Bachelor of Arts

Global Studies (GST)

On this page: Major Description | Requirements | Learning Objectives

The Global Studies Major

Global Studies (GST) majors explore the cultural, political, and economic systems that bind people across the world.  They gain the historical perspective needed to assess claims about “globalization,” and develop the critical and analytical skills necessary to understand the forces that shape our world. 

Global Studies emphasizes critical research skills, historical depth, and the use of a range of theories and frameworks.  Those may include theories of representation, political economy, feminism, nationalism, human rights, social movements, critical development studies, and postcolonialism.

Faculty who teach in GST work across a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields, including history, anthropology, the arts, feminist studies, sociology, political economy, critical race studies, cultural and media studies, geography, environmental studies, and human rights. GST students learn to think critically about the history and practice of globalization through interpretation, empirical research, digital mapping and other forms of project-based learning.

Career Focus

Graduating GST students are particularly well-equipped to pursue professional careers in areas that are focused on the ways in which we globally interact today. These include international relations, non-governmental organizations, law, education, journalism, environmental justice, global health, business, policy and advocacy, and philanthropic organizations. GST students are also prepared for advanced study in geography, gender studies, anthropology, history, media and cultural studies, political science, and international studies. Here is more information about career possibilities or pursuing graduate school.

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GST Major Requirements


While there are no official requirements beyond the requirements for admission into the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, students choosing this major will find it especially helpful to have completed college coursework in such areas as anthropology, arts. cultural studies, economics, foreign languages, geography, political science, and world history. We highly recommend taking a 200-level global studies course before taking the core course, History and Globalization (BISGST 303). Please talk to an IAS advisor or faculty member about appropriate courses.

Degree Requirements

  • BIS 300 Interdisciplinary Inquiry* - min. 2.0 grade (5 credits)
  • BISGST 303 History and Globalization (5 credits)
  • Methods Course (5 credits)
  • GST Courses (30 credits)
  • BIS 499 Portfolio Capstone - min. 2.5 grade (5 credits)
  • Additional IAS Coursework (20 credits)

TOTAL = 70 Credits

*Should be taken in the first quarter of IAS enrollment.

School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences (IAS) Requirements & Policies

Interdisciplinary Practice & Reflection (IPR)

The IPR requirement can be completed through elective credits or it can overlap with major coursework.

Areas of Inquiry

25 credits must be completed in each Area of Knowledge. The Areas of Knowledge are: Arts and Humanities (A&H), Social Sciences (SSc), and Natural Sciences (NSc).

Multiply-designated courses may not be double-counted as fulfilling two Areas of Knowledge. Courses may apply to both an Area of Knowledge requirement and an GST major requirement.

Upper Division Credit Policy

Of the credits applying to GST major requirements, a minimum of 48 must be completed at the Upper Division (300-400) level.

Matriculated status

Courses taken to satisfy GST major requirements must be completed in matriculated status.

Admitted prior to Autumn Quarter, 2016?

Students admitted to the GST major prior to Autumn 2016 may be eligible to complete an older set of major requirements. For more information, please check Requirement Changes Autumn 2016 page.

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Global Studies Learning Objectives

The Global Studies curriculum advances the five core IAS learning objectives. Students taking courses and/or majoring in Global Studies will address the following learning objectives:

Critical Global Analysis

Link economic, political and cultural processes that unite and/or divide people and places across the globe.

Analyze Power Structures

Identify how power structures are produced through local, national and transnational levels and inform individual and collective experiences.

Practice Cultural Humility

Practice cultural humility by considering transnational histories and geographies from the lived experiences, creative expressions and intellectual perspectives of marginalized groups.

Engage in Historical, Theoretical and Creative Research

Recognize and communicate the historical depth of global inequities, systems of power and legacies of resistance.

Respond Collaboratively

Collaborate with peers and various community partners in scholarly and creative activities.

Question and Create the World

Learn creative and critical approaches to pose and address questions about the world, and your place in it.

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