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

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The world's greatest challenges—for example, international migration, food security, climate change, human rights, religious freedom and conflict—emerge from interacting global systems and impact the 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 these challenges by placing contemporary issues center stage, in historical context, while engaging students in interdisciplinary exploration and problem solving, and preparing them to be innovative, flexible thinkers within their local and global communities.

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

Our Program

GSI Coordinator
Professor Andy Schlewitz

103 Lake Ontario Hall
Phone: 616-331-8258

Why Study Global Studies and Social Impact?

  • 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 your future career plans, and how you wish to take action in the world.

Through core courses drawn from across the University, students learn how to pose questions and explore problems and solutions through a variety of academic and professional lenses on topics impacting our world, such as:

  • Global systems, such as health care, agriculture and food, and economics
  • The movements of peoples and ideas across the globe such as immigration, human trafficking, communications, and Geotourism
  • Cultural, religious, or gender identities and expressions
  • Regional study of African & African American, East Asian, Latin American & Latino/a, and Middle East cultures

GSI 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


Faculty, students support global sustainable development project

March 28, 2018

Marina Kaneti, Assistant Professor of Global Studies and Social Impact and four GSI students are contributing to an initiative supporting global sustainable development.

GV students, professor team up for global sustainability initiative

February 08, 2018

A team of four GVSU students along with Marina Kaneti, Assistant Professor of Global Studies and Social Impact, team up to work on SDG - Sustainability Development Goals project.

Week of events planned to celebrate new major

November 08, 2016

Area and Global Studies will celebrate the program's newest major, Global Studies and Social Impact, with events that include a keynote address, documentary screening and an open house during the week of November 14.

Human Rights in the Atlantic World

September 21, 2016

Professor Andy Schlewitz talks with Shelly Irwin from GVSU's Morning Show about the upcoming Great Lakes History Conference/Conference on the Americas and the new Area and Global Studies major: Global Studies and Social Impact (GSI).

GVSU creating new bachelor's degree program in Global Studies and Social Impact

April 30, 2016

As featured on MLive: The major, which will launch this fall, is described as having a focus on global issues that appear across national boundaries and cultural regions because the world's greatest challenges demand creative thinking across borders.

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Page last modified July 12, 2018