Undergrad, postgrad requirements for studying International Relations in Canada

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You-know-who
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Hi, I have Physics, Chemistry, Economics and Maths for my A Levels, and honestly I'm still pretty confused about what I want to study. I love all my four subjects, but to be honest, I am more interested in STUDYING Physics and Chemistry and WORKING in a field concerning Economics. So I pretty much planned to study engineering for my undergrad, and then study Economics for my postgrad. However, someone recently told me that when they tried applying for Development Studies in their postgrad in University of British Columbia, with Telecommunications Engineering in their undergrad, UBC emailed them that an undergrad in Eco was one of the entry requirements for the course (even though I can't find the entry requirements in the website).

I did some research on the courses they offer, and so far, International Relations seems like something I want to pursue for my postgrad. However, I still wanted to ask around and check, is it true that in order to study IR I need an undergrad in Eco? Is there absolutely no way I can get in if I study engineering? What about any of the other universities, do they have a similar rule?

Also, I know it makes more sense that I study something in my undergrad that would help me get the skills required for what I'm studying for my postgrad, so I'm looking at PPE (which I really, really, DO want to study), International Relations in undergrad (which UBC seems to offer too), and if nothing else, Economics. Which of these sound like the best option for undergrad if I want to study IR for postgrad?
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zero_gravity
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(Original post by You-know-who)
Hi, I have Physics, Chemistry, Economics and Maths for my A Levels, and honestly I'm still pretty confused about what I want to study. I love all my four subjects, but to be honest, I am more interested in STUDYING Physics and Chemistry and WORKING in a field concerning Economics. So I pretty much planned to study engineering for my undergrad, and then study Economics for my postgrad. However, someone recently told me that when they tried applying for Development Studies in their postgrad in University of British Columbia, with Telecommunications Engineering in their undergrad, UBC emailed them that an undergrad in Eco was one of the entry requirements for the course (even though I can't find the entry requirements in the website).

I did some research on the courses they offer, and so far, International Relations seems like something I want to pursue for my postgrad. However, I still wanted to ask around and check, is it true that in order to study IR I need an undergrad in Eco? Is there absolutely no way I can get in if I study engineering? What about any of the other universities, do they have a similar rule?

Also, I know it makes more sense that I study something in my undergrad that would help me get the skills required for what I'm studying for my postgrad, so I'm looking at PPE (which I really, really, DO want to study), International Relations in undergrad (which UBC seems to offer too), and if nothing else, Economics. Which of these sound like the best option for undergrad if I want to study IR for postgrad?
Hi there.

Based on what I know, I believe you will need some economics courses for International Relations at the postgrad level, but it isn't mandatory to do an undergrad in economics in order to qualify for the program. You shouldn't worry too much about this though, as first-year courses are only required for entry into the program.

Just make sure that you will be able to tie in your studies in engineering with International Relations when you are writing your letter of intent. This is extremely important, as they are evaluating you based on your interest in International Relations.

A more suitable route for you would be to take something along the lines of International Relations or Political Science at the undergrad level, so that you have the basic foundations needed to continue on at the postgrad level. However, it isn't impossible to go from engineering to International Relations, provided that you show that you are capable of applying your knowledge in engineering into a field like International Relations with the basic knowledge at hand.
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You-know-who
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Thanks, that helps.

(Original post by zero_Gravity91)
You shouldn't worry too much about this though, as first-year courses are only required for entry into the program.
Although, could you elaborate a bit on that please, I'm not sure I quite follow?
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zero_gravity
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(Original post by You-know-who)
Thanks, that helps.



Although, could you elaborate a bit on that please, I'm not sure I quite follow?
What I'm saying is that if you have first-year economics courses, then I think you will have a better chance of being admitted into the program. With that being said, you will need to have some electives in political science or international relations in order to have the basic understanding and knowledge of the subject before applying for the postgraduate program.

This would only depend on whether or not you can juggle with your course load, as engineering is a very demanding program where you might not be able to fit everything into your schedule.
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You-know-who
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(Original post by zero_Gravity91)
What I'm saying is that if you have first-year economics courses, then I think you will have a better chance of being admitted into the program. With that being said, you will need to have some electives in political science or international relations in order to have the basic understanding and knowledge of the subject before applying for the postgraduate program.

This would only depend on whether or not you can juggle with your course load, as engineering is a very demanding program where you might not be able to fit everything into your schedule.
Ah okay, got it. I know studying engineering makes no sense for me given I want to pursue the Social Sciences later, I'm still just exploring my options.

One last thing, since none of the postgrad entry requirements in the websites are particularly clear about this, will I be able to apply for International Relations/Sociology for postgrad with an undergrad in Eco, or do I need to do undergrads on IR/Sociology specifically?
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Zefiros
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Mostly you need a related undergrad degree to study something at postgrad. The interpretation of 'related' varies a bit, of course. Maybe you can get into an IR postgrad with an eco undergrad, but that seems borderline to me. Sociology is out of the question, if you ask me.

Why don't you want to study IR at undergrad? Why don't you want to pursue a career in engineering?

Another option would be to go to college in the US and pursue double majors or something. That way you would be able to do an undergrad in both physics and IR, for instance. Another option would be to do one as a major and the other as a minor. College is a flexible system. It might suit you.
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zero_gravity
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(Original post by You-know-who)
Ah okay, got it. I know studying engineering makes no sense for me given I want to pursue the Social Sciences later, I'm still just exploring my options.

One last thing, since none of the postgrad entry requirements in the websites are particularly clear about this, will I be able to apply for International Relations/Sociology for postgrad with an undergrad in Eco, or do I need to do undergrads on IR/Sociology specifically?
Of course it is possible to apply for an IR postgrad with an undergrad degree in economics, but you have to make sure that it ties in with IR. With that being said, you should carefully choose what you want to specialise, since economics is a huge field. Like I said before, the ones that are most similar to IR would be an undergrad degree in IR or Political Science with some knowledge of economics.
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You-know-who
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(Original post by zero_Gravity91)
Of course it is possible to apply for an IR postgrad with an undergrad degree in economics, but you have to make sure that it ties in with IR. With that being said, you should carefully choose what you want to specialise, since economics is a huge field. Like I said before, the ones that are most similar to IR would be an undergrad degree in IR or Political Science with some knowledge of economics.
Thanks for all your help, I'll look into it.
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You-know-who
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(Original post by Zefiros)
Mostly you need a related undergrad degree to study something at postgrad. The interpretation of 'related' varies a bit, of course. Maybe you can get into an IR postgrad with an eco undergrad, but that seems borderline to me. Sociology is out of the question, if you ask me.

Why don't you want to study IR at undergrad? Why don't you want to pursue a career in engineering?

Another option would be to go to college in the US and pursue double majors or something. That way you would be able to do an undergrad in both physics and IR, for instance. Another option would be to do one as a major and the other as a minor. College is a flexible system. It might suit you.
It's not like I don't want to study IR at undergrad, it's just that right now, with no practical knowledge of the real content in the subjects, Anthropology, Sociology and International Relations, all seem like something I would enjoy studying. And an undergrad in IR seems a bit specialised, whereas with an undergrad in Eco, I have more time to reevaluate and choose which of the three fields I want to pursue later (please correct me if this seems naive).

Engineering ... I'm more interested in people. Given the option, I would much rather pick a book that analyses human psychology and behaviour rather than a book that analyses machines. I love studying Literature more than Maths, and even the parts of Maths which interest me are the ones which try to predict patterns in behaviour. Although I find Physics highly interesting, it's just not something that I want to work with. Given my interest in the way things work and from what I've read on the topic, I felt Philosophy would tie them together... hence my interest in PPE (Philosophy, Political Science and Economics).

Yes, a double major in liberal arts colleges in US does seem like a good option, but I would have to sit for my SATs after my A Levels in Jan though; I really don't want the added pressure with my A2's. Since I can apply to Canada with only my A Level results, that's what I'm looking into right now. Speaking of majors and minors, that was what I was thinking... a major in Economics with a minor in either Sociology, IR or Anthropology... whichever I decide that I want to study later? Can I choose my minor in my second or third year? Or, will I be able to apply for either of IR, Sociology or Anthropology for postgrad with just an undergrad in PPE?
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zero_gravity
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(Original post by You-know-who)
Thanks for all your help, I'll look into it.
No problem.

(Original post by You-know-who)
It's not like I don't want to study IR at undergrad, it's just that right now, with no practical knowledge of the real content in the subjects, Anthropology, Sociology and International Relations, all seem like something I would enjoy studying. And an undergrad in IR seems a bit specialised, whereas with an undergrad in Eco, I have more time to reevaluate and choose which of the three fields I want to pursue later (please correct me if this seems naive).

Engineering ... I'm more interested in people. Given the option, I would much rather pick a book that analyses human psychology and behaviour rather than a book that analyses machines. I love studying Literature more than Maths, and even the parts of Maths which interest me are the ones which try to predict patterns in behaviour. Although I find Physics highly interesting, it's just not something that I want to work with. Given my interest in the way things work and from what I've read on the topic, I felt Philosophy would tie them together... hence my interest in PPE (Philosophy, Political Science and Economics).

Yes, a double major in liberal arts colleges in US does seem like a good option, but I would have to sit for my SATs after my A Levels in Jan though; I really don't want the added pressure with my A2's. Since I can apply to Canada with only my A Level results, that's what I'm looking into right now. Speaking of majors and minors, that was what I was thinking... a major in Economics with a minor in either Sociology, IR or Anthropology... whichever I decide that I want to study later? Can I choose my minor in my second or third year? Or, will I be able to apply for either of IR, Sociology or Anthropology for postgrad with just an undergrad in PPE?
Actually I think PPE would complement well with IR. In addition, as a multidisciplinary program, I'm sure this will open up more opportunities for you in the future, given that it is dealing with a number of related fields. On the other hand, econ is more specialised, so it might actually do more harm than good if you do not know what kind of economics you are interested in.

Usually minors can be added any time, provided that you have enough credits and have fulfilled the requirements needed to receive the mention. As for your second question, it would be possible, although I'm not too sure if Anthropology is relevant to PPE.
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You-know-who
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(Original post by zero_Gravity91)
Actually I think PPE would complement well with IR. In addition, as a multidisciplinary program, I'm sure this will open up more opportunities for you in the future, given that it is dealing with a number of related fields. On the other hand, econ is more specialised, so it might actually do more harm than good if you do not know what kind of economics you are interested in.

Usually minors can be added any time, provided that you have enough credits and have fulfilled the requirements needed to receive the mention. As for your second question, it would be possible, although I'm not too sure if Anthropology is relevant to PPE.
Yeah, PPE is actually my first choice for undergrad. The only problem being, as far as I have checked, UBC seems to be the only Canadian university offering PPE. If I don't get in, I'll have to try the others for Econ or do more research and decide which one of the three I really want to study.

Thanks again.
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laurarachelle
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Are you only considering UBC? In my opinion there are many other schools that would be better for International Relations. Just wondering!
Might want to considering UofT, McGill, and Queen's as well.
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Okorange
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UofT has the best IR program in Canada.
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You-know-who
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(Original post by laurarachelle)
Are you only considering UBC? In my opinion there are many other schools that would be better for International Relations. Just wondering!
Might want to considering UofT, McGill, and Queen's as well.

(Original post by Okorange)
UofT has the best IR program in Canada.
I only considered UBC because it's the only university that offers PPE. And because it offers the most scholarships. Will look into the rest too, thank you.
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