Global Studies B.A.

Map with pushpins

Students may major or minor in global studies. As a global studies major, you will complete 10-13 courses in the major, three of which are specific core courses, while the remaining courses are chosen from anthropology, economics, English, geography, history, international nongovernmental organizations, mathematics, modern languages, political science and sociology.

From your studies you will gain:

  • An appreciation and respect for the languages, arts, religions, philosophies and cultures of the various nations and traditions of our global community.
  • An understanding of the differences and ambiguities of the political, social, economic and historical configurations of our global community.
  • Knowledge about important contemporary global issues, such as historical processes and trends; economic and political interdependency among nations, cultural, environmental and geographic trends and interactions; global institutions and governing bodies and nongovernmental organizations.
  • An appreciation of the value of historical traditions and cultures and develop an objective understanding that one’s own is one of many alternate perceptions and that diverse behaviors are all rooted in one’s history and cultural traditions.

Possible career paths include:

  • Foreign affairs and diplomacy
  • Research institutes and think-tanks
  • International business
  • Congressional staff
  • Human services and international relief agencies
  • Positions with institutions and agencies such as the United Nations, the U.S. State Department, the World Bank, Amnesty International, Council on Foreign Relations, Fulbright Scholars Program and many more

Program Details

Course Information

Click below for information on course requirements, course descriptions and the Academic Rhode Map, which lists all the courses you will need to complete this program and graduate in a timely fashion.

Course Requirements

Course Descriptions

Academic Rhode Map (2021 document will be posted soon)

Program/Learning Goals

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of important contemporary global issues, such as historical processes and trends; economic and political interdependency among nations, cultural, environmental and geographic trends and interactions; global institutions and governing bodies and nongovernmental organizations. 
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of other historical traditions and cultures and understand that their own perception is one of many alternate perceptions and diverse behaviors all rooted in one’s history and cultural traditions. 
  3. Use diverse disciplines, frames of reference and alternative perspectives to think critically in order to comprehend and analyze global developments from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. 
  4. Use the scientific techniques of diverse disciplines to conduct research, including knowledge of a second language, to extend access to information, experiences and understanding. 
  5. Appreciate and respect the languages, arts, religions, philosophies and cultures of the various nations and traditions of our global community. 
  6. Appreciate and tolerate the differences and ambiguities of the political, social, economic and historical configurations of our global community. 
  7. Understand the historical context and development of a global system. 
  8. Understand the dynamics of a global system. 
  9. Understand the relationship a specific global system has to the emergence of the contemporary globalizing world. 
  10. Continue to develop a capacity for clear and precise writing.

Writing in the Discipline

1. W​hy or in what ways is writing important to your discipline/field/profession?

Global studies students learn to use diverse disciplines, frames of reference and alternative perspectives to think critically in order to comprehend and analyze global developments from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. In its academic and applied settings, writing is a significant skill students acquire in order to demonstrate their understanding of the complexity of global issues and the diversity of historical traditions and cultures. Writing also helps students connect all these components to an applied setting in their capstone classes.

2. Which courses are designated as satisfying the Writing in the Discipline (WID) requirement by your department? Why these courses?

There are two global studies courses that meet the WID requirement:

GLOB 200: Global Studies: Methods

GLOB 461: Seminar in Global Studies

GLOB 200 introduces students to the tools of historical inquiry, the nature and evaluation of sources and evidence and the conceptual framework of historical interpretation as it applies to the global community. This methods class teaches research, writing and editing skills necessary for a student of global studies.

GLOB 461 builds on GLOB 200. This class emphasizes global issues, the identification and definition of global problems, the research and writing of a substantial paper and global studies criticism. This course allows students to self-design a research project and write a research paper.

3. What forms or genres of writing will students learn and practice in your department’s WID courses? Why these genres?

In GLOB 200, students learn a wide range of theories and perspectives from the humanities, social sciences and sciences to interpret the historical processes which produced today’s global world. Typically, the class requirements include multiple short writing assignments on historical analyses and source evaluations and an extensive term paper which examines cultural, political, social, economic, geographic and ecological manifestations and interconnections. The class works on providing students with the opportunity for faculty feedback on their articulation and application of interdisciplinary research methods.

In GLOB 461, the final term paper is more extensive and detailed, focusing on the analyses and interpretations of historical processes that are closely related to current global issues. Students should be able to decide on a topic, formulate research questions, seek out relevant literature (including historical sources) and analyze data in order to propose their own interpretations and theses that explain the historical and cultural relevance of current global issues. Writing is pivotal for students in being able to make the academic connection between scholarly literature and the practical context. 

4. What kinds of teaching practices will students encounter in your department’s WID courses?

Global studies WID courses are conducted as workshops and seminars. There will be virtually no lecturing by professors. Rather, students will be assigned readings or short written materials for discussions and will give presentations during class meetings. Students will participate in peer review sessions before they complete the final drafts of term papers and will receive feedback from their professors on their writing.

5. When they’ve satisfied your department’s WID requirement, what should students know and be able to do with writing?

Writing is the most significant skill for success in the fields of work that graduates of the Global Studies Program enter – fields like public service, government, academia, nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations. Global studies students should able to use writing to analyze and interpret the differences and ambiguities in the political, social, economic and historical configurations of our global community.

Minor in Global Studies

Declaring a minor allows you to explore other areas of interest and make interdisciplinary connections. Minor areas at RIC complement and reinforce all major areas of study. By declaring a minor, you can set yourself apart as a candidate for job, internship and volunteer opportunities. Click below for information on the minor in global studies.

Minor in Global Studies