Global Studies

Global studies is an interdisciplinary major that focuses on social transformation and innovative responses to seemingly intractable problems. Global studies students learn to think across disciplines, to move between the the local and the global, and not to lose sight of the realities of human lives at the center of our investigations.

As it fundamentally changes the world, globalization restructures the way states, societies, communities, and individuals relate to one another, creating new challenges that cannot be met by nations or markets alone—challenges such as climate change, nuclear proliferation, human trafficking, international trade regulations, poverty and hunger, the effects of new communications technology, and unprecedented migration. Global studies prepares students to understand these problems and bring about a more just and equitable world.

The program places particular emphasis on directed research and foreign language study. Course clusters for elective study include

  • The Ground Beneath Our Feet: Places, Peoples, and Encounters [PPE]
  • Rules of (Dis)Order: Markets and States, Networks and Hierarchies [MS]
  • Co-Existence or Non-Existence: Rights, Justice, and Governance [RJG]
  • Global Spaces: Urban, Media, Environment [GS]

The Global studies major offers unique opportunities for sharing experiences and coursework with programs in urban studies, media studies, and environmental studies. Global studies majors can combine their degree with one of a number of planned and existing minors (such as Middle East studies, religious studies, and gender studies) or, with their advisor's permission, pursue a double major. The major can also make up part of a five-year combined bachelor's and master's program leading to a graduate degree in international affairs, media studies, economics, and other disciplines. Experience on the ground is an important aspect of global studies, and the major gives students the chance to apply their knowledge in internships and fieldwork in New York and abroad.