International and Comparative Policy Studies

The program at Reed in international and comparative policy studies (ICPS) is designed to meet the academic needs of students interested in pursuing a major involving interdisciplinary work in the areas of international relations, comparative policy analysis, and international economic development. Course offerings reflect the interests of faculty members working in this general domain. Courses applicable to the ICPS major come from relevant areas within the departments of anthropology, economics, history, political science, and sociology; some are selected courses in foreign language departments (as indicated in the approved list of ICPS courses, available from the ICPS Committee).

The aim of the ICPS program is to provide students a firmer disciplinary basis within the social sciences and a clearer focus on the related concerns of international relations, comparative policy analysis, and international economic development. Students are expected to combine their ICPS course of study with work in a home department: economics, history, political science, or another department with the consent of the ICPS Committee. ICPS majors will be identified respectively as ICPS–economics, ICPS–history, ICPS–political science, etc.

Admission to the Major

To be admitted to the ICPS program, a student must petition the ICPS Committee for acceptance to upper-division standing. The petition, normally submitted in the second semester of the sophomore year, must include a rationale for the program to be pursued, a statement of the student’s concrete educational objectives, and the list of courses planned for the junior and senior years. Since acceptance into the ICPS program is not automatic, applicants should be prepared to pursue an alternative course of study.

Requirements for the Major

A. Foreign Language Requirement
If appropriate to a student’s proposed course of study, the ICPS Committee may require working knowledge of a foreign language. This may be defined as two, or more than two, Reed units in the language; or passing the Reed language placement examination at the appropriate level; or passing a special examination under the ICPS Committee’s supervision.

B. ICPS Core Requirement

  1. Economics 201 (Introduction to Economic Analysis) and one of the following: Economics 342 (International Macroeconomics), 345 (European Economic History), 382 (Economics of Development), 383 (International Trade), 385 (Asian Economies in Transition), or another unit in economics at the 300 or 400 level as approved by the ICPS committee.
  2. Political Science 210 (Introduction to Political Behavior) and either Political Science 220 (Introduction to Comparative Politics) or Political Science 240 (Introduction to International Relations).
  3. Any two history courses, only one of which may be in American history. (Cross-listed courses may be used for this requirement only with the consent of the ICPS Committee.)
  4. Two units of courses outside the student’s home department, not including the above courses, that contribute to an understanding of international or comparative policy issues. Students may use courses drawn from the approved list of ICPS courses, available from the ICPS Committee, or other courses as approved by the ICPS Committee. ICPS–sociology majors may fulfill this requirement with Sociology 211 and either Sociology 357 (Political Sociology) or 280 (Social Movements).

C. Home Department Requirement
Students must fulfill the following course requirements in their respective home department (these may include courses listed above to fulfill the ICPS core requirement):

ICPS–economics major:

  1. Economics 201 (Introduction to Economic Analysis), 313 (Microeconomic Theory), 314 (Macroeconomic Theory).
  2. Three additional economics courses, two of which must be related to international policy.

ICPS–history major:

  1. 1. Six units of history courses, distributed so as to include, chronologically, at least one unit before 1800 and one unit after 1800, and geographically, at least one unit in each of the following three areas: 1) Europe, 2) United States, and 3) areas outside the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. (The same course may fill both a geographical and a chronological requirement. No more than two cross-listed courses from other departments may be included.)
  2. One semester of a junior seminar (which may count as one of the six units above).
  3. Humanities 210, 220, or 230 is recommended, but not required (in which case it can be used to satisfy the college’s Group A requirement).

ICPS–political science major:

  1. Political Science 210 (Introduction to Political Behavior), Political Science 230 (Introduction to Political Philosophy), and one of the following courses: Political Science 220 (Introduction to Comparative Politics) or Political Science 240 (Introduction to International Politics).
  2. Statistics: one of Mathematics 141, Economics 311, Sociology 311, or Psychology 348.
  3. Three additional units in political science, two of which must be in international relations, comparative politics, or public policy.

ICPS–sociology major:

  1. Sociology 211 (Introduction to Sociology), and either Sociology 357 (Political Sociology) or Sociology 280 (Social Movements).
  2. Four additional sociology courses, preferably with an international focus.

D. Junior qualifying examination
ICPS students will take the junior qualifying examination required in their respective home department. In addition, they will submit to the ICPS Committee a short thesis research proposal (four to six pages), on which they will have a one-hour oral examination administered by two members of the committee. In the proposal the student must define the thesis topic, discuss some of the major issues involved in it, explain the methodology to be used in researching the topic, and present a short critical bibliography of relevant secondary works and/or primary resources.

E. Thesis
Each student must complete a thesis appropriate to the ICPS major, dealing with international relations or a comparative policy study involving two or more countries. The thesis adviser would ordinarily come from the ICPS Committee, or, with the committee’s approval, from the student’s home department. The ICPS Committee will approve the choice of first-draft reader.



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