a close-knit learning community.

  • Get a glimpse into life on UBC’s Okanagan campus at you.ubc.ca.
  • 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 

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

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.

  • 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.

  • Make friends with similar interests, attend events, and explore career options with the International Relations Course Union.
  • Practice your oral presentation skills by taking part in the Roger Watts Debates.
  • Branch out, get involved in student life, and have fun by joining various campus clubs.

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 you.ubc.ca.

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. In fact, the Okanagan Valley is rated one of the best communities in Canada to grow your business.

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 you.ubc.ca.