Global Studies

Faculty: Leonardo E. Figueroa Helland (chair), Gary Marquardt, Giancarlo Panagia, Gretchen Siegler, Brent Olson

Global Studies Goals

The Global Studies  program offers training in the critical, international, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary study of the emergent global society. Global Studies students are trained to develop an acute critical knowledge and a holistic reflective understanding of the various socio-ecological complexities, power relations, and historical dimensions of this emerging global society. Global Studies is a forward-looking field that endows students with the competencies required to fruitfully participate, engage with, and become leaders in the emerging global society.

While Global Studies is concerned with the forces of what is popularly known as “globalization”, Global Studies is more than just the study of contemporary globalization. Global Studies students go much deeper and beyond contemporary globalizing trends to engage critically with the broad contours, deep structures, power relations, interdependencies, complexities, and crucial turning points of the global system in its long historical transformations as well as its projections towards the future. Global Studies prepares students to engage the profound and multidimensional complexity of an increasingly integrated planetary society.

Furthermore, Global Studies students learn the knowledges and skills that are urgently necessary to collaborate across boundaries of nations, cultures, social idenitites and disciplines in order to confront and overcome evermore complex global social and environmental problems, conflicts, and inequities. Global Studies enables students to bring together the knowledges of different disciplines, cultures, and nations to address and overcome challenges that cannot be solved by any one discipline, culture or nation on its own. In short, Global Studies enables students to collaborate across nations, cultures, social categories, and disciplines by teaching how to draw on the vast wealth and diversity of knowledges and approaches from across the world to confront and overcome global challenges.

Students in Global Studies learn to become critical, globally aware, and ethically committed practitioners that can engage beyond boundaries to explore diverse cultural and knowledge horizons, and to foster international and cross-cultural dialogue on the basis of trans-disciplinary competencies. Ultimately, Global Studies is an innovative program that educates students for excellence in the timely and complex art and science of developing viable solutions and alternatives to complex global challenges with a view to shaping a sustainable, just, equitable, democratic, prosperous, and harmonious world.

Program Goals & Objectives

The Global Studies program has the following overarching goals:

  1. Develop a complex understanding of the intellectual and ethical responsibilities of active and global citizenship
  2. Analyze the complexity and interrelationship of local, international, and global issues, processes, trends, and policies
  3. Develop interdisciplinary research skills to evaluate a global problem, or a set of global problems, theoretically and critically
  4. Propose policies, discursive strategies, social actions and other practices to address global problems and support their proposals with research evidence.

The main objectives of the Global Studies program are to enable students to develop the knowledges and skills needed for:

  1. Addressing glocal issues and challenges, proposing problem-based solutions/alternatives
  2. Engaging reflectively, critically, and constructively in relations between cultures, social groups, nations, regions, and civilizations.
  3. Engaging in specific intellectual and practical activities that foster socio-environmental harmony and sustainability.
  4. Challenging power relations, inequities and injustices by critically employing interdisciplinary and transformative skills to foster relationships and forms of community that cherish diversity, social justice, and solidarity.
  5. Navigating and taking advantage of the collaborative convergence of the wide diversity of knowledges, experiences, and worldviews that populate the ‘glocal ecology of knowledge’.

Program Requirements

The minor requires students to complete twenty-four credit hours of Global Studies courses. Students must maintain a minimum 2.3 GPA in all courses required for Global Studies. All students must take  WCSBS 107 Exploring Global Challenges (4 credits) and INTR 307 Advanced Global Studies (4 credits). Students may fulfill the rest of their credits by choosing Global Studies-approved elective courses from at least three different programs (see table below), or by choosing alternative options for elective Global Studies credit in accordance with the criteria explained below. The final requirement is the research project to be submitted as part of the requirements for INTR 307 Advanced Global Studies.

Students must meet the college-wide graduation requirements in addition to the Global Studies minor:

  • 124 total hours
  • 30 upper division hours
  • WCore requirements

Global Studies Minor

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses
INTR  307  Advanced Global Studies (4)    WCSBS 107
WCSBS 107 Exploring Global Challenges (4)  
II. Electives  16 
Interdisciplinary policy for elective credits: In order for students to obtain a truly interdisciplinary Global Studies education, elective credits must be chosen from at least three different programs. In the case that a course is cross-listed in two or more programs, it will only count as having taken a course in one program.  
ANTH 377 Environmental Anthropology (4)
ANTH 388 Anthropology of Globalization (4)
ANTH 399 Anthropology of Tourism  (4)
ECON 365 Economic Justice (4)
ECON 412E Development Economics (4)
ENGL 373 Postcolonial Literature and Theory (4)
Take 2 courses from ENGL 221, 222, and 223.
Environmental Studies
ENVI 351 The Global Environment (4)
ENVI 370 Theories of Nature (4)
ENVI 101
ENVI 101
WCFAH 214 Transnational Cinema (4)
HIST 326 African History Since 1500 (4)
HIST 335 Environmental History of Africa (4)
HIST 340 Latin American History: Discovery of the Americas (4)
HIST 341 Latin American History: Revolution in the Americas (4)
HIST 351 Seminar on Imperialism (4)
WCFAH 102 Alien Encounters in History (4)
WCFAH 112 Patterns of Global Immigration (4)
.Each of the HIST courses requires one of the following prerequisites: HIST 112, 113, 212, 213, 220 / WCFAH 102, 110, 112, 120, 123.
Justice Studies
JUST 344 Environmental Justice (4)
JUST 365 Economic Justice (4)
PHIL 330 Gender, Power, and Identity (4)
PHIL 365 Economic Justice (4)
PHIL 100 or PHIL 102
Political Science
PLSC 306 Comparative Politics (4)
PLSC 315 Global Politics I (4)
PLSC 367 Contemporary Political Philosophy (4)
PLSC 415 Global Politics II (4)
PSYC 325 Multicultural Psychology (4)
PSYC 216 or JUST 216, and PSYC 270; or consent of instructor
Public Health
PUBH 250 Global Health (4)
PUBH 320 Environmental Health (4)
PUBH 305
Alternative Options for Elective Global Studies Credit

  • Course Substitutions: Courses other than the ones listed above may be considered for Global Studies credit as electives if approved by the Global Studies Chair. This includes “May Term” or other Summer courses that fit Global Studies criteria, as well as internships.
  • Language Courses: Students are strongly encouraged to achieve sufficient operational knowledge of a language other than English; sufficient operational knowledge requires having taken at least three courses in that language. Hence, the Global Studies program allows students to substitute a third Language course for an elective (given that at least two previous courses have already been completed successfully in that specific language). Any additional language courses will be approved for Global Studies credit if and only if the Global Studies Chair deems that course fulfills Global Studies criteria in terms of both framework and content.
  • May Term or Summer Courses with Travel Experience: Students are strongly encouraged to take such courses if and when these courses fulfill Global Studies criteria. For courses to be considered for Global Studies credit they must be approved by the Chair based on Global Studies criteria.
  • Study Abroad: Students are strongly encouraged to have study abroad experience if and when courses taken in it fulfill Global Studies criteria. For such courses to be considered for Global Studies credit they must be approved by the Chair based on Global Studies criteria.
  • Policy on Courses with Prerequisites from other Programs. If according to Global Studies criteria the Chair agrees that a given course qualifies for Global Studies credit, but that given course has prerequisites from another program, the Chair will endorse a request addressed to the instructor (or program) to waive such prerequisites for students seeking a Global Studies minor. However, it is ultimately up to the instructor of the given course or its administering program to accept or reject the request.
TOTAL HOURS FOR GLOBAL STUDIES MINOR                             24
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