Global Studies


On this page: Major Description | Requirements | Learning Objectives | Faculty & Staff | Courses

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The Global Studies (GST) major at the University of Washington Bothell engages students in active learning about critical policy and governance issues that provide insight about living and working in globally-connected environments. Academic and other learning experiences about political and social movements as well as demographic changes focus on theories of nationalism, representation, feminism, and postcolonialism to understand the practice of globalization.

Do courses like Human Rights and Resistance or History of Economic Nationalism sound interesting to you?
Do you want to explore a career in Public Policy, Foreign Affairs, or Humanitarianism?


Students in the Global Studies major are passionate about understanding global and intercultural issues that unite or divide people and places. Students spend time in conversation about topics like diplomacy, human rights, and global challenges.


Courses in Global Studies focus on project-based learning about the political, economic, and cultural forces that shape our regions, nations, and the world. Engagement in research and practice with digital mapping tools and involvement in research help students demonstrate global interconnectedness and interdependency to the public.


Using their ability to work effectively with global and diverse perspectives, graduates in the Global Studies major serve in business, education, law, social services, security and defense, and public administration across various governmental sectors.

Major requirements

Recommended Preparation

Interested in exploring this major but not ready to commit? Consider taking one of the below courses! Any of these selections will help familiarize you with the academic program and prepare you for advanced coursework in the major.

  • BIS 282 Globalization
  • BIS 284 International Relations


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.

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.

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:

  1. Link economic, political and cultural processes that unite and/or divide people and places across the globe.
  2. Identify how power structures are produced through local, national and transnational levels and inform individual and collective experiences.
  3. Practice cultural humility by considering transnational histories and geographies from the lived experiences, creative expressions and intellectual perspectives of marginalized groups.
  4. Recognize and communicate the historical depth of global inequities, systems of power and legacies of resistance.
  5. Collaborate with peers and various community partners in scholarly and creative activities.
  6. Learn creative and critical approaches to pose and address questions about the world, and your place in it.



Academic Advisor

Research Librarian


A. GST Core Course (GST:CORE)

  • BISGST 303 History and Globalization

B. GST Methods Courses (GST:METHODS)

  • BES 301 Science Methods and Practice
  • BIS 215 Understanding Statistics or equivalent
  • BIS 232 Introduction to Data Visualization
  • BIS 312 Approaches to Social Research
  • BIS 340 Approaches to Cultural Research
  • BIS 342 Geographical Information Systems

C. GST Elective Courses (GST)

  • BIS 218 Power of Maps
  • BIS 224 Introduction to Reminist Studies
  • BIS 227 Rad Women in the Global South
  • BIS 233 Participatory Media Culture
  • BIS 235 Critical Media Studies
  • BIS 242 Environmental Geography
  • BIS 257 Introduction to Asian American Studies
  • BIS 279 Introduction to Law and Society
  • BIS 282 Globalization
  • BIS 284 International Relations
  • BIS 310 Women, Culture and Development
  • BIS 317 Language, Society, and Cultural Knowledge
  • BIS 320 Comparative Political Economies
  • BIS 324 Gender, Human Rights, and Global Cinema
  • BIS 332 Global Digital Industries
  • BIS 339 Issues in Global Cultural Studies
  • BIS 352 Mapping Communities
  • BIS 353 Human Rights in Theory and Practice
  • BIS 363 Politics and Popular Music
  • BIS 372 Representation, Colonialism, and the Tropical World
  • BIS 374 Middle East Politics
  • BIS 386 Climate Change Adaptation Policy
  • BIS 388 Literature in Translation
  • BIS 394 Comparative Economic Development
  • BIS 403 Washington D.C. Seminar on Human Rights
  • BIS 414 Topics in Human Rights
  • BIS 459 Conservation and Sustainable Development
  • BIS 466 Human Rights and Resistance
  • BIS 470 Art, Politics, and Social Change
  • BIS 475 American in Europe (Study Abroad Program)
  • BIS 480 International Study Abroad
  • BISAES 305 Power, Dissent, and American Culture
  • BISAES 364 Public Memory and Dissent in American Culture
  • BISAES 367 Exploring American Cultures: Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration
  • BISGST 324 International Political Economy
  • BISGST 397 Topics in Global Studies
  • BISGST 497 Advanced Topics in Global Studies
  • BISGWS 302 Histories and Movements of Gender and Sexuality

Issues, topics & project courses

Topics courses under the below course numbers may apply to the GST major depending on the subject and title. Please see the Time Schedule notes to determine how they count toward the major.

  • BIS 293 Special Topics
  • BIS 305 Issues in Social and Political Philosophy
  • BIS 308 Issues in Philosophy and Culture
  • BIS 313 Issues in Media Studies
  • BIS 314 Topics in Geography
  • BIS 322 Topics in Performance Studies
  • BIS 329 Topics in Mathematics Across the Curriculum
  • BIS 341 Topics in the Study of Culture
  • BIS 358 Issues in Environmental Science
  • BIS 393 Special Topics
  • BIS 396 Topics in Sustainability
  • BIS 397 Topics in Environmental Studies
  • BIS 410 Topics in Qualitative Inquiry
  • BIS 431 Issues in Sexual Politics and Cultures
  • BIS 442 Advanced GIS Analysis & Applications
  • BIS 447 Topics in Quantitative Inquiry
  • BIS 460 Topics in Critical Theory
  • BIS 476 Issues in Art History
  • BIS 485 Topics in Cultural Studies
  • BIS 491 Topics in Policy Studies
  • BIS 493 Special Topics
  • BIS 496 Community Service Project
  • BISMCS 471 Advanced Topics in Media and Communication
  • BISMCS 472 Advanced Media Production Workshop

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IAS students may submit an online Major Petition form to request that alternate coursework satisfy a School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences (IAS) major requirement. Students must be admitted or declared in an IAS major in order for the online petition to be reviewed.