Top 10 International Relations/Studies degree programs in the Philippines

PhISO was established on September 2015 by an open letter written by Nassef which he circulated among IR students and scholars in the Philippines, and whose respondents became the core group and officers of the organization. By the end of September, PhISO’s official website was launched. This was followed by the signing of the charter on October 25 and the creation of a board of advisers by the end of November 2015.

[Ang PhISO ay itinatag noong Setyembre 2015 sa pamamagitan ng isang pampublikong liham na inilathala ni Nassef para sa mga Pilipinong mag-aaral at alagad ng agham pang-ugnayang pandaigdigan. Ang mga tumugon ay nagsilbing kasapi ng sentrong samahan at pamunuan ng PhISO. Ang opisyal na website ay inilunsad noong katapusan ng Setyembre. Sinundan ito ng paglagda ng saligang batas noong Oktubre 25 at paglikha ng lupon ng mga tagapayo sa dulo ng Nobyembre 2015.]

A month after its establishment, PhISO obtained accreditation as partner organization of the International Studies Association (ISA), the premier, highly respected, and widely known scholarly association in fields of international studies. Thus, making PhISO as the first and only Filipino professional organization of International Relations recognized by ISA.

[Makalipas ang isang buwan, ang PhISO ay kinilala bilang kasapi ng International Studies Association (ISA). Ang samahang ISA ay ang pinakatanyag at pinakamalaking kalipunang pang-ugnayang pandaigdigan sa buong mundo. Samakatuwid, ang PhISO ay ang nagmumukudtanging pampilipinong kapisanan ng ugnayang pandaigdigan na kinilala ng ISA.]


For updated IR degree programs available in the Philippines click here.

There are more or less 35 Philippine universities and colleges that offer International Relations (IR) as degree programs. Most of the IR programs in the Philippines are under the Political Science program or concentrated on area studies. My top 10 highly recommended IR degree programs in the Philippines are:

College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
Department of Political Science
MA-BA in Political Science (with cognate courses on International Relations)
UP Asian Center – MA in Asian Studies
UP IIS – MA in Islamic Studies (IR course of the Muslim world is offered)

College of Liberal Arts
Department of International Studies
MA in International Studies major in European Studies
MA in Asian Studies major in Japanese Studies
BA in International Studies major in American, European, Japanese or Chinese studies
De La Salle’s sister schools (Benilde, Dasmariñas, and St. La Salle) offer IR courses.

School of Social Sciences
Department of Political Science
BA in European Studies (International Relations or Business tracks)
BA in Chinese Studies (Business, Humanities or Social Science tracks)
Ateneo’s sister schools in Cagayan (Xavier), Davao, Naga, and Zamboanga have IR degree programs. 

College of International, Humanitarian and Development Studies

College of International Relations
BA Foreign Service major in Diplomacy or International Trade
Lyceum Cavite – BS in Foreign Service major in Diplomacy

The King Faisal Center for Islamic, Arabic and Asian Studies
BS in International Relations

Helena Z. Benitez School of International Relations and Diplomacy

School of Multidisciplinary Studies

School of Arts and Sciences

Specialized IR programs:

Centro Escolar University
Graduate School
PhD and MA in Southeast Asian Studies

Foreign Service Institute (Department of Foreign Affairs)
Carlos P. Romulo School of Diplomacy
–Foreign Service Officers (FSO) Cadetship Course
–Career Ministers’ Course
–Course on Conflict Resolution, Negotiation and Mediation
–Course on Diplomatic Communication
–Basic Course in International Relations
–Course on Foreign Policy Analysis
Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies (CIRSS)

–CIRSS undertakes studies in support of the formulation, review and dissemination of Philippine foreign policy. It also organizes conferences, round table discussions (RTD), lectures, and forums as channels for interaction, cooperation and integration of the efforts of local and foreign experts from government, private and academic sectors on foreign policy issues and their domestic implications.

National Defense College of the Philippines
Department of Academics
Master in National Security Administration

List of the remaining IR programs in alphabetical order:
Ateneo de Naga University
College of Arts and Sciences
BA in Philosophy major in Foreign Service and International Relations

Ateneo de Zamboanga University
School of Liberal Arts
Department of Social Sciences

BS in International Studies major in Chinese, European, Japanese, Korean or Southeast Asian studies.

School of Arts and Education
BA in International Studies
De La Salle University, Dasmariñas 
College of Liberal Arts and Communication
BA in International Development Studies

Institute of Arts and Sciences
Department of International Studies
BA in International Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
BA in International Studies
Manuel L. Quezon University
School of Education, Arts & Sciences
BS in Foreign Service

Department of Arts and Sciences
BS in International Studies major in Japanese Language and Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
BA major in International Studies
BS in Diplomacy and International Relations

URL is inaccessible.

St. Dominic College of Asia
School of International Hospitality and Tourism Management
BS in International Relations

St. Peter’s College, Iligan City

BS in International Relations
– URL is inaccessible.

St. Scholastica’s College
School of Arts and Sciences
BA in Political Science with specialization in International Relations
BS in Foreign Service
College of Arts & Sciences
BA in Foreign Service

University of San Jose-Recoletos
College of Arts & Sciences
BA in International Studies
University of Santo Tomas
Faculty of Arts and Letters
BA in Asian Studies

University of Southern Mindanao, Kabacan

Institute of Middle East and Asian Studies
Department of International Relations
– URL is inaccessible.
University of St. La Salle
College of Arts and Sciences
BA Political Science major in International Studies

College of Arts and Sciences
Department of History and International Studies
BA in International Studies major in American or Chinese studies

College of Arts and Sciences
BA in International Studies
– Ateneo de Davao University
– Ateneo de Zamboanga University
– Liceo de Cagayan University
– Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku
– Mindanao State University, Marawi Campus
– RC-Al Khwarizmi International College
– University of Southern Mindanao, Kabacan
– Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan

See: Tickner and Wæver’s International Relations Scholarship Around the World (Worlding Beyond the West)

NB. This list is not an exhausted one, but those are the well-known programs within the circles of IR academia in the Philippines. To learn how IR became an independent social science discipline, read the compendium project of ISA.

Published by

Nassef Manabilang Adiong, PhD

Nassef works on theoretical research between Islam and International Relations, Muslim governance in the Philippines, and political interaction of Muslim societies with Western modernity. Visit for details.