Global and International Studies

Global Studies logoAs business goes global, more employers are looking for international experience. If you're interested in gaining an edge, the global and international studies program in the College of Arts and Sciences is for you.

Globalization is leading to greater interconnectedness through economics, technology, communication and society. No wonder it affects all of us. Regardless of where you live, or the subject that you choose to study, globalization will involve you too. Even if you choose to remain at home, you will be a part of international activities. The process of globalization is so vast that every academic discipline is involved and has a role to play. When you graduate, be sure you are prepared to take advantage of the opportunities unfolding before you in our fast-moving world. How? Focus your undergraduate study on global and international issues.

The global and international studies major offers a broad, integrative approach to the study of global and international issues, supported by the methods and theories of several disciplines, language study and regional case studies. You will build an individualized, interdisciplinary major or minor, which may include a study abroad experience, international internships or other related experiences and opportunities.

Student achievement

Alexandria White, a global and international studies major, has received a Gilman International Scholarship to help fund her study abroad program. She will spend the spring semester studying European perspectives on economics and business and Spanish language at Universidad de Cantabria in Santander, Spain.


This multidisciplinary major requires 42 credit hours of course work built around several required and recommended core courses specific to global studies. At least 24 hours of the major must be comprised of courses at the 3000 level or above. All course work for the major must carry a grade of "C" or above.

College of Arts and Sciences advising

Required courses

  • INTL 2000 Introduction to Global and International Studies - 3 credits
  • INTL 4900 Seminar in Global and International Studies - 3 credits (baccalaureate writing requirement)

Recommended and optional courses

  • INTL 3500 Topics in Globalization, an optional course, builds on the content of INTL 2000.
  • INTL 4980 Independent Studies and Projects in Globalization; global internships
  • INTL 5500 Independent Study

Academic focus

Majors select a disciplinary focus made up of at least four courses (two above the 3000 level) from among the following academic disciplines; prerequisites for advanced courses that don't appear on the list of recommended courses for this major may also be counted:

  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Comparative Religion
  • Sociology

Other academic disciplines may be chosen with prior approval from the director of global and international studies

Major options

In addition to a "core" disciplinary focus, course selection must lead to a regional, comparative or foreign language option. Most GIS majors select courses through the academic discipline that leads to a regional, comparative or foreign language emphasis in their individual programs.

  • The regional option consists of a minimum of three courses dealing exclusively or substantially with one of the following:

    • Asia-general/comparative
    • Japan
    • China
    • Middle East/Islamic
    • Africa
    • Europe-general/comparative
    • Western Europe
    • Russia/Eastern Europe
    • Latin America/Caribbean
  • The comparative option consists of a minimum of four advisor-approved courses extending the comparative and cross-cultural nature of the program. It may include thematic, theoretical, and area studies courses. The course work must be drawn from at least three departments/prefixes.

  • The foreign language option permits the exploration of comparative and cross-cultural issues through the study of a second foreign language, in addition to the required foreign language component of the program. Up to four courses in a second foreign language beyond the 1000 level may be incorporated into the major.

Foreign language requirement

Global and international studies majors must complete at least two courses beyond the 2010 level in a single language that is appropriate to their chosen regional focus that is not their native language. If WMU does not offer classes beyond the 2010 level in the student's chosen language, the course work requirement will be waived for students who demonstrate intermediate proficiency in their chosen language. Some advanced courses in foreign languages may be included in a regional focus within the major. No minor is required for students choosing the major, although development of a foreign language minor is strongly recommended.

In addition to listed courses for the major, other appropriate courses may be used with advisor approval.


The global and international studies minor in the College of Arts and Sciences encourages a broad study of global conditions and change across multiple disciplines and on a comparative basis. The minor requires a minimum of 20 hours of related course work with at least half at the 3000 level or above.

Required course:

  • INTL 2000: Introduction to Global and International Studies

All course work for the minor must carry a grade of ā€œCā€ or above.

Please refer to the list of courses for this minor.

College of Arts and Sciences advising