May 22, 2024  
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Global Studies, Comparative Globalization Studies, B.A.

Global Studies

The Global Studies B.A. is an interdisciplinary liberal arts and sciences degree. It combines coursework in 11 departments and programs in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences with a rigorous foreign language requirement, study abroad, and experiential learning in the form of internships and other extra-curricular activities. The collaborating departments and programs are: Africana Studies; American Studies; Asian Studies; Economics; Gender and Women’s Studies; Geography and Environmental Systems; History; Media and Communication Studies; Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication; Political Science; and Sociology and Anthropology.

The main objective of the Program in Global Studies is to educate “global citizens” for the global century ahead. We live in a world that is increasingly interconnected - socially, politically, economically, and culturally. More than ever before, globalization requires UMBC graduates to be familiar with the world outside our borders and to understand the deep and ever-expanding links between their lives and those of people in and from other societies. The B.A. in Global Studies equips our graduates with the knowledge, language proficiency, and critical-thinking, conceptual, analytical, and writing skills that will allow them both to do well and “do good” in this world of dizzying change.

Global Studies students choose one of three tracks: Comparative Globalization Studies; Development, Health, and the Environment; or International Affairs. Majors are required to take the following courses:

Upper-Level Electives (18 credits)

Students choose their electives from approved track lists. Students may also choose to earn three of their upper-level credits in a structured, track-related, semester-long internship or faculty-supervised independent study. Some 125 electives will be available to GLBL majors. A master list of courses approved for Global Studies appears on the GLBL webpage (

***Please note: Because the Global Studies curriculum draws from 11 departments and programs, it is impossible to note all the prerequisites in this section of the catalog. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of any prerequisites that may be required before taking particular upper-level courses. For example, upper-level courses in the Department of Economics typically require one or more prerequisites.***

Language Requirement

Students are required to acquire a significant second-language capability, defined as courses or proficiency through the 302-level in a language other than English. If UMBC does not offer courses through the 302-level in a student’s chosen language, the student may meet the requirement through another institution.

Study Abroad/Internship

GLBL majors are required to study abroad, except under compelling mitigating circumstances (e.g., work or family obligations). Students in such circumstances may seek a waiver of the study-abroad requirement. If a waiver is granted, the student will be expected to undertake a GLBL-related applied experience (such as an internship with a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to assist in the settlement and acculturation of immigrants and refugees.) Whether or not they study abroad, majors will be expected to pursue GLBL-related internships. With permission, and as appropriate, one three-credit internship may count as one of the student’s upper-level electives.

Comparative Globalization Studies

Comparative Globalization Studies compares processes of globalization in different times and locations, with an emphasis on power, place, and identity. Courses in this track consider changes wrought by global flows of ideas, people, and commodities. Those flows have reshaped cultural geographies, regions, borders, contact zones, and accents in complex and sometimes contradictory ways. Course offerings pay particular attention to national and transnational identities, indigenous and diasporic cultures, and colonialism and post-colonialism. While our inquiries are often focused on a specific topic, region, or identity group, coursework consistently situates the local in its global context. This necessarily interdisciplinary track fosters development of the intellectual flexibility needed to study the dynamic and ambiguous objects, identities, and practices that comprise globalization.

Two of the Following Core Courses

Two of the following core courses (from the list of Global Studies core courses, above):


Students must also complete two additional courses from the list of core courses.

Elective Courses

To complete the Comparative Globalization Studies track, students must select six of the following elective courses, selecting one from each of the following groups. Five of the six courses must be at the 300-400 level.