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Academics

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I declare an IR major?
A. Complete the Declaration of Major/Change of Advisor form by the end of your sophomore year.

Q. How do I declare my Thematic Concentration?
A. Any declarations of or changes to a previously declared Thematic Concentration must be made using the Declaration of Major form available through SIS.

Q. What materials do I need to graduate?
A. Complete the IR Major Checklist and follow the instructions on the IR Graduation Information email you will receive in the fall of your graduating year. Additional information on steps to graduate can be found on the Registrar's Office website.

Q. The IR Major requirements are not appearing on my Advisement Report, is this ok?
A. Yes; the Advisement Report is only used by the Registrar's Office to track fulfillment of University Distribution Requirements. All IR Major requirements are documented directly with the program, and are logged in our internal system and on the IR Major Checklist.

Q. How many SHUs can I use towards another major/minor?
A. For students with more than one major, no more than 5 courses, and no more than 15 SHUs, used to fulfill the requirements for one major may be used to satisfy the requirements for a second one. No more than two courses used for any minor, regardless of the number of SHUs they carry, may be used toward another major or minor.

Q. Can I use SHUs counted towards the IR major to also fulfill University Distribution Requirements?
A. Yes; there is no limit to the number of SHUs used towards the IR major that may also be used to fulfill University Distribution Requirements.

Q. Can I double count a course among the Core Requirements, the Thematic Concentration Requirements, and/or the IR Language Requirement?
A. There is no double counting between the Core and Thematic Concentration Requirements. Students are permitted double count courses approved for their Thematic Concentration and the IR Language Requirement.

Q. Can one course within my Thematic Concentration fulfill more than one TC requirement?
A. Yes; within a Thematic Concentration, a single course may fulfill more than one Thematic Concentration requirement. This will be indicated in the course announcements and historical course listings for each TC. However, a student who uses a single course to satisfy multiple requirements must still complete a total of seven courses in the Thematic Concentration.

Q. May I petition courses to count towards the IR Major?
A. Students are not permitted to petition courses to count towards the IR major. Each semester the IR Program invites faculty members to submit their courses to the International Relations Faculty Board. The IR Faculty Board then approves these courses, as appropriate, for inclusion in the IR major.

Q. Can I use an Ex-College course to count towards the IR Major?
A. Only if the course is listed in the IR Course Announcement. Ex-College courses must be submitted to the IR Faculty Board and reviewed for inclusion in the IR major, just like any other course offered within the University.

Q. I am planning to study abroad. When should I begin the Transfer of Credit Process?
A. As soon as possible! Courses taken at both Tufts and non-Tufts study abroad programs must be approved by the IR Program in order to be used towards the fulfillment of the IR major. Students are strongly encouraged to start the approval process before they enroll in the course. Please visit the IR Transfer of Credit webpage for more information.

Q. How many courses can I count towards the IR major from study abroad?
A. No more than three courses taken abroad may be applied towards the 12 course IR major (only one of which can be applied toward the IR Core requirements). There is no limit on the number of language courses taken abroad to satisfy the IR language requirement. Please visit the IR Transfer of Credit webpage for more information.

Q. How do I register for a Fletcher course?
A. Tufts students wishing to enroll in Fletcher courses should refer to the Fletcher website for Cross-Registration for Non-Fletcher Students. To receive IR credit for Fletcher courses, follow the IR Transfer of Credit process.

Q. How do I fulfill the Culture requirement for my Thematic Concentration?
A. Students in TC1, TC5, and TC6 must choose from the courses approved for the Culture requirements of their Thematic Concentration. Students in TC2, TC3, and TC4 may alternatively fulfill the Culture requirement by taking a course from the linguistic region they are using to fulfill their Language Requirement. A student FULLY EXEMPT (e.g. native speaker) from the IR language Requirement (with required proof of eighth semester-level of proficiency on Tufts transcript) may select a Culture course from any language category.

Q. How do I fulfill the IR Major Language Requirement?
A. Majors in International Relations must display oral and written proficiency at the eighth semester level in a single foreign language. Please see the Language Requirement webpage for more information.

Q. I took a language course where some instruction was in English. Does that still count?
A. No. Courses used to fulfill the IR language requirement must be taught entirely in the target language.

Q. Can I use a course to fulfill both my IR major language requirement and a TC requirement?
A. Yes. A course used to fulfill the IR major language requirement may also be used to fulfill a thematic concentration requirement.

Q. Who needs to take the Penn Language Evaluation Exam?
A. Any student – including native speakers – needing to demonstrate proficiency in a second language not offered at Tufts. All such students should take this exam early in their academic career so they know their language level as soon as possible and can plan accordingly.

Q. How do I get more information about taking the Penn Language Evaluation Exam?
A. Consult with your senior academic advisor. Prior to each semester, all undergraduates will be sent an email containing information about registering for the exam that is proctored at Tufts. Students should not register on their own. If you have further questions, email languageevaluation@tufts.edu.