At which campus can I study this program?
Any Penn State Campus
The interdisciplinary B.A. degree in Global and International Studies is intended to prepare students for lives and careers in a world that is increasingly interdependent. It reflects a “One World” concept that emphasizes the importance of global perspectives, international communication, and study or working experience abroad. The major combines the expertise of multiple disciplines, including the Social Sciences and the Humanities, to suggest a variety of methods for understanding the dynamic issues facing human beings across the globe. The structure of the major also recognizes the fact that the vast majority of the world's people live in regions other than the European and North American spheres, and that a knowledge of non-Anglophone cultures is an important form of preparation for global citizenship.
The major develops transnational and trans-regional literacy, drawing on coursework both in the Humanities and the Social Sciences to focus on questions of globalization, ethical imagination, and ways to engage peoples and cultures in local terms. Students learn to situate global trends, both macro and micro in nature, in relation to other historical processes. Most courses for the GLIS major will demonstrate a global or regional (rather than national) perspective and address a central topic in one of five designated Pathways.
This Pathway examines the history, development, enforcement, and violations of concepts of the basic rights of mankind. Whether through questions of torture, freedom of conscience, trafficking of women and children, agreements about prisoners of war, human rights constantly need redefining and rethinking if they are to be broad enough to cover everyone on our planet and specific enough to have a real effect on human behavior.
Culture and Identity
Global economic, political, and cultural processes are bound up with complex questions of culture and identity at the individual, familial, and community levels. Examining how differences in language, ideology, religion, race, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation among others impact our sense of self and other, this Pathway considers:
- foundational expressions of social and cultural values;
- the formation and contestation of identity over time;
- the impacts of modernization on individual, family, and community identity;
- genetic manipulation and modification; and
- questions of colonization and colonialism on political and cultural structures.
This Pathway examines war, peace, and security on a global and historical scale to reveal the contingent decisions, random accidents, and devious schemes which continue to be at the root of violence around the world. This Pathway studies conflicts great and small, from tribal warfare to national and international wars, revolutions, acts of terrorism, and so on. It also considers successful and unsuccessful efforts to halt conflict, and how and why approaches to and experiences with peace can affect conflict situations.
Wealth and Inequality
This Pathway considers global distribution of people, goods, and money, both in the contemporary world and in deep historical time, examining feudalism, trade, imperialism, nationalism, and the socioeconomic impacts of globalization. Some of the themes on which it focuses include:
- motivations for and experiences of such human movement as migration, exploration, travel, slavery, diaspora, asylum, and exile;
- demographic change;
- poverty, wealth, and economic inequality; and
- political, social, and cultural incentives for and restrictions on circulation (censorship, translation, free trade, prize culture, protectionism, access, privilege, bias).
Health and Environment
This Pathway considers the direct impact of global issues on the life on our planet. As intercontinental travel makes nearly every epidemic already global today, the more and more the health of individuals is directly connected to the health of the globe. Growing populations, aging demographics, increasing pollution, and decreasing food resources present new challenges for global human health. Similarly the global cycles of climate change and crisis force us to reconsider both natural processes and anthropogenic influences, examining the philosophy and history of human's place in nature. Some of the themes on which this Pathway focuses include:
- the relationship between local resources and global geopolitics;
- cultural, economic, and social effects of global climate change;
- pollution and conservation;
- environmental movements; and
- evolution and extinction.
Alternatively, students with a GPA above 3.5 may work with advisers and faculty to create a personalized Pathway that reflects their interests.
The B.A. degree requires six credits of foreign-language study beyond the 12-credit proficiency level, or in a second foreign language.The B.A. degree may include a significant engaged scholarship experience (such as undertaking an internship, job, volunteer position, or period of study) located either abroad or in a majority non-English-speaking part of the United States.
What is Global and International Studies?
The Global and International Studies (GLIS) Program is devoted to understanding human cultures and societies as bounded by “One World”. The GLIS program emphasizes developing a global perspective through scholarly study, research, international communication and experience abroad. The GLIS Program brings together expertise from the Humanities and Social Sciences for an interdisciplinary approach to the global problems facing us.
You Might Like This Program If...
You are concerned about global problems that face everyone and cannot be explained by a single discipline or approach. Our majors and minors are engaged in thinking about the issues of planetary concern from Humanities and Social Science perspectives. If you think laws, economics, social statistics, history, and culture of importance in solving problems like war, starvation, mass migration, and climate change, think about GLIS.
Entrance to Major
In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:
- attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
- have third-semester classification.
For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Global and International Studies, a minimum of 120 credits is required:
|Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements||24|
|Requirements for the Major||36|
3 of the 24 credits for Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements are included in the Requirements for the Major, General Education, or Electives and 0-12 credits are included in Electives if foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination.
Per Senate Policy 83-80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of coursework in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. For more information, check the Recommended Academic Plan for your intended program.
Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.
The keystone symbol appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.
Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)
- Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits
University Degree Requirements
First Year Engagement
All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.
Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.
First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.
6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements
- United States Cultures: 3 credits
- International Cultures: 3 credits
Writing Across the Curriculum
3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.
Total Minimum Credits
A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.
Quality of Work
Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.
Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition
The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.
B.A. Degree Requirements
Foreign Language (0-12 credits): Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language. See the Placement Policy for Penn State Foreign Language Courses.
B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)
Other Cultures (0-3 credits): Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.
Requirements for the Major
|GLIS 102N||Global Pathways||3|
|GLIS 400Y||Seminar in Global and International Studies||3|
|Select EITHER 6 credits in a language beyond 12th-credit level proficiency, OR 6 credits in a second foreign language, or equivalent proficiencies 1||6|
|Supporting Courses and Related Areas|
|Select 21 credits in the Pathway courses 2||21|
Courses must be taught in the language, i.e., not in English.
Lists of the Pathway courses are kept by departmental advisers, and appear online on the program’s website, glis.la.psu.edu. 15 credits of these 21 will be in a single Pathway concentration (no more than 6 credits towards the Pathway completion are to be from courses in a single department). 6 credits of these 21 are from other Pathway concentrations. At least 12 credits must be taken at the 400 level or higher.
With approval of the academic adviser and/or the directors of undergraduate studies for the GLIS major, students are encouraged to substitute up to 15 credits of their Pathway work with equivalent coursework in significant engaged scholarship experience (such as undertaking an internship, job, volunteer position, or period of study) located either abroad or in a majority non-English-speaking part of the United States.
The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.
Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.
Liberal Arts Academic Advising
Suggested Academic Plan
The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).
University Park Campus
The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.
|GLIS 101N*||3||GLIS 102N*||3|
|General Education Course||3||CAS 100, 100A, 100B, 100C, ENGL 138T, or CAS 138T‡||3|
|ENGL 15, ENGL 30, ESL 15, ENGL 137H, or CAS 137H‡||3||General Education Course||3|
|World Language Level 1||4||World Language Level 2||4|
|General Education Course||3||General Education Quantification (GQ)‡||3|
|Major course from list*||3||Major course from list*||3|
|General Education Course||3||World Language Level 4 or Second World Language Level 1*||3|
|General Education Course||3||BA Requirement||3|
|World Language Level 3||4||General Education Quantification (GQ)‡||3|
|General Education Course||3||General Education Course||3|
|Major course from list*||3||4xx level major course*||3|
|World Language Level 5 or Second World Language Level 2*||3||4xx level major course*||3|
|General Education Course||3||ENGL 202A or 202B‡||3|
|General Education Course||3||BA Other Cultures Course||3|
|BA Requirement||3||BA Requirement||3|
|4xx level major course*||3||4xx level major course*||3|
|General Health and Wellness (GHW)||1.5||Elective||3|
|Writing Across the Curriculum Course||3||Elective||3|
|Elective||3||General Health and Wellness (GHW)||1.5|
|Total Credits 120|
Course requires a grade of C or better for the major
Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education
Course is an Entrance to Major requirement
Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement
University Requirements and General Education Notes:
US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).
W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.
GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.
Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.
All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL/CAS 137 in the fall semester and ENGL/CAS 138 in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30 and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.
Bachelor of Arts Requirements:
Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.
Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in Other Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as Other Cultures courses.
All incoming freshmen must take a First-Year Seminar (FYS) during Fall or Spring of their first year. Academic advisers can provide a list of FYS being offered and help the student enroll. Most FYS in the College of the Liberal Arts are worth 3 cr. and count as a General Humanities (GH) or General Social Sciences (GS) course. For this reason, the FYS is not listed separately on this eight-semester plan; most students will be able to fulfill the FYS requirement while also fulfilling a GH or GS requirement.
For undergraduates, a Global Studies major offers excellent preparation for careers in government, education, diplomatic service, intelligence analysis, international business and finance, NGOs, and non-profit organizations. Graduates are also prepared for competitive graduate programs in fields as diverse as international law, international development, global education, administration, public policy, and the humanities and social sciences.
Bios of our recent alumni explaining how GLIS fit into their career paths are available on the GLIS website. Their careers include, Account Management in Advertising Technology, International Relocation Services, Social Media Advertising, Regional Policy Officer, State Department, Financial Analyst, Seimens Healthcare, Strategy and Business Development, Senior Director, Strategic Accounts, Teacher, Sales, Gilead Sciences, Office Operations and Facilities, Commissioner’s Office Major League Baseball, Management Consultant in Talent and Organization Strategy at Accenture Federal Services (AFS), Study abroad programs, including IES, and Independent Creative Writer.
Opportunities for Graduate Studies
- Masters in Global Studies
- Law School
- Graduate Work in Economics
- Political Science
- Comparative Literature
- Area Studies