International Relations and Global Studies

Education Abroad for IRG Majors

Spending time in an academic setting outside the United States enables IRG majors to step outside of the confines of the University to study global affairs from a different vantage point while allowing students to apply foreign-based coursework toward their degree.

There is an ever-expanding number of study-abroad programs that cater to many different specific interests, which can be explored in greater depth through the UT Education Abroad Office.

Students who are undocumented or otherwise unable to travel abroad due to special circumstances should consult with an IRG advisor to discuss alternative options.

NOTE: Due to the impacts of COVID-19, the study abroad requirement is currently waived for students graduating through spring 2022 only. Spring 2022 graduates can submit a study abroad waiver request online. Fall 2021 graduates should email

Study Abroad FAQ's for IRG Majors

When will I know if my study abroad waiver has been waived?

This process will take up to three weeks. Students will be notified via Secure Academic Note upon the completion of your waiver. We ask that students refrain from submitting more than one waiver. If you feel as though you have a circumstance that requires you to submit more than one waiver, please contact your IRG advisor at to confirm.

How soon should I begin planning for my education abroad?

ASAP!  You should begin thinking about where and when you want to study abroad your first semester as an IRG major.  This is especially important if you plan on going abroad for a long semester or full year.

When should I study abroad?

If you're planning on doing a Maymester or summer program, you can very likely study abroad as soon as the summer after your first year at UT.  For semester or year-long programs, students generally study abroad the spring of their sophomore year, or during their junior year.  IRG majors are STRONGLY discouraged from studying abroad during their senior year, as doing so may delay graduation.

Can the courses I take abroad be applied to specific IRG degree requirements?

Yes, with careful planning you can take courses abroad that will fuilfill IRG major requirements, including track, language, and area studies requirements.  You typically cannot take courses abroad to fulfill the IRG 301, IRG 320F, and IRG 378 requirements.  Theses courses must be taken in-residence with UT Austin.  

How will I know if a course I take abroad will fulfill an IRG major/minor requirement?

UT Education Abroad maintains an online credit database listing many UT Austin equivalencies for abroad courses.  You should check this database first to see if a course you plan to take has already been evaluated.  If the course you plan to take is not in the database, UT Education Abroad will assist you with getting the course evaluated.  For IRG track consideration you must ALSO email a copy of the course syllabus to the IRG advising office at  For courses not taught in English, please translate the syllabus into English prior to submitting it to IRG.  

Are there specific study abroad programs for IRG majors?

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the IRG major, many study abroad programs can be a great fit.  Your IRG advisor can help you identify good courses to take during your summer, semester or year abroad and UT Study Abroad can help you find programs that offer these courses.

What if I have already studied abroad or graduated from high school abroad?

If you have already studied abroad at the university level, or graduated from high school abroad, please contact the IRG advising office as this may fulfill the IRG study abroad requirement.

Am I allowed to take courses abroad that don't apply to specific IRG major requirements?

Although it's ideal to take courses abroad that go towards specific IRG degree requirements, it is possible to take courses abroad for elective credit.  Additionally, if you are pursuing a double major/dual degree or you are completing a certificate at UT Austin, it is possible to take courses abroad to fulfill requirements in both.  Prior to enrolling in courses you should talk with your advisor in each major or certificate regarding study abroad course selection.

How can I get started with study abroad? (Last updated: August 3, 2021)

  1. Meet with an IRG Academic Advisor to discuss program options and courses abroad
  2. Watch Explore – Education Abroad 101 virtual information session (required)
  3. Watch a thematic information session or attend a live event with Education Abroad Program Coordinators (optional)
  4. Search Programs
  5. Select courses from:
    1. My Credit Abroad Database
    2. IRG track database (request courses from your IRG Academic Advisor)
    3. Your study abroad program’s website*
      *Courses not found in My Credit Abroad should be submitted to Education Abroad for evaluation. Prospective track courses should also be emailed to
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