About Global Studies

About Global Studies

The Global Studies Interdepartmental Program (IDP) provides UCLA undergraduates with a rigorous interdisciplinary education in the principal issues confronting today's globalized world.

Global Studies students are not only given the tools to understand the processes of globalization and their consequences, they are empowered to shape their world as the next generation of global leaders in business, education, government, and the non-profit sector. Housed in UCLA's International Institute, Global Studies offers a research-oriented undergraduate major leading to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), as well as an undergraduate minor.

The Global Studies curriculum focuses on three thematic pillars of globalization: Culture & Society, Governance & Conflict, and Markets.

Culture & Society courses concentrate on the tensions between local ways of life with deep historical, linguistic, ethnic, and religious roots and today's pressures for transnational cultures and multiple identities, fueled by the communication of ideas and the movement of people all around the world.

Governance & Conflict courses focus on challenges to the nation-state from forms of governance above (regional and global governance) and below (autonomy and secessionist movements) and from security threats beyond interstate warfare (ethnic conflict, terrorism, civil wars).

Markets courses address the interactions among global, regional, national, and subnational economic processes and market dynamics, their effects on different societies with respect to economic growth, poverty, inequality, and the interactions among market forces, political institutions, and public policy.

These three pillars of globalization capture the principal dimensions of the multifaceted interconnections increasingly defining the world we live in—among nation-states, international institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and ethnic, cultural, and religious groups. Global Studies examines the ways in which people across the globe are affected every day by an unprecedented array of linkages that defy geographic and political boundaries. Global Studies draws on insights from disciplines across the humanities and social sciences to give students the theoretical and methodological skills and the knowledge base necessary to understand this complex and rapidly changing world.

After successful completion of Glbl St 1, Glbl St 100A, and Glbl St 100B, students pursuing the Global Studies major will attend a summer Global Studies Travel Study program at one of several strategic locations around the world in which they enroll in Global Studies 110A and 110B.  These summer travel study programs, which are all conducted in English, act as a lens allowing students to see first-hand how the issues addressed in the Global Studies core curriculum are playing out around the world in places with distinctive histories and cultures.  Merit based scholarships are available to select Global Studies students who participate in Global Studies Travel Study Summer programs.  More information is available on the Summer Travel Study page.

Highly motivated students are encouraged to pursue the Global Studies Major, which requires them the complete a substantial piece of original research (35-50 pages of text) during their senior year, under the guidance of a faculty mentor (Global Studies 199A, 199B).  UCLA students who are planning to pursue the Global Studies major must apply for the major.  The application period is the end of the Fall Quarter of the Junior Year.  More information about the application can be found at the Applying to the Global Studies Major link.

As with the major, the Global Studies Minor teaches students about the fundamental dynamics of globalization and offers them a multidisciplinary curriculum in the humanities and social sciences through which they can explore the complex and multifaceted interconnections that characterize the contemporary world. It is an ideal complement to all majors in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Student Learning Outcomes for the B.A. in Global Studies

The Global Studies major is a designated capstone major. Through their senior seminar and
research design courses, students must:

• demonstrate appropriate mastery of a specialized area of global studies.
• demonstrate a critical understanding of current scholarly concerns, literature, and
• identify and analyze primary sources.
• design and carry out a research project, drawing on both primary sources and
appropriate scholarly literature.