Global Studies

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

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.

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.

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 & 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 & create the world

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


Please contact the GST Faculty Coordinator if you have any questions, concerns or ideas about the Global Studies major. To declare the GST major, please contact the First Year & Pre-Major Program.

Academic Advisor

Research Librarian


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

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)

Global Studies

  • BIS 281 Contemporary Political Ideas and Ideologies
  • BIS 282 Globalization
  • BIS 339 Issues in Global Cultural Studies
  • BIS 480  International Study Abroad
  • BISGST 397 Topics in Global Studies
  • BISGST 497 Advanced Topics in Global Studies


  • BIS 268 Problems in World History to 1500
  • BIS 269 Problems in World History after 1500
  • BIS 354 Modern European Intellectual History
  • BIS 372 Representation, Colonialism, and the Tropical World

Comparative Studies

  • BIS 257 Introduction to Asian American Studies 
  • BIS 328 Contemporary European Politics
  • BIS 374 Middle East Politics

Human Rights

  • BIS 279 Introduction to Law and Society
  • BIS 353 Human Rights in Theory and Practice
  • BIS 403 Washington D.C. Seminar on Human Rights
  • BIS 414 Topics in Human Rights
  • BIS 466 Human Rights and Resistance
  • BIS 468 Human Rights and Sustainable Development


  • BIS 224 Introduction to Feminist Studies
  • BIS 227 Rad Women in the Global South
  • BIS 310 Women, Culture and Development
  • BIS 324 Gender, Human Rights, and Global Cinema 
  • BIS 471 Women in Art
  • BISGWS 302 Histories and Movements of Gender and Sexuality


  • BEARTH 341 Natural Hazards and Human Disasters
  • BIS 242 Environmental Geography
  • BIS 385 Art and Climate Change
  • BIS 386 Global Environmental Issues
  • BIS 459 Conservation and Sustainable Development

Political Economy

  • BIS 218 The Power of Maps
  • BIS 232 Introduction to Data Visualization
  • BIS 284 International Relations
  • BIS 320 Comparative Political Economies
  • BIS 332 Global Digital Industries 
  • BIS 394 Comparative Economic Development
  • BIS 441 Global Labor Markets
  • BISGST 324 International Political Economy

Global Arts, Media, and Culture

  • BIS 233 Participatory Media Culture
  • BIS 235 Critical Media Studies
  • BIS 264 Africa on Film
  • BIS 317 Language, Society and Cultural Knowledge
  • BIS 352 Mapping Communities
  • BIS 363 Politics and Popular Music
  • BIS 388 Literature in Translation
  • BIS 470 Art, Politics, and Social Change
  • BISAES 305 Power, Dissent, and American Culture
  • BISAES 363 Conflict and Connections in the Americas
  • BISAES 367 Exploring American Cultures: Race, Ethnicity and Immigration
  • BISMCS 333 Media and Communication Studies

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
  • BEDUC 475 Global Perspectives on Diversity and Citizenship Education

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