Global Studies

Bachelor of Arts – Global Studies
Undergraduate Minor - Global Studies
Office Phone: (217) 206-6646
Office Location: PAC 350

Departmental Goals and Objectives

The world of the twenty-first century is one of both great promise and great danger; one in which technological changes promise to bring us closer together, but ideological, cultural and religious diversity threaten to pull us apart.  The task of a university in this complex era must be to produce students, who, as citizens and community leaders, can provide an informed public that can make the difficult policy choices future generations will face.

Global Studies examines the interactions and inter-relations among countries and peoples across the globe; studies particular regions and cultures in a comparative and interactive way; and considers issues affecting more than one country.  The curriculum is designed to provide students with the tools necessary to understand how other peoples see the world and the issues confronting the global community.  The degree uses an interdisciplinary approach that emphasizes political science, history, economics, sociology/anthropology, communications, gender studies, and environmental studies.  Within these disciplines, as well as across them, students learn a variety of theoretical approaches for understanding global issues such as war and peace, globalization, and development. 

The Bachelor's Degree


Majors in Global Studies are advised by faculty appointed to the program.  However, majors are welcome to seek the advice of associated faculty who teach courses in the program as well.  Particular care is required in choosing courses in the upper division concentrations, and one of the tracks (the self-designed concentration) requires the written approval of an advisor.

Grading Policy

Global Studies majors must receive a grade of C (2.0) or better in GBL 301 and in GBL 491.

Transfer Courses

Transfer courses will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Communication Skills

Every Global Studies student is required to demonstrate, by testing or successful completion of four semesters of college-level foreign language, an intermediate competency in a spoken language other than their native tongue.

Degree Requirements

The overarching theme of Global Studies is an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to global learning. This is carried out primarily through courses at the introductory level and the capstone. These courses are designed to introduce students to thinking about the world in an interdisciplinary fashion, and at the end of their major to help them understand how all of the parts they have studied interrelate with each other. In between, majors are required to take a core curriculum in economics, history, political science, and world cultures. Once the core curriculum is completed, students have the choice of taking one of several concentrations:  Globalization, Politics and Diplomacy, or a self-designed concentration agreed upon between the student and his/her advisor.

A second element of the major requires each student to take course work that introduces both international and comparative methods of analysis. This is done explicitly in the core courses on international relations, comparative politics, and world cultures. As a result, students learn not only the power of interdisciplinary, but also how these disciplines can be applied in a variety of ways to understand relationships and focus on both similarities and differences among nations and societies.

Core Courses

ECO 201Introduction to Microeconomics3
ECO 202Introduction to Macroeconomics3
GBL 301Introduction to Global Studies3
PSC 371ECCE: Introduction to Comparative Politics3
PSC 373Introduction to International Relations3
GBL 491Global Studies Capstone2
Select one of the following Regional History courses:3
Making of the West
Topics in Middle Eastern History
Introduction to the Modern Middle East
History of Premodern East Asia
History of Modern East Asia
European History
Select one of the following Culture courses:3-4
Introduction to World Literature
ECCE: Cultural Geography
Understanding Cultures
Select a Research Methods Course (PSC 451, SOA 411, or other with advisor approval), or fulfill foreign Language requirment 10-16
Total Core: 23-40
Electives: 12-16 (four courses)
Total Hours35-56

After completion of the first seven core courses above, students then focus on one of a number of topical concentrations (12 to 16 hours). Two of those concentrations are Globalization, and International Politics and Diplomacy. A third option allows for a self-designed concentration (with advisor approval) that focuses on a thematic topic such as the Environment & Development, Women Across Cultures, etc.

The final course in the curriculum, GBL 491-Global Studies Capstone, is designed to help students to weave together the components of their curriculum.

While theory is important, Global Studies majors also have the opportunity to put their learning to the test of experience. One of these ways could include participating in the Model United Nations (MUN) simulation (by taking PSC 478 and PSC 483), which requires students to represent a country (usually not the US) at the UN, learn UN procedures, practice the diplomatic arts of persuasion and coalition building, and learn about the issues facing their adopted country. A second way that students can learn from experience is by participating in one of our study-abroad programs. Special encouragement is given to students to enhance their foreign language skills by choosing to study abroad in a country where the foreign language of their choice is spoken. Finally, each Global Studies major is required to do a three - six hour "civic engagement" experience. In addition to Study Abroad, this might include doing an internship at the US headquarters of a multinational corporation, or for a non-governmental organization (NGO) dealing with human rights or the environment.

Global Studies Minor

The Global Studies minor provides students with the tools necessary to better understand the complex and changing world of the twenty-first century. The learning objectives of the minor are to convey knowledge not only of global issues, but also of comparative methods of analysis (i.e., the similarities and differences between and among states, societies, and cultures); and to provide an interdisciplinary approach that integrates the knowledge and methods that history, political science, economics, sociology/anthropology, women and gender studies, and geography/environmental studies have to offer.

To earn a minor in Global Studies, students must complete a minimum of 15 or 16 semester hours of upper-division course work at UIS. In exceptional cases, a student may submit a Student Petition to have up to eight hours of transfer credit accepted toward the minor. Transfer students still must take the core course and follow distribution requirements.

The required core for the minor is GBL 301. In addition, electives, totaling 12-16 semester hours, must be taken from two areas:

  1. Two courses (six - eight credits) that provide an international perspective, and
  2. Two courses (six - eight credits) that provide a comparative perspective

Students may not take more than one course in their major field of study to fulfill the Global Studies minor requirements. Students should consult with a Global Studies faculty member to ensure that they are meeting their individual needs and the requirements for the major.

Core Course
GBL 301Introduction to Global Studies3
International courses6-8
International Trade and Finance
International Business
China's Environment and the World
Islamic Civilization
ECCE: Reading Arab Pasts
ECCE: Conflict in the Middle East
ECCE: Christian-Muslim Encounters
American Foreign Relations in the 20th Century
Studies in Latin American History
Europe In The 20th Century
Topics in 20th Century World History
ECCE: The Pacific War: World War II in East Asia
Russia from the Revolution to the New Cold War
Modern China
Modern Japan
International Human Rights Law: Skills and Advocacy
International Management
Introduction to International Relations
Globalization and the Future of Democracy
ECCE: Economic Analysis
International Law and Organizations
International Political Economy
ECCE: Latin American Politics
Politics of Western Europe
Terrorism and Public Policy
War and Peace
American Foreign Policy
International Politics of the Middle East
Russian Politics
National Model United Nations
Model United Nations
Mexican Migration to the U. S.
Comparative courses6-8
Business and Developing Countries
ECCE: International Criminal Justice Systems
ECCE: Crime and Sentencing: Global Issues
ECCE: Intercultural Communication
Macroeconomics in a Global Economy
Comparative Economic Systems
Economic Development
ECCE: Global Change in Local Places
World Environmental Thought
Population and Public Policy
Geopolitics: Geographical Aspects of International Affairs
Our Changing Climate
ECCE: Cultural Geography
ECCE: Culture Wars/Europe
World Environmental Thought
ECCE: Nationalism and Imperialism
ECCE: From Vikings to Hackers: A Pirate's World History
Anime, History, and Memory
Cold War and the Middle East
Global Environmental Health
Emerging Diseases
Comparative Philosophy of Religion
Continental Philosophy
ECCE: Political Ideas and Ideologies
ECCE: Introduction to Comparative Politics
ECCE: Global Issues
Foreign Policy Analysis
Understanding Cultures
ECCE: Latina/o USA
ECCE: Culture, Health, and Power
ECCE: Global Social Stratification
Women in Political Movements: A Cross-Cultural Perspective
Global Masculinities
Global Social Change and Transnational Movements
ECCE: Women Across Cultures
Total Hours15-19

Other programs associated with Global Studies include the following:

Model United Nations (MUN) is designed to teach students how the United Nations fosters peace in the international system. The MUN courses (PSC 478 and PSC 483) allow students to participate in committee simulations where world problems are debated and solutions are presented. Students learn how to operate in a caucus environment while role-playing a country that is not their native homeland. The courses are specifically designed to prepare UIS students to compete at the National Model United Nations Conference held annually in New York City.

The Global Experience Program includes UIS study-abroad seminars and exchange programs, as well as programs administered by other universities and educational institutions. UIS has developed short-term study-abroad programs in a number of countries; yearly offerings vary. UIS has also signed exchange agreements with a range of universities across the world. These exchange agreements permit UIS students to study at the partner institutions for a semester or year paying UIS tuition. For more information regarding Study Abroad contact Other UIS partnerships to promote global studies include the Sister Cities Association of Springfield and the World Affairs Council of Central Illinois.

Degree Program Program Type Dept Application Materials and Admission Criteria Prerequisite Course Requirements Department ADM Review Dept Conditional Admits Dept Appeal Process
Global Studies BA On campus No additional requirements beyond the general UIS criteria N/A N/A N/A N/A


GBL 101. Global Culture and College-age Youth. 3 Hours.

This introductory college course explores concerns, interests, and aspirations of college-age students around the world. Using comparative tools, it develops skills to discover issues of identity, diversity, and inclusivity of college-age people in the U.S. and abroad. Course Information: This course fulfills a general education requirement at UIS in the area of Freshman Seminar or in the area of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

GBL 301. Introduction to Global Studies. 3 Hours.

Provides an interdisciplinary overview of the field of global studies, including the principles issues, scales, perspectives and modes of study that make up a global approach to world problems. It provides a foundation for the major in Global Studies and the minor in International Studies to chart a course of study, including the discussion of a possible concentration, study abroad, or internships.

GBL 325. ECCE: Latina/o USA. 4 Hours.

Introduction to the study of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, and Central/South American communities in the U.S. Main themes are immigration, identity, gender and racial constructions, labor, education, and activism. Other topics include demographic trends, political participation, and relations with origin communities in Latin America and the Caribbean. Course Information: This course fulfills an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience requirement at UIS in the area of U.S. Communities.

GBL 331. ECCE: Cultural Geography. 3 Hours.

Explores the cultural processes of human interaction with the environment. Includes understanding of the geographic diversity, distribution and diffusion of people across the world, through such cultural processes as ethnicity, religion, language, politics, agriculture, and economic means. Course Information: Same as ENS 332. This course fulfills an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience requirement at UIS in the area of Global Awareness.

GBL 439. Transition in Central and Eastern Europe. 4 Hours.

Presents the transition experience of Central and Eastern Europe with emphasis on the results of the transition process and the present stage of social, political, and economic development.

GBL 442. Mexican Migration to the U. S.. 4 Hours.

This interdisciplinary course on Mexican migration to the US examines global power inequalities that lead to international migration. Topics include the formation of the US-Mexico border, why people migrate from Mexico, how most Mexican immigration has become "illegal," and the contributions of Mexican immigrants to the United States and Mexico. Course Information: Same as PSC 442 and SOA 442.

GBL 455. Global Masculinities. 4 Hours.

Interdisciplinary survey of expressions of masculinity in global and transnational perspective, with emphasis on non-Western cultures. Themes and topics include motives for, and ethnographic and systematic approaches to study of men and masculinities interspersed with case studies of specific forms of masculinity in various geographic regions. Course Information: Same as SOA 456 and WGS 455. Prerequisite: Prior mastery of fundamental concepts, theories and terminology in WGS.

GBL 464. Introduction to Human Rights. 3,4 Hours.

This course will introduce students to the large issue of human rights as an American phenomenon and as an international phenomenon. The course may focus on one or two particular human rights issues and then compare the problems and the possible solutions at home and globally. For example, the course might focus on the problem of human trafficking and how it is manifested in the United States. Students will examine how the U.S. Communities deal with human trafficking and then how it is manifested in another country and how it is dealt with there. Students will examine international treaties and their implementation to judge efficacy and possible changes locally and internationally. Course Information: Same as CCJ 463 and LES 464.

GBL 491. Global Studies Capstone. 2 Hours.

The culminating course in the Global Studies curriculum, serving to synthesize lessons learned from the previous courses. Course Assignments will direct students to review and integrate the knowledge, skills, attitudes gained from the curriculum; to apply that learning to debates about current global issues; and to articulate the research questions or goals that will drive their next steps in a career or graduate school.

GBL 499. Tutorial. 1-4 Hours.

Intended to supplement, not supplant, regular course offerings. Students interested in a tutorial must secure the consent of the faculty member concerned before registration and submit any required documentation to him or her.