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International Public Policy Major

International Public Policy

Our program emphasizes the role of international organizations in global economy and development. You will think critically about governance and political economy, environment and development, and international public health. 

Total Credit Hours: 120

International Public Policy Courses (36 hours)

Core Degree Requirements (21 hours)

General Education (45 hours)

Electives (18 hours)

What You'll Study

You'll take 120 credit hours for a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, including Virginia Tech's Pathways. Available courses include:    

  • Global Governance and Public Policy
  • Policy Analysis
  • Global Environmental Issues
  • Human Security
  • Global Political Economy
  • Global Economic Governance and Policy
  • Global Development
  • Economic Development
  • Grassroots Development

The international public policy major focuses on international interactions and offers a comparative perspective on the contemporary global system with an emphasis on foreign language proficiency. Select from nine languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish, to fulfill this requirement.



Curious how the degree requirements will fit into your experience at Virginia Tech? See the roadmaps below for a sample schedule of courses each year. Your academic advisor will help you create a personalized version based on your goals and other areas of interest. The individualized plan will also include your AP, IB, dual enrollment, or transfer credit.

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What is a Major in International Public Policy?

The major emphasizes the role of international organizations in global economy and development. You will think critically about the globalization’s impact on world economy, sustainable development, and the fight against global poverty. We relate theory to practice and provide you with knowledge and training in the various areas of sustainable international development, governance and political economy, environment and development, and international public health.

Why Study International Public Policy Here?

Study at one of only a few universities offering the major with renowned faculty who specialize in international public policy. We offer broad training in the liberal arts, emphasizing the study of foreign languages. Opportunities to pursue undergraduate research, conduct field studies, and participate in study abroad are available. Many of our students also engage in the Department of State’s Diplomacy Lab Program and Wonk Tank competition.

Beyond the Classroom

Get Involved

Participate in our active student organizations including (Inter)National and Regional Model UN, International Model NATO, International Model Organization of American States (MOAS), National and Regional Model Arab League, and National Model African Union.


Get Experience

Internships and cooperative education programs give you an opportunity to receive academic credit for working in a professional setting. Our students complete internships with the U.S. government, international organizations, and national, state, or local administrative agencies. Talk to an advisor who can help you find and secure a meaningful internship opportunity.


Travel and Learn

Although studying abroad isn't required, it can often be a pivotal experience for you. Living in a different country is the best way to understand the differences and similarities between cultures. It allows you to develop a personal expertise in a specific national or regional context while developing your language skills. 




Our faculty members are productive authors, scholars, and award-winning teachers who are always eager to mentor students on research projects in their field of interest. We have experts on Japan, the European Union, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, the United Kingdom, and other nations, as well as specialists in topics like health politics and policies, global economy and development, health security pandemics, and environmental policy. If you'd like some guidance on an undergraduate research project, just ask.


What Our Students Are Saying

Careers and Further Study

What do I do with a major in international public policy?

The program offers a broad liberal arts education, meaning you'll gain critical thinking and writing skills that apply in any field. Graduates work in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of development programs. Our alumni include vice-presidents of major banks, managers in multinational corporations, foreign service officers, civil servants in the Pentagon and United States intelligence agencies, and Peace Corps volunteers. Graduates of this program have also been admitted to some of the most prestigious law and graduate schools in the country. Some common careers of our graduates include:

  • Policy Analyst
  • Policy Developer
  • Military officers
  • Political organizers
  • Journalists
  • Lawyers
  • Foreign aid administrators
  • Government service
  • Law enforcement