About the Master's Program

Global Studies is an emergent field concerned with understanding the historical and contemporary phenomenon of globalization. The University of California at Santa Barbara offers a Master of Arts in Global Studies. The two-year degree program, launched in the fall of 2006, is especially well suited for students who wish to engage in or study global civil society, governance, or development.

This degree is intended to help prepare students for international careers in non-governmental organizations (NGOs), businesses, and global organizations, while some students may go on to pursue a Ph.D. in a related social science or humanities field. Internships and/or study abroad help to further prepare graduates to meet the intellectual and practical challenges facing global governance and civil society organizations. Please remember that our M.A. and Ph.D. are separate programs, and that admission to the M.A. is not routinely transferrable to the Ph.D. 

The Master's program is made possible in a large part through the generosity of Paul Orfalea and the Orfalea Family Foundation. M.A. students are offered full tuition support, but are generally required to TA most quarters for living expenses. In their second year, M.A.'s are offered partial support for internships, but usually need to pursue some additional funding across the university.

The Master's curriculum is sectioned into three areas of specialization: 1) global culture, ideology, and religion; 2) global governance, human rights, and civil society; 3) political economy, sustainable development and the environment.  Students complete gateway coursework in all three areas, as well as research methodology and design, before focusing on a specific area to research. The program typically involves an internship and/or study abroad component, graduate elective coursework in an area of specialization, mastery of a second language, and a master's thesis to earn the degree.

For prospective students: the online application for the upcoming academic year will be available in early September. Please use the Admissions link for detailed information and useful application links.