Jun 12, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Global Studies, B.A.

Global Studies

Global Studies encompasses both the academic study of globalization, the processes and interactions that have converted the world into a single interdependent whole, as well as the ways groups of people of the world interact and integrate culturally. This perspective is holistic not just because it is interdisciplinary, but because it challenges the “national frame” upon which traditional academic disciplines have been built. That traditional framework is focused on national economies, politics and societies, and globalization is seen as merely the creation of more “bridges” between them. In Global Studies, the starting point is not any national entity but the processes and interactions that have integrated human life on a global scale. Global Studies is built on the acknowledgement that political power, economic influence, and cultural norms are not determined solely within nation states, or their territorial predecessors, but are also influenced by actors such as international organizations, multinational corporations, transnational and subnational groups, and non-governmental organizations and by the interactions between cultures.

As an academic field in the liberal arts, Global Studies seeks to educate citizens with a global, holistic and cosmopolitan perspective on the problems of the past as well as those faced by the world today, from social inequality and women’s rights to terrorism and climate change. Even when these problems have been and still are experienced locally or nationally, they have a global dimension and require global solutions. In this context, majoring in Global Studies really means understanding the shared experiences and diverse but interrelated influences in our pasts and becoming a “global citizen” for the global century ahead.

Global Studies majors must complete the three required courses (GLBL 100 - Introduction to Global Studies  , GLBL 300 - Research Methods in Global Studies  , GLBL 400 - Approaches to Globalization  ) of Tier I.  From Tier II, students choose at least two classes, all of which have the study of globalization (or an aspect thereof) as a central component of the course. The remaining track electives from Tier III include the study of global, transnational and international processes as well as the study of specific dimensions of human societies (economy, culture, technology, etc.) across major world regions (more than two countries) or historical epochs.

Language Requirement

Students must complete a foreign language up to the 301 level at UMBC or the equivalent at another institution (including study abroad universities) with a C grade or above. Alternatively, the program will accept the completion of a course higher than the 301-level taught in a foreign language at UMBC (courses with code corresponding to a specific language: SPAN, GERM, etc). The program will also accept the completion of a heritage language course with a C grade or above at UMBC.

Global Experience Requirement

Students must complete a study abroad experience: a regular fall/spring semester or a summer/winter semester in a program led by UMBC faculty or a program pre-approved by both the Global Studies Program and the Study Abroad Office. When exceptional circumstances prevent the student from going abroad, the student may petition the program to substitute a combination of specialized pre-determined additional course work and service learning for study abroad. 

Tier I: Core Courses

Students must take the following GLBL required core courses:

Tier II and Tier II Course Requirements

Of the 9 courses required of Tier II and Tier III (at least 2 globalization courses and up to 7 track electives) selected by each student: (a) no more than 4 may be from the same department, (b) at least 3 must be upper level, (c) at least two areas of the College (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) must be represented. The program will designate on the Global Studies website, which courses fall in each area(s).


Tier III: Track Electives

Students, when selecting among their electives, may choose to focus on certain areas or tracks such as:  Culture, Place, and Identity;  Development, Health, and the Environment; Global Governance, Human Rights, and Civil Society; or they may choose to organize their own track from the courses listed under “Track Electives.” Please see the Global Studies website for these track listings. 

Students must take 7 track electives from the following list: