Major Overview

Global Studies encompasses both the academic study of globalization, the processes and interactions that have converted the world into a single interdependent whole, as well as the ways groups of people of the world interact and integrate culturally. This perspective is holistic not just because it is interdisciplinary, but because it challenges the “national frame” upon which traditional academic disciplines have been built. That traditional framework is focused on national economies, politics and societies, and globalization is seen as merely the creation of more “bridges” between them. In Global Studies, the starting point is not any national entity but the processes and interactions that have integrated human life on a global scale. Global Studies is built on the acknowledgement that political power, economic influence, and cultural norms are not determined solely within nation states, or their territorial predecessors, but are also influenced by actors such as international organizations, multinational corporations, transnational and subnational groups, and non-governmental organizations and by the interactions between cultures.

As an academic field in the liberal arts, Global Studies seeks to educate citizens with a global, holistic and cosmopolitan perspective on the problems of the past as well as those faced by the world today, from social inequality and women’s rights to terrorism and climate change. Even when these problems have been and still are experienced locally or nationally, they have a global dimension and require global solutions. In this context, majoring in Global Studies really means understanding the shared experiences and diverse but interrelated influences in our pasts and becoming a “global citizen” for the global century ahead.

Courses that are required for the Global Studies major (GLBL core courses listed below) have the study of globalization (or an aspect thereof) as a central component of the course. The general electives from which GLBL majors must choose include the study of global, transnational and international processes as well as the study of specific dimensions of human societies (economy, culture, technology, etc.) across major world regions (more than two countries) or historical epochs