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Global Studies and Social Impact, B.A., B.S.

The world's greatest challenges - food, security, climate change, human rights, religious freedom, and conflict - emerge from interacting global systems and affect everyday lives of people in local communities. Addressing these challenges demands creative thinking across national and disciplinary boundaries.

Global Studies and Social Impact (GSI) addresses this need by placing contemporary issues center stage, and preparing students to be creative, flexible thinkers within local and global communities.

Visit the program website for more information.

Program Overview

Students earn a B.A. or B.S. in GSI by taking courses organized around interdisciplinary global themes. Students also choose two world regions to study in more depth.

Why Pursue Global Studies and Social Impact at Grand Valley?

  • Learn to think in an integrated, interdisciplinary way about problems and issues affecting people across the globe.
  • Plan a course of study around the global and social justice issues for which you have a passion.
  • Build intercultural competency and communication skills through the required experiential learning opportunity such as taking a course that includes a service learning project, studying abroad, or completing an internship.
  • Gain important foreign language capabilities or build skills in research methods and statistics, depending on future career plans, and how you wish to take action in the world.

Location & Format

Undergraduate students in this major study at Grand Valley's Allendale Campus.

  • Face To Face


Through courses drawn from across the university, students learn how to explore problems and solutions through a variety of academic and professional lenses. Topics students explore include:

  • Global systems, such as health care, food, and economics
  • The movements of people and ideas across the globe such as immigration, human trafficking, and geotourism
  • Cultural, religious, or gender identities and expressions

Career Options

Global studies and social impact prepares students for employment in a wide variety of fields, including:

  • Nonprofit and social service agencies
  • Government and non-government agencies
  • Education
  • Global human resources
  • Public affairs
  • Intercultural consultation
  • Business and communication

Combined Degree Programs

This undergraduate degree can be combined with a master's degree to save you time and money, and get you into the workforce sooner. On average, students save $8,500 in our combined degree programs and take up to four fewer classes than if earning the degrees separately.

You can even build your own combined degree from programs in different disciplines to further personalize your education and meet specific career goals.

Admission Requirements

Visit the Admissions website for undergraduate requirements.

For More Information

Global Studies and Social Impact
117 Lake Ontario Hall
(616) 331-8110

Admissions Office