May 25, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Global and Regional Studies

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The Global and Regional Studies (GRS) major is designed for students preparing for an increasingly global environment through the multidisciplinary study of global processes or a major world region. The course of study integrates several academic disciplines, language proficiency, cultural literacy, independent research, and residential experience abroad.

The GRS major is geared toward students who want to focus their major on international studies writ large instead of a single academic discipline. This interdisciplinary approach best facilitates the student’s gain in cultural literacy, language acquisition, and the ability to understand and analyze critically global and regional connections, processes, and development outcomes from multiple academic perspectives. The GRS major allows students to focus on a major region of the world (eg, Europe, Latin America, East Asia, etc), or broader themes and issues that cut across world regions. Students may also opt for a concentration in global justice.

Faculty Advisory Board

María Luisa Ruiz, PhD, Professor of World Languages and Cultures (Spanish), Director, Institute for Latino and Latin American Studies, Director 

Ronald Ahnen, PhD, Professor of Politics

Zeynep Atalay, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology

Jennifer D. Heung, PhD, Professor of Anthropology

Helga Lénárt-Cheng, PhD, Associate Professor of World Languages and Cultures (French and German)

E. Elena Songster, PhD, Professor of History

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Global and Regional Studies Program will demonstrate:

  • ABILITY TO DEFINE their place as a citizen in global society.
  • UNDERSTANDING of the political, economic and cultural interconnectedness that constitutes our world today.
  • ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE at a basic functional level of proficiency in a language other than English specific to their geographical region of study.
  • ABILITY TO ANALYZE specific social aspects of a geographical region employing in a competent and creative way the appropriate conceptual and theoretical tools of the following disciplines: anthropology, economics, history, literature and art, and politics.
  • ABILITY TO INVESTIGATE the increasing interdependent nature and complexity of cultural, economic, environmental, political, and social processes that constitute the global experience, and to examine those processes from a global justice perspective.

Career Opportunities

Graduates will be in a position to work for the ever- growing number of international agencies, organizations and businesses. Increasingly, language proficiency and overseas experience are requirements for jobs. Employers seek persons experienced and qualified to function in another language and culture.

Other students go on to graduate school in international business, international studies, or in their minor field. Most major universities have graduate international or area studies programs that offer a natural next step for students interested in further developing their expertise.

Beyond career advancement, many students will find that the immersion in another culture expands their understanding of the human experience and permanently enriches their lives.

Major Requirements

Track Selection

Students first select between one of two tracks in the major: Global Studies or Regional Studies. Students in the Global Studies track may opt for a concentration in global justice studies. Students in the Regional studies track must select a specific region of the world in which they have a particular interest and wish to focus their studies. Four choices are available: East Asia, Europe, Latin America, or student defined (eg, North Africa, Middle East, etc). Student-defined regions must receive approval from the Director of Global and Regional Studies. Regional Studies track students must complete the requirements of a minor area of study chosen from Anthropology, Economics, History, World Languages and Cultures, or Politics.

Optional Global Justice Concentration

Global Studies track students may opt for a concentration in global justice studies. The concentration requirements are:

  1. complete POL 115  
  2. complete an internship with a local organization or business while focusing on a global justice issue (may be completed in conjunction with an independent study course that counts as a Group B course).
  3. write the senior thesis on a global justice topic (approved by the instructor).


Students in both tracks must complete the equivalent of level four (4) semesters in a foreign language (appropriate to the region if selected). Language study should correspond with the country where students wish to spend their study abroad. The interdisciplinary and language courses taken by students will prepare them for critically engaged learning experiences.

Study Abroad

Study abroad is a vital component of the GRS major and provides students with an important experience that allows them to understand more directly the cultural complexities and lived experiences of their region of study. Regional studies track majors are strongly encouraged to spend a minimum of one semester studying abroad in their selected region during their junior year in a country that corresponds with their foreign language study. Global studies track students are also strongly encouraged to study abroad for a semester in any region of their interest, or may opt for a semester long internship with an international focus.

Minimum GPA

Students must be mindful of meeting the minimum GPA requirement of the study abroad program of their choice, which range from 2.8 to 3.5.


    Bachelor of Arts

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