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2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Global Studies and Social Impact

Global studies and social impact is an interdisciplinary major with a focus on understanding, through multiple perspectives, global issues and how they affect people in all areas of the world.

Requirements for a Major in Global Studies

There are 39 credits required for the major, plus 12 credits for B.A. degree or plus nine credits for B.S. degree.

Core Courses

Nine credits are required, including:

Area Studies Electives

Twelve credits are required.

Choose two areas (AAA, EAS, LAS, MES) and take two courses from the list of courses available from each area. In the case of Meijer Honors College sequences, students need to take the entire four-course sequence to earn credit for that area. An asterisk (*) designates experiential learning.

African and African American Studies (AAA)

East Asian Studies (EAS)

Latin American Studies (LAS)

Middle East Studies (MES)


Eighteen cluster credits are required.

Students choose two courses from each of the three clusters. No more than two courses from each discipline. GSI 490 may only be taken once for credit. An asterisk (*) designates experiential learning.

Places, Movements, Encounters Cluster

Courses in this cluster help students to think about how place and culture connect, and about how people and ideas move and shift in a global world. Students will learn how the fast changing, globalized world is constantly presenting new challenges and new kinds of encounters and opportunities.

Expressions and Identities Cluster

Courses in this cluster address issues of individual and social identity in a global context. Students will learn to think theoretically and apply this knowledge to understandings of gender, race, ethnicity, class, spirituality and sexuality, and the construction of hybrid identities.

Systems and Actions Cluster

Courses in this cluster focus on large-scale and global policies and structures within which people and ideas circulate. Students will learn to think about human agency within such structures, as well as how to critically evaluate how these structures enable and challenge social justice locally and globally.

B.A. or B.S. Degree

This major offers both B.A. and B.S. degree options.

B.A. Degree Requirements

Students who opt for the B.A. degree must gain fourth semester proficiency in a world language.

B.S. Degree Requirements

To complete the B.S. degree, students must take:

One of the following research methods courses:

One of the following additional courses in methodology or statistics (cannot be the same methods course selected previously):

Experiential Learning or Study Abroad

Students are required to complete either an experiential learning course or study abroad. An experiential learning course takes the place of one cluster course. Study abroad course takes the place of one area studies course.

Suggested Order of Coursework for a Major in Global Studies

Year One

Year Two

Year Three

Year Four

Global Studies Program Description

Click here for the program description.

If you are in need of assistance please submit any questions or comments.