Frequently Asked Questions


– Why does the major have tracks and do I have to have one?  

The GLBL program uses tracks to help you organize your elective course work around themes within the field.  For example: cultural identity, sustainable development, and global governance are areas of focus within Global Studies.  Post-fall 2018 majors should use the tracks as organizing tools. Mixing and matching courses between the suggested tracks is fine. Find your own niche. Pre-fall 2018 majors declare tracks and use them to more formally inform their elective selection.


-Can I choose between the pre-fall 2018 curriculum and the post-fall 2018 curriculum if I am Global Studies major?

No. This is a delineation based on when you declared the major. The overall thrust of the GLBL program remains the same (interdisciplinary coursework, foreign language attainment beyond the University’s GEP requirement, and a study abroad experience). There are several noteworthy changes for the Post-fall 2018 cohort, including level of foreign language attainment, tracks as optional rather than mandatory organizational tools, and a third required GLBL course.  Pre-fall 2018 majors must stay with that curriculum. This is still available from the GLBL website and in the 2017-18 undergraduate catalog (link here).  The current catalog (2018-19 reflects the Post-fall 2018 curriculum.


– Do I have to study abroad?

All GLBL majors are required to engage in a study abroad experience (regular semester or UMBC-faculty-led summer or winter term).  Should you have truly exceptional circumstances that preclude fulfillment of this requirement, there is the opportunity to formally petition the program.  We have a wonderful study abroad office at UMBC, we recommend you meet with them and attend an information session, a “Study Abroad 101” meeting as soon as possible to begin planning your time abroad.


-Can I start a new language at UMBC for the GLBL language requirement?

It is possible to start a new language as a first-year student and complete coursework through the intermediate level.  The usual path, however, is to continue the study of a language already undertaken during high school and/or community college work.  You are urged to be realistic about a plan to finish this requirement.  You know your capabilities in this area and so you and your language professor(s) here at UMBC can make the best determination about a workable path.


-What if the interdisciplinary courses that I want to take have pre-requisites?

Since the GLBL major is built around coursework from 13 different departments/programs in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS), it is up you to carefully read the requirements for distribution of courses and to carefully choose courses each semester from the schedule of classes.  Every GLBL student will have a registration appointment so that guidance can be given in course selection.  Pre-requisites and recommended preparation should be taken seriously when choosing courses.  A discussion with the professor of the class you wish to take can lead to clarity on whether or not you are ready for it.


-Is it required that I complete an internship with this major?

Internship experience is strongly recommended, but not required for GLBL majors.  Experiential learning of some kind (volunteer, internship, fellowship, etc.) prepares you for the job market and is a key component of preparation.  The UMBC Career Center and the Shriver Center here on campus are two excellent resources available to all students.


-Can I double major and choose minors in addition to a major in Global Studies?

Yes, you can certainly pair a Global Studies major with another major, minor or certificate.  When deciding on this, you should keep your GLBL major requirements in mind, especially the foreign language and study abroad. It is also important to plan out how long it will take to fulfill work in multiple departments/programs when making this decision.  Be sure to secure advising help for any additional major, minor, certificate work.  The Global Studies Academic Adviser is here to help with your GLBL major.


– How can I do research as part of this major?

The GLBL major for post-fall 2018 majors has a research methods course (GLBL 300) as part of the required course sequence.  This class will prepare you to conduct research within the field. Ideally, you will be able to take work done in a class setting and pursue more in depth research on the topic. Since Global Studies at UMBC is a program and not a department, we urge you to approach your seminar professors from other departments, in addition to those of us working directly with GLBL about research interests and opportunities.


-What kind of a job can I get when I graduate?

Global Studies is a broad field that prepares students for work in a number of different areas, including economic development, environmental sustainability, law, policy and governance, and public history, among many others. Our alumni go on work in the public, private, and non-profit spheres.


-To what type of graduate programs can GLBL majors apply?

Of course, our majors can apply to Global Studies masters and doctoral programs.  We also have a number of alumni in law school, graduate programs in Anthropology, Economics, Gender and Women’s Studies, Geography, History, Political Science, Sociology, Visual Arts and various other areas.  Decisions in this regard are somewhat dependent on course specialization within the major.  The tracks help define areas of interest for our majors.