Why Study Global Studies?

Global Studies combines aacademic learning with practical experience, providing you with the knowledge, perspectives, and skills needed to understand today’s world—and preparing you for life and work in the global community. Global Studies presents a holistic view of the rapidly changing and increasingly integrated world in which we live. The program is based on two major ideas—events that occur in one area have world wide ramifications, and that major global issues are better understood when addressed from many disciplines. The multi-disciplinary approach of the program helps you develop a breadth and depth of understanding designed to enhance and accompany your traditional major. Global Studies equips you to analyze pressing world issues including poverty, world health concerns, human rights, international conflict and cultural change.

Careers for Global Studies Majors

The Global Studies program imparts a wide range of knowledge and perspectives that can be applied to many employment opportunities, both foreign and local. These talents can be put to use in such areas as:

  • Education
  • Television and Radio
  • Land Use Planning
  • Public Administration
  • International Trade
  • Foreign Service
  • Government Positions
  • Film
  • Business
  • Trade Relations
  • Good Works Organizations (e.g., Red Cross)
  • Nonprofit Organizations for Social Change
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Environmental Organizations
  • International Development

Areas of Emphasis

Development and Social Justice – Today over half of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty, mostly in the developing world. Raising the quality of life for this portion of humanity is a primary goal of economic, political, and social development. However there are many obstacles to development ranging from problems with imperialism and post-colonialism, to failed economic strategies and corruption. Imbalances in the relationship between developed and developing countries may hinder the development attempts of poor countries. Studying these issues leads to understanding global inequality and the causes of, and possible solutions to, the chronic, global problem of poverty.

Globalization and Trade – Trade and political alliances have linked countries and cultures for centuries. In today’s increasingly integrated world understanding the interplay of culture, politics, and economics is vital for businesses, governments, and organizations. Within the vast and complex global marketplace, companies from international corporations to small businesses must respond to issues of changing cultural values and meaning in trade and the interplay of political and economic systems. Studying these issues leads to an understanding of the problems with cultural homogenization and shifting social pressures that arise as a result of globalization, as well as technical aspects of the international economic system and international business practices.

World Health – Global health issues have provided recent headlines for newspapers throughout the globe. As AIDS, Bird Flu, West Nile virus, and many other exotic diseases have spread around the world, people have become increasingly aware of the now global threat of previously isolated diseases. Beyond the fear, the reality that the spread of these diseases is a result of complex economic, political, social, biological, technological and environmental factors needs to be understood. Studying the interplay of these factors and how they affect the health of people around the globe leads to an understanding of global health problems such as disease, famine, malnutrition, and inequality in health and health care.

Responses to International Violence and Conflict – War, terrorism, and other conflicts between nations, cultures, and religious groups have caused chaos in human societies for centuries. The seeds of conflict are often rooted in history, as well as complex ideological, social, and political differences. Often these conflicts arise from resistance to authoritarian regimes or imperial power. Attempts to achieve peace often require communication that creates common goals between the groups embroiled in conflict. Studying these issues leads to a greater understanding of the roots and consequences of war-like situations, and of attempts to reach peaceful outcomes through the efforts of global organizations.

Transnationalism and Cultural Diversity – Many immigrants in the world today are fleeing from conflict and repression, or moving to take advantage of opportunities. The resulting movement of people across political and traditional cultural boundaries is reshaping many societies as cultures are redistributed around the globe. Close contact between cultures can emphasize cultural differences, and can enrich or homogenize cultures. It may also lead to conflict on a variety of levels. Studying these issues leads to understanding the problems of inequality and conflict that result from the movement of peoples into different cultural communities.