International Relations Program

For over 20 years, OSAP has offered a unique opportunity for students to study international relations, analytically and normatively. The course lecturers and visitors have expertise in the field and often come with first-hand knowledge of decisions that they personally participated in. Oxford, with colleges dating back almost 800 years, is a special place for study, helping students to form the connection between contemporary problems and classical debates.

In addition to the lectures and academic work, the program offers central Oxford housing, tours of Oxford and to places like London, Windsor Castle, and Cambridge, and several informal receptions. Students will have an optional travel period at the conclusion of the program, during which to travel and explore throughout the UK and Europe (e.g. Rome, Paris, Munich, etc.).

Lecturers have included Ambassador Sir John Johnson, former Director of the Oxford Foreign Service Programme, Lord Jock Stirrup, former Chief of the Defence Staff, Robert Schuettinger, former Oxford Visiting Fellow in International Relations and former White House foreign policy advisor, Myles Young, Warden of New College, University of Oxford, Nick Timothy, Former Joint Chief of Staff to UK Prime Minister Theresa May, and Professor Margaret MacMillan, Former Warden, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford.

IMPORTANT: Please note that International Relations course students do not have Oxford college or Bodleian Library affiliation. If you wish to study as an associate member (i.e. a summer student with Oxford college and Bodleian Library affiliation) please refer to the following information:


In this program, International Relations is broadly understood to include comparative government, political history, and international business. The lectures, readings, and class discussions will explore various theoretical perspectives, giving insight into the main actors, institutions, and issues facing the world today. Through the organizing concepts of security, identity, and globalization, the course explores a range of critical concepts, including the role of the nation-state, the rise of international integration, the rise of ethnic and religions regionalism, political violence and terrorism, the causes of war, and the environmental future. Students are also encouraged to explore Oxford and learn about the Oxford system of education, to better understand the various ways that universities might be organized.

The program is coordinated by its Director, Mr Corey Gustafson, Lecturer in Political Science, California State University—San Bernardino. Mr Gustafson can be reached at [email protected].

Schedules and Syllabi

OSAP offers the syllabus below, from previous years, as an example of a typical IR Program Schedule. Naturally not all speakers listed in the sample schedule will be available every summer, nor can OSAP guarantee that the same Oxford college/Oxford University lecture rooms that appear in the sample schedule will be available for every session. However, we aim to hold the same number of lectures and events in college lecture rooms or gardens (or within the premises of an Oxford University department or facility) as listed in the sample schedule.

Credits and Credit Transfer

At the conclusion of the course, successful students will be issued a transcript by OSAP which will recommend 3 US semester credits for the course. The transcript will include a covering letter, Academic Report (listing the course title, grade, and recommended credits), and the course syllabus.

For Summer Program students who take the optional Oxford tutorial, the OSAP transcript will recommend a further 3 US semester credits, and will include a tutorial report issued by the student’s tutor.

During the program, students remain candidates for degrees in their home college or university (if enrolled), and are not candidates for a degree in Oxford University. It remains, then, entirely the prerogative of the home college or university to decide how much (if any) credit they wish to award for the academic work accomplished during the program. Therefore it is important for you to obtain approval from your home college advisors in advance of the program. It will be entirely up to them to evaluate your work so you should keep copies of any academic work accomplished in Oxford, together with the course syllabus and any reading lists. We urge you to discuss your plans with your overseas study adviser, your department head, or your registrar to obtain the benefit of their advice. As stated elsewhere in this acceptance letter, you should make certain in advance that your home college would approve your credit transfer.

If your home campus requires a transcript from an accredited North American institution of higher education, OSAP may be able to arrange for our American school-of-record to issue an “American-formatted” transcript. It is essential to apply well in advance of the program for consideration for this transcript. For more information on obtaining a school-of-record transcript, please contact Mr Corey Gustafson at [email protected].

Dates and Fees

The International Relations Program takes place in July ever year.

The 2024 Summer Program begins on 02 July 2024 and concludes on 27 July 2024.

The cost for the Program is $4,850.00, which includes the lecture series, central Oxford housing, three or more educational tours of Oxford and the surrounding cities of cultural and educational significance, and several informal receptions (not transportation to and from Oxford or food).

For an additional fee of $1,250, students may enrol in an optional one-to-one tutorial course (in any academic subject) taught by an Oxford University tutor. OSAP will recommend an additional three credits for such students (for the three-meeting tutorial course) and will provide housing for an additional two weeks (until 09 August 2024). If you are interested in registering for a tutorial course, please contact Corey Gustafson directly ([email protected]).

Payment Schedule

Upon acceptance, students will be issued an invoice which outlines the following payment schedule and methods of payment–listed below for the 2024 Summer Program:

  • Initial Non-Refundable Deposit – Due Upon Acceptance: $300.00
  • Payment 1 – Due 01 April 2024: $2,425.00
  • Payment 2 – Due 15 May 2024: $2,125.00


OSAP’s IR Program is open to all students aged 18 and older, of all majors and grade levels.


For more information on the IR Program, please contact Mr Corey Gustafson at [email protected].

Application Process

Applications for the 2024 Summer Program are currently open. To apply, please complete and submit the online application below.

There are a limited number of places available, so it essential that applicants begin the process as soon as possible.

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"I would say OSAP is better because there is more integration with British students and a better safety net. Plus, the housing is better."

"I did not realize how much work I would actually be doing, but the tutors were not only friendly and helpful but really made me enjoy my work. I learned to really think for myself and could explore my own interests."