The world order — and where it’s heading

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.

Apply to International Relations

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 a system in which every element plays a role. Learn the history of International Relations, the skills required, and the many career opportunities in the field. 

Understand the structure of today’s international system

Think of it as a chess game, and the power shifts that result in every move on the board. Explore the players, structure, 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 conventional war differs from covert actions, terrorism, and cyber attacks. Study the international laws related to the use of force. How is the right of a nation to defend itself defined?

Apply the tools of international relations to a simulated crisis

Assume the role of President of the United States, and you are faced with a human rights crisis taking place in a far off island nation. Identify the actors and issues and make a decision on what actions to take.

Explore college majors and future careers 

Topics covered 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.

Decorative: student studying international relations at her own pace

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 project.

Flexible Learning

  • 100% online learning that works with your schedule.
  • 20 to 25 hours of total instruction and coursework, including engaging multimedia, simulations, and assignments.
  • Receive guidance and support through videos featuring Professor Anthony Clark Arend, Ph.D., of Georgetown University. Tune in any time that works for you.
  • Guidance from a mentor who can support you, answer questions, and provide feedback on assignments. 
  • Interact with fellow students from around the world.

Apply now for the next available course

February 6 - March 6

International Relations: How the World Works

Length: 4 weeks

Cost: $1495

Application Deadline: Sunday, January 30, 2022

March 6 - April 3

International Relations: How the World Works

Length: 4 weeks

Cost: $1495

Application Deadline: Sunday, February 27, 2022

March 13 - March 20

International Relations: How the World Works

Length: 1 week

Cost: $1495

Application Deadline: Sunday, March 6, 2022

All course options have the same educational content, learning materials, and number of assignments. We are offering a condensed version of the course in order to accommodate students’ individual schedules.

Course designed by Georgetown University Faculty

Decorative: Photo of Dr. Anthony Clark Arend, Ph.D.

Anthony Clark Arend, Ph.D.

Dr. Arend is Professor and Chair of the Department of Government at Georgetown University. 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 the author of Legal Rules and International Society.

Meet Your Mentors

Decorative: Mentor for International Relations course, Alana


Georgetown University student working towards a Bachelors of Science in International History with a focus on the history of race relations in the Atlantic, and a minor in Jewish Studies.

Decorative: Mentor for International Relations course, Jack


B.A. Government with focus on International Relations from Georgetown University, 2021. Head delegate of Georgetown's Model United Nations Team.

Decorative: Mentor for International Relations course, Grant


B.S. International Politics with a concentration in U.S. Foreign Policy and a certificate in Diplomatic Studies from Georgetown University, 2021. Works at the PeaceTech Lab.

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.

Decorative: student completing an application to online pre-college program

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: