Why Study Global Studies?

Global Studies at PLU combines classroom 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. As a Global Studies major, you will learn to analyze global issues from multiple perspectives and learn about challenges such as poverty, international conflict, migration of people, securing human rights and development strategies that ensure social justice.

Global Studies majors are required to participate in at least one Study Away program. PLU offers programs on all seven continents and is a national Top 10 university in the percentage of undergraduates who study away.

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. Here are examples of where Global Studies Alumni have worked:

• Refugee Women’s Alliance
• Peace Corps
• Lutheran Volunteer Corps
• U.S. Department of Labor
• U.S. Department of State
• Sainte Luce sur Loire (France)
• CBS Broadcasting
• La Raza Centro Legal Services
• American Civil Liberties Union
• Americans for Transit
• ELCA Young Adults in Global Missions
• McBee Strategic Consulting (advocacy, lobbying in Washington)

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.

International Affairs – 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 Its Consequences – 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.