Diplomacy & World Affairs

Requirements

MAJOR: The major in Diplomacy and World Affairs has two main components: a core of courses required of all students (taken in the departments of DWA, Economics, and languages), and an additional set of upper-division electives, focusing on specific topics in international relations. All DWA majors must take the following:

WRITING REQUIREMENT: Students majoring in Diplomacy and World Affairs will satisfy the final component of Occidental College's writing requirement by taking one 300-level DWA junior seminar. These seminars will focus on preparing students to do their Senior Comprehensive Project (DWA 490) and will include substantial writing assignments and a requirement that the instructor deem a student's writing proficient. See the Writing Program for additional information on the College's writing requirements.

  1. DWA 101, DWA 201, and DWA 490.
  2. Economics 101, 102 and either DWA 220 or Econ 311.
  3. The equivalent of four college semesters of one language, or two college semesters each of two languages.
  4. One 300 level DWA course listed in the course catalog under "junior seminar" to meet the junior writing seminar requirement (note: all 300 level classes fulfill the junior writing seminar requirement).
  5. Four additional classes numbered 200 or higher in International Affairs at the College. At least two of these courses must be in DWA. Department credit can be given for up to two courses in international relations from a different Occidental academic department, the United Nations Program, or from study abroad; off-campus courses must be approved by the department chair prior to departure.

WRITING REQUIREMENT: Students majoring in Diplomacy and World Affairs will satisfy the final component of Occidental College's writing requirement by taking one 300-level DWA junior seminar. course that is listed under "junior seminar.' These junior seminars will focus on preparing students to do their Senior Comprehensive Project (DWA 490) and will include substantial writing assignments and a requirement that the instructor deem a student's writing proficient. See the Writing Program for additional information on the College's writing requirements.

COMPREHENSIVE REQUIREMENT: Seniors will complete DWA 490 as their comprehensive requirement in the spring of their senior year. There are three options within DWA 490:

  • Thesis: a 30-50 page thesis based on independent academic research.
  • Policy Seminar: Small group seminar based on in-depth readings on key issues in International Relations and policy presentations by students on their topics of expertise.
  • Film/Documentary: Production of a documentary film that advances knowledge in the IR field. To undertake the documentary option, it is a requirement that you have completed ArtF140 from the AHVA/Film department. It is recommended that you have taken at least one additional course in documentary production or theory in the AHVA/Film department, preferably ArtF242.

Details on these options will be given to students during the spring of their Junior year. Students must submit a proposal for the option they hope to pursue during the fall semester of their senior year for approval by the department.

HONORS: Qualified majors may achieve Departmental Honors at graduation through (a) maintenance of an overall grade point average of 3.25, with a 3.5 GPA in the major (inclusive of courses from all departments taken at Occidental that count toward fulfilling DWA major requirements. Study abroad, language, and Oxy-at-the-U.N. courses do not count toward the major GPA); and (b) completion of the comprehensive requirement with a grade of Pass with Distinction (Honors). Those interested should see the Honors Program and consult the department chair for details, preferably in the junior year.