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:
Students also take four of the following courses.
These courses should be chosen on the basis of the student’s likely choice of track. See below for further information on the three tracks.
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 (globalstudies.umbc.edu).
***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.***
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.
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.
Development, Health, and the Environment
Development, Health, and the Environment prepares students to identify and analyze the challenges and opportunities posed by economic development and globalization, and the goals of improving human health and sustaining the environment. Sustainable development involves enhancing the quality of life for the human population, protecting the environment, and meeting the growing needs of people today without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their own goals. This track embraces economic, environmental, and social sustainability as well as anticipates and addresses major trends such as climate change, natural resource depletions, food scarcity, and urban expansion. Recognizing the interconnectedness of the global economy and the desire of those in developing countries to improve living standards, development that is sustainable will involve changes in the developed world as well.
Students in this track must complete
Four Additional Core Courses
- Four additional core courses (from the list of Global Studies core courses, above).
Six Courses from the Following List of Track Electives.
Students must also complete six courses from the following list of track electives. Five of the six courses must be at the 300-400 level.