Global Studies Department History
Global Studies was established as an interdisciplinary major within the Global and International Studies Program in 1998. It provides an undergraduate major that is distinctive in its emphasis on transnational processes and interactions that bring the world together across traditional national boundaries. It is one of the first programs in the nation to offer a degree with contemporary as well as historical globalizing trends as the central organizing theme.
The major includes two introductory gateway courses in global history, culture, and ideology and on global socioeconomics and politics and is built around three upper-division core courses that provide a coherent introduction to global culture and ethics, global ideologies and world order, and global economy and development.
Through its elective requirements, the major also affords students an opportunity to take additional courses offered by other departments and programs in the university: three in global issues and another three in one particular region of the world (Africa, the Middle East, South/Southeast Asia and the Pacific, East Asia, Europe and Eurasia, Latin America, or North America).
The Global Studies major requires three years of language study, which can be fulfilled all in one language or by taking two years of one language and an additional year of a second language. This requirement is consistent with the program’s belief that language study is essential to the study of the global and the international, whether it leads to greater facility in a single language or broadened familiarity with the way two different languages can open windows on the world.
Is the Global Studies Major for Me? As a prospective or recently-admitted student, what do I need to know?
- Do you have a passion for world events and global issues like human rights, environment, and social justice?
- Do you like to immerse yourself in other cultures or get excited about learning new languages?
- Are you interested in bringing a well-informed global worldview to any career path you choose, whether domestic or international?
- Do you like to explore multiple perspectives and compare diverse regions and countries across the globe?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, this might be the major for you!
What career opportunities exist within this major?
Global Studies is a broadly-applicable field; there is no one career path that graduates of our undergraduate program follow. We see our alumni exell in a wide variety of careers and job descriptions - think of the jobs where you benefit from:
- the ability to compare and contrast across cultural perspectives
- a deep knowledge of how historical, political, cultural, economic, and social forces have shaped our world into what it is today
- a perspective that allows you to "think globally but act locally"
- strong knowledge of at least one other foreign language
Some fields that Global Studies graduates go on to work within:
- Global organizations, including non-profits
- NGOs (non-governmental organizations)
- Cultural exchange programs
- Business (domestic and international)
- International affairs, international relations, diplomacy
- Education (K-12 and beyond)
- Healthcare, including public health
- Governmental agencies and public policy organizations
- The legal field
- The tech industry
What Global Studies is not:
- We're not a business major (although you will be challenged to understand how economic systems shape political and cultural landscapes around the world)
- You don't have to move abroad or work in international relations after UCSB with a Global Studies degree - our local communities benefit greatly when the members of that community understand what life is like in other countries and cultures
Here is a document with tips related to job and career searching, inclduing notes from our May 2021 Global Studies alumni career panel (stay tuned for future repeats of this fabulous event!)
I'm ready to join the Global Studies major; where should I start?
- For more information about preparing to join the major as a newly-admitted freshman or transfer student, click here.
- Please visit our Undergraduate Advising page for other frequently asked advising questions, including changing your major, the major requirements, transfer orientation materials, and more.