About

The program was created in 2005 by a group of faculty from the social sciences and humanities who were committed to international study.  Today, we have grown to include courses taught by 45 faculty in 14 different departments, and have become one of the largest majors in the college.

The International and Global Studies major examines the economic, political and socio-cultural processes that in both the past and present have contributed to the creation of our globalized world. The cross-border flows we see today of people, media, technology, politics and finance are not new, but they operate on a new level of complexity and speed such that our world is now inextricably interconnected and interdependent at the most fundamental levels of human organization and practice. Global citizenship today requires understanding that contemporary cultural, political and economic phenomena are transnational in nature, crossing borders and boundaries in both creative and destructive ways. However, it also requires knowledge that global processes are not abstract and disembodied forces, but rather are processes that humans create and maintain. As such, they are shaped by the specific cultural and historic structures that inform human interactions in particular places. Thus, the major in International and Global Studies allows students to combine study of global forces with both analysis and real-world experience of how these global forces shape and re-shape the lives of human beings living in specific cultural contexts.

The program was created in 2005 by a group of faculty from the social sciences and humanities who were committed to international study.Today, we have grown to include courses taught by 45 faculty in 14 different departments, and have become one of the largest majors in the college. For the major, our students take required courses taught by Shana Minkin (International and Global Studies), Emmanuel Asiedu-Acquah (International and Global Studies), Donna Murdock (Anthropology) and Nicholas Roberts (History).  Additionally, they take eight elective courses distributed across thematic and geographic areas of focus, and must also complete language learning, an abroad experience, a senior thesis, and a comprehensive exam.

The skills students learn from the combination of course work, abroad experience, and language learning foster their successful navigation of this complex global world. The interdisciplinary approach to the topic of globalization and its localization in distinct world regions allows students to perceive the value of distinct perspectives. In the senior seminar and comprehensive exams, they learn to integrate and synthesize those perspectives across disciplinary and thematic boundaries in the creation of a more holistic view of the topic or problem they seek to address. Through abroad experiences students apply knowledge learned in the class room to real-world settings, and in the process develop language-learning skills, and learn to interact constructively across cultural, economic, and political boundaries.

Our former students report that the IGS major has enabled them to successfully pursue a wide range of career paths including teaching, business, banking, government and foreign service, advertising, the non-profit sector, microfinance, social development, and policy. Additionally, our majors are very successful at winning scholarships, fellowships and other sorts of awards after college including the Watson Fellowship, Fulbright scholarships, and postings with World Teach.

For more information on the program, please contact the Program Committee: Nicholas E. Roberts (co-chair), Donna F. Murdock (co-chair), Shana Minkin, Emmanuel Asiedu-Acquah, Ruth Sánchez-Imizcoz, and Don Rung. You may find more information about each of these faculty members on our faculty page.