International Relations: How the World Works

The subject of international relations is more relevant than ever. We are living through a time of disruption and promise. On one hand, technology offers more people a voice—on the other, populist movements threaten democracy. The world economy is more connected than ever, yet threats like pandemics shut down supply chains and cause shortages. Industry is more productive, but causes environmental ills. How do these problems and potentials interact? Who are the new movers and shakers? What will your role be in the future? If you are interested in international relations, politics, law, economics or just curious about how our world works, this course is a must.

Program Dates

Choose the course length that works for you: 1-week intensives, 2-week sessions, and 4-week sessions


For students ages 13 and up



How Does the World Work — and How Will It Work?

What is International Relations?

Our world isn’t just a collection of nations, leaders, and issues—it’s an intricate system. Learn the history of international relations, skills required, and the many career opportunities.

Understand the Structure of Today’s International System.

Think of it as a chess game, and the resulting power shifts in every move. Explore the players, goals, and rules of the game of international relations.

Learn How Human Rights Have Become a Guiding Force.

Evaluate different world viewpoints on human rights. Review and discuss genocide and the evolution of international human rights law. Are healthcare and education human rights? 

Gain Insight Into the Many Kinds of Force.

Learn how war differs from terrorism and cyber attacks. Study the international laws related to the use of force and a nation’s right to defend itself.

Apply the Tools of International Relations to a Simulated Crisis.

Assume the role of a President faced with a human rights crisis in a far-off nation. Identify the actors, issues, and determine what actions to take.

Explore College Majors and Future Careers.

Topics in this course offer a good background for potential college majors and career paths related to international relations, political science, law, history, sociology, and the sciences.

How You Will Benefit

  • Learn the skills needed to be an international relations professional.
  • Identify the leading players of today’s global system.
  • Learn the different theories of human rights.
  • Be able to discuss environmental issues, international conflict, and technological change in an informed manner.
  • Gain insight into the many forms of global conflict.
  • Discover your role and what your future could hold.
  • Complete a Final Capstone Project to demonstrate what you’ve learned.
  • Earn a Certificate of Completion from Georgetown University.

Student taking Georgetown's international relations course

Three Learning Advantages Designed for You

Final Capstone Project

Assume the role of the U.S. President and make a decision about how to solve a global crisis. This will involve:

  • Writing a “Policy Paper” outlining your goals, recommended actions, and what success looks like.
  • Thinking through how you will modify your decision based on interactions with international organizations such as the Security Council.
  • Answering the question: will you use force, economic sanctions, or diplomacy?


You’ll receive guidance from a mentor who will support you and answer questions throughout your learning experience. You can expect:

  • Encouragement and direction on all assignments.
  • Inspiration and motivation to help you succeed.
  • Brainstorming to help you prepare for your capstone project.
  • Feedback on your Final Capstone Project.

Flexible Learning

  • 100% online learning that works with your schedule.
  • Flexible format: you’ll learn through video lectures. Tune in anytime that works for you.
  • 20 to 30 hours of total instruction and course work, including engaging multimedia, simulations, and curated assignments for which you will receive guidance and support from mentors.

Apply Now for the Next Available Course

June 30 - July 14

Length: 2 weeks

Cost: $1,795.00

Application Deadline: Sunday, June 23, 2024

Type: Enrichment

July 7 - August 4

Length: 4 weeks

Cost: $1,795.00

Application Deadline: Sunday, June 30, 2024

Type: Enrichment

July 7 - July 21

Length: 2 weeks

Cost: $1,795.00

Application Deadline: Sunday, June 30, 2024

Type: Enrichment

What Our Students Are Saying

"It was an amazingly informative experience that lets you connect with people across the world with similar interests to you. That coupled with the ability to take it at whatever pace you want made it an incredibly enjoyable course. "

Jonathan, international relations student from Va.

"The course was super fun, and I feel that I learned a lot! I would absolutely recommend it to anybody interested in International Relations."

Fiona, international relations student from Ill.

Course Designed by Georgetown University Faculty

Dr. Anthony Clark Arend | IR Course Instructor | Georgetown University

Anthony Clark Arend, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair of the Department of Government at Georgetown University

Dr. Arend, a renowned and popular professor at Georgetown University, designed and leads both the international relations and the international law pre-college courses. He earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Foreign Affairs from the Department of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia, and he received his B.S.F.S from Georgetown University. He is also the author of Legal Rules and International Society.

Meet Your Mentors

Gabrielle | Georgetown IR Course Mentor


Georgetown University student working toward a Ph.D. in American Government. Served as a TA for U.S. Politics and Polling and Survey Methodology courses at Georgetown. Gabrielle's research is primarily focused on environmental politics, with a secondary focus on research related to political science pedagogy and democracy in the U.S.

Zarriea | Georgetown IR Course Mentor


Undergraduate student majoring in Finance with a minor in Politics and International Affairs. Completed internships at Bank of America, AT&T, and South State Bank. Aspires to become the Chief Financial Officer of a Fortune 500 company.

Alexis | Georgetown IR Course Mentor


Undergraduate student at Georgetown University majoring in International Political Economy and minoring in Women’s and Gender Studies. Laidlaw Scholar conducting research in eldercare in East Asia. Aspires to work in the federal government as a foreign service officer.

How to Apply

It’s easy. No transcripts or letters of recommendation are required. Our application asks you to provide the following:

  • Basic contact information for you and your parent or guardian.
  • Why you wish to take this course, and a bit of your story, through writing, video, photos—any media you prefer.

Begin the guided process. It should take only a few minutes to answer the questions.

Begin the process

Student applying to Georgetown's international relations course

Want to Know More?

Sign up for more information and we’ll be in touch.


Our application process is easy. You can expect a prompt decision.

Start Application

Frequently Asked Questions

How will you be graded? What are assignments like? How much time do you have to turn around a project? When do you find out if you’re admitted? Find answers to your questions here.

Answers to Your Questions Here


We offer need-based scholarships in each cohort to students exhibiting high potential and an inability to pay full tuition. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship but you:

  • Haven’t applied to the program, complete your application now. The scholarship application is included.
  • Applied to the program and didn’t fill out a scholarship request, resume your application and click “Apply for Scholarship”.
  • Are unsure about whether or not you applied for a scholarship, reach out to us at for assistance.

The University reserves the right to modify the course as may become necessary.