International Political Economy Degrees Unveiled
Program to Prepare Students for Jobs in Government, Non-Profits,
Consulting Firms and Businesses with Interests Abroad
Oct. 14, 2008
The new changing, global economy requires a new type of education. The UT Dallas School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences has created new degree programs to help students meet the growing political and economic challenges they will face.
The Public Policy and Political Economy program now offers two undergraduate degrees, a master’s and a minor in International Political Economy (IPE).
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved these new offerings in 2007. The new IPE programs are designed to help students apply theory to practice to prepare for careers in government, non-profit organizations, consulting firms and businesses affected by international policy issues and influences.
“Careers increasingly require international knowledge and skills that transcend the confines of traditional disciplinary training,” said Dr. Jennifer Holmes, International Political Economy associate program head. “In addition to the multidisciplinary course offerings, these degrees offer internship opportunities and critical analysis and communication skills that will help students succeed regardless of the changes in the world,” she added.
Undergraduate students have the choice of pursuing a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in IPE. Both degree programs offer core classes from multiple disciplines such as government, economics, geography, literature and foreign language, but cater to distinct career paths.
The B.A. program places greater emphasis on culture, literature and history to prepare students to enter diplomatic or NGO—non-government organization—careers. The B.S. program places greater emphasis on economics and international finance to prepare students for employment in international business or government.
All IPE students select electives related to a geographic area, such as Latin America, Asia and the Middle East or Europe to fulfill their degree requirements.
Samia Hossain, a junior, would like a career with the World Bank or an economic policy-making institution. She is working toward a bachelor of science degree in International Political Economy and then plans to go to law school.
“I like the flexibility of the program and the international focus,” said Hossain. “I also like the fact that each student is probably doing this program for a very different reason.”
Hossain’s courses from her semester abroad in Malaysia will count toward her concentration in Asia and the Middle East. Her language studies are in Arabic.
Graduate students may pursue a 36-semester-hour master of science in IPE. Students will develop critical skill sets necessary to meet the needs and demands of the international diplomatic and business sectors, which include critical thinking skills, knowledge of multiple cultures and cultural contexts, rigorous research skills and the ability to communicate effectively in an array of environments.
In addition to their focus on a single region, IPE graduate students must also address a theme concentration in development, international business and public policy, international negotiations or security studies.
Michael Ward, a writer and photographer, who would like to cover internationally sensitive areas, sees the master’s in IPE as the perfect preparation. He has chosen to concentrate his studies in Latin America, with a focus on development, and he plans to study in Mexico for a semester to fulfill the program’s mandatory language component.
“It’s great to have classmates from all over the world,” Ward said. “I’ve made friends from Nigeria, Brazil, Turkey, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, just to name a few. The diversity within the classes makes for great discussions of foreign and public policy.”
Samia Hossain is working towards a bachelor’s in International Political Economy. Courses from her semester abroad in Malaysia will count toward her concentration in Asia and the Middle East.
Greater emphasis on culture, literature and history. Students must select an area concentration that addresses a single region. Foreign language requirement. (120 credit hours)
Greater emphasis on economics and international business. Students must select an area concentration that addresses a single region. Foreign language requirement. (120 credit hours)
Students must select both an area and a theme concentration. Foreign language requirement. (36 credit hours)
Students from any school may find this minor to be an interesting complement to their degrees. (18 credit hours)
* Undergraduates who are planning to pursue a Master of Science in IPE can select the “fast-track” option where up to 15 credit hours will count towards both the undergraduate and graduate degrees.