Global Studies

Zsuzsa Gille, Director
702 S. Wright St, 3062 Lincoln Hall
Champaign, IL 61820

The Global Studies major develops knowledge sets, skills and values necessary for the analysis and solution of contemporary world problems. The requirements of the major enrich, complement, and coordinate departmental offerings with the goals of:

  • providing knowledge of diverse cultures: their social, economic and political interactions and impacts on the world;
  • developing skills for successfully negotiating realities of contemporary societies;
  • fostering values that respect diverse ways of living and deepen commitment to sustainability.

The Global Studies major is interdisciplinary, drawing upon the resources of faculty and departments across the university. The major has three elements. The Foundations requirement introduces a variety of global issues and skills necessary for their analysis. The Language and Culture requirements allow students to develop area expertise in one world region through on-campus coursework and a semester-long study abroad. The Thematic Area focuses student programs on a topic of global importance to allow for an in-depth and multidisciplinary understanding of relevant historical and emerging issues, how they are analyzed and addressed. Students work with an advisor to customize the major curriculum most appropriate to their individual interests and career plans.

This program of study was developed in response to the growing demand for knowledge and skills to successfully navigate concerns at international and global levels. The competencies established through this program are critical for students preparing for careers or further study in a variety of fields including international affairs, public policy, business, law, finance, education, and communications.

The LAS Global Studies program with the European Union Center offers a 5 Year BALAS/MA in Global Studies and European Union Studies.

LAS Global Studies also offers two undergraduate minors.

The Global Studies minor develops the interdisciplinary knowledge and intercultural skills necessary to analyze and solve contemporary world problems. In consultation with an advisor, students select courses from a variety of departments to form a coherent program of study suited to individual interests, educational and career aspirations. The Global Studies minor can complement any major.

The Global Markets and Society minor enables students at the University of Illinois to gain interdisciplinary knowledge of global market-society relations through historical and global perspectives that emphasize the social, political, and economic forces that shape market institutions and practices.A professional development capstone experience course is optional and can be met by completing an internship or participating in a research experience and/or written project. The LAS Global Markets and Society Minor is open to undergraduate students in any major at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus.

For the Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Major in Global Studies


Minimum required major and supporting course work equates to 51-52 hours and includes a semester-long full time study abroad program and a minimum of 12 hours of 300- and 400-level courses.

General education: Students must complete the Campus General Education requirements including the campus general education language requirement.

A Major Plan of Study Form must be completed and submitted to the Global Studies academic advisor before the end of the fourth semester (60 hours) and prior to the required study abroad. Please see your advisor.

Minimum hours required for graduation: 120 hours

Departmental distinction: The department may award distinction, high distinction, or highest distinction to any Global Studies major whose overall and major grade point averages are 3.25 or higher, who successfully completes 3 hours of GLBL 494 or other approved research methods course and who completes a distinction research project. See the departmental academic advisor for details.

Foundations Requirements
GLBL 100Intro to Global Studies3
Global Studies. Four courses must be selected from the approved course list; they must include no more than one course from four of the following six departments: Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, and Sociology.12
Global Studies Seminars. Students study current events and contemporary global issues. Select three courses from GLBL 296 or one GLBL 298 course and one GLBL 296 course.3-4
Language and Culture Requirements
Language. Select courses from the approved course list in a language other than your primary language(s). These various courses represent the 5th and 6th level of study.6
Area Studies. 200- to 400-level courses which complement the language requirement must include work in at least two disciplinary departments. Area Studies and Language must be geographically related and correspond to language and study abroad location.9
One Semester (Fall or Spring) Study Abroad. Students study a variety of subjects in an approved study abroad program that furthers their language and cultural knowledge or their cultural knowledge and thematic area knowledge. Students must be enrolled full-time to receive credit toward this requirement.
Thematic Area Requirements
Students choose an approved thematic area and, in consultation with a Global Studies advisor, construct an appropriate customized curriculum of a minimum of 18 hours. Students cannot include more than 3 hours of 100-level work and must complete 9 hours of 300- and 400-level coursework. Courses must be taken from more than one department. Approved thematic areas are:18
A. Cultures in Contact
B. Wealth and Poverty in a Globalized World
C. Human Rights
D. Governance, Conflict and Resolution
E. Knowledge, Communication and Information Systems
F. Environment, Sustainability, and Social Responsibility
G. Global Health
Optional Senior Capstone. Students do an individual research project (GLBL 200, 494 and GLBL 495) based on their Thematic Area.
Total Hours51-52

5 Year BALAS/MA in Global Studies and European Union Studies

The Program in Global Studies with the European Union Center offers a 5-year BALAS /MA degree program in Global Studies and the Master of Arts in European Union Studies (MAEUS). In order to be admitted to this degree program, students apply through a joint application process to their BALAS-granting program and the European Union Center during their third year of studies. Requirements for this degree program are identical to those for the stand-alone BALAS and for the stand-alone MAEUS. Students will receive both degrees when the requirements are met for the degrees; the BALAS and MA degrees will be conferred separately and  independently. More detailed information may be obtained from department and EUC offices.

GLBL Class Schedule


GLBL 100   Intro to Global Studies   credit: 3 Hours.

Foundation course for understanding a range of contemporary issues and learning to analyze them from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Students consider globalizing trends within themes of wealth and poverty; population, cultures, and human rights; environment and sustainability; and governance, conflict, and cooperation. Course objectives are to enhance knowledge of human cultures, their interactions and impacts on the world; develop skills for successfully negotiating realities of contemporary societies; and promote values for global learning, diversity, and sustainable futures.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Social & Beh Sci - Soc Sci
Cultural Studies - Western

GLBL 118   Natural Disasters   credit: 3 Hours.

Same as ESE 118 and GEOL 118. See GEOL 118.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Nat Sci & Tech - Phys Sciences

GLBL 199   Undergraduate Open Seminar   credit: 0 to 6 Hours.

See Class Schedule for topics. Approved for Letter and S/U grading. May be repeated in the same or separate terms to a maximum of 6 hours.

GLBL 200   Foundations of Research   credit: 3 Hours.

Introduction to the foundations of interdisciplinary, social science research. Topic include understanding the purpose for research, identifying researchable issues, finding evaluating and using sources effectively, recognizing methods associated with different types of data and disciplines, and writing a literature review. Prepares students for course-based research papers and advanced research methods courses. Guest faculty present their Global Studies-relevant research as students (b)log their own research interests.

GLBL 215   Resource Conflicts   credit: 3 Hours.

Same as ESE 215 and GEOG 215. See GEOG 215.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Social & Beh Sci - Soc Sci

GLBL 220   Governance   credit: 3 Hours.

Gateway course into the Governance thematic area for Global Studies majors providing an introduction to important themes, problems and approaches to global governance in a series of issue areas, including security, economics, migration, and the environment. Covers the historical development of the international system as well as contemporary controversies. Case studies are used to explore the strength and weaknesses of current governance approaches, and students will conduct independent research into existing structures. Prerequisite: GLBL 100.

GLBL 221   Geographies of Global Conflict   credit: 3 Hours.

Same as GEOG 221. See GEOG 221.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Social & Beh Sci - Soc Sci

GLBL 225   Career Development:Internships   credit: 1 Hour.

Teaches students with global studies academic interests how to identify internships and service-learning learning opportunities relevant to their major. Students prepare application materials, conduct informational interviews, participate in mock job interviews, explore networking strategies, and create a career narrative that represents their academic interests and skills. Prepares students on what to expect from their internships and how to develop and apply leadership skills.

GLBL 228   Terrorism, Past and Present   credit: 3 Hours.

Same as HIST 257. See HIST 257.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities - Hist & Phil

GLBL 240   Global Health   credit: 3 Hours.

Introduction to issues and problems in global health. As the world becomes more and more interconnected it is important for students to be aware of health issues from a global perspective. We will consider a variety of issues that influence the health of different population and countries. The topics to be discussed include: the environment, nutrition, education, the medical system, culture, and agency involvement in health. Case studies will be used to demonstrate some successes at addressing these issues and problems that were encountered.

GLBL 250   Development   credit: 3 Hours.

An interdisciplinary introduction to the theory and practice of international development. Topics include: defining development, how ideas have changed over time, and the interventions used in development work and their impacts.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Cultural Studies - Non-West

GLBL 260   Global Human Rights   credit: 3 Hours.

Examines how ideas about human rights are defined and how they are differentially deployed. Looks at human rights claims and crises, and examines how governmental and non-governmental individuals and organizations have sought to deal with human rights violations in order to address problems of justice, retribution, and reconciliation at personal, national, and international levels.

GLBL 270   Introduction to Global Markets and Society   credit: 3 Hours.

Introduction to global markets and economic systems and their evolving relationship with societies in the global North and South. Presents interdisciplinary perspectives on business structures and conduct with emphasis on (1) the philosophical foundations of economic systems; (2) international business networks and technological innovation; (3) business environments in non-Western settings; (4) global workforce composition and divisions of labor; (5) the relationships between business, development and the environment; and (6) international organizations that support the spread of global business.

GLBL 280   Nuclear Weapons & Arms Control   credit: 3 Hours.

Same as PHYS 280. See PHYS 280.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Advanced Composition

GLBL 296   Global St Foundation Seminar   credit: 1 Hour.

Examination of current controversies and larger ethical issues in today's global society. Topics could include: immigration, global environmental debates, and population issues. May be repeated in the same or separate terms to a maximum of 3 hours if topics vary.

GLBL 298   Global Studies Seminar Abroad   credit: 3 or 6 Hours.

Seminars introduce students to aspects of globalization through a case study of a particular location abroad. On campus, students explore historical and contemporary aspects of the location abroad to prepare for their field visit. Abroad, students engage with local resources and people to better understand how the local site contributes to and is impacted by relevant global processes under focus. Course activities will include a field site visit abroad, discussions, lectures, short essays, student presentation, and final projects. Topics vary according to site location and instructor expertise. May be repeated in separate terms to a maximum of 6 hours.

GLBL 328   First Person Global   credit: 1 Hour.

A writing workshop for students who have studied abroad and want to deepen their understanding of globalization and improve their nonfiction prose by writing about their own experiences. Writing in the first person raises fundamental questions about identity, power, cultural understanding, and representation. Students will read and discuss first person literary nonfiction by contemporary writers and chronicle their own global encounters in ethical, insightful, and creative ways. Prerequisite: A study abroad experience.

GLBL 340   Global Health: Policy & Governance   credit: 3 Hours.

Identifies central and emerging global health issues and analyzes them through the lenses of governance, policy and gender. Focuses on structural, policy, and institutional perspectives on global health, with emphasis on how decisions are influenced and made. Prerequisite: GLBL 240.

GLBL 350   Poverty in a Global Context   credit: 3 Hours.

Examines global poverty in the context of international development debates an practice. Despite global commitments (for example, the Millennium Development Goals), decades of research, and new and innovative policies, the "solution" to widespread and lasting poverty alleviation remains elusive. Class will define poverty and how it is measured, considered who is poor and why some people are more vulnerable to the negative effects of poverty than others, and examine what causes some countries to remain poor. Prerequisite: GLBL 250 or consent of instructor.

GLBL 357   Ethnic Conflict   credit: 3 Hours.

Same as PS 357. See PS 357.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Advanced Composition

GLBL 386   Arctic Environmt & Society   credit: 6 Hours.

Interdisciplinary study of the European Arctic for science and non-science students, providing an historical survey of the relationship between its environment and societies with the goal of understanding current and possible future conditions, in light of climate change. The course takes place in Scandinavia and includes a field site component in the Arctic.

GLBL 392   Int Diplomacy and Negotiation   credit: 3 Hours.

Examines the complexities of international diplomacy and negotiations among states and other actors. Focuses on three main subject areas: negotiation analysis, applied negotiation, and the interaction of practical considerations that affect negotiations. Utilizes theoretical, case-based, and active-learning approaches during the semester as topics are explored in detail. Issues and topics include security, public health, economic development, human rights, and the environment.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Advanced Composition

GLBL 440   Global Health: Interventions & Evaluations   credit: 3 Hours.

Focuses on the process of crafting a solution and evaluation plan related to a specific global health problem identified by students. Requires students to work in teams to integrate content learning on global health with applied project design skills developed in this course. 3 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. Prerequisite: GLBL 340. Junior standing or higher required.

GLBL 450   Poverty Interventions and Evaluation   credit: 3 Hours.

Over the last few decades a wide range of strategies and initiatives have been applied to alleviate poverty in developing countries. The record of these initiatives is mixed. While millions of people may have moved out of poverty, over a billion remain persistently impoverished. We will examine a range of anti-poverty approaches that have been implemented and evaluates their effectiveness. Students will gain a familiarity with the interventions and an understanding of the techniques used to evaluate them. 3 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. Prerequisite: GLBL 250 and 350 or consent of instructor.

GLBL 481   Writing on Technol & Security   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Same as NPRE 481. See NPRE 481.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Advanced Composition

GLBL 492   UG Research Assistance   credit: 0 to 3 Hours.

Assist Global Studies and program-affiliated faculty in ongoing research. Topics and nature of assistance vary. Capstone paper required. 0 to 3 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. May be repeated in separate terms up to 6 hours. No more than 6 hours may be counted toward completion of the Global Studies major from any combination of GLBL 492 and other independent study, internship, or research assistance coursework. This includes coursework from other departments on campus or during study abroad. Prerequisite: GLBL 200; evidence of adequate preparation for such study; consent of faculty member supervising the work; and approval of Global Studies program. Global Studies majors only. Not available to freshman. Instructor approval required.

GLBL 494   Research Methods I   credit: 1 Hour.

Optional Capstone experience for Global Studies students. Students will develop research, communication and presentation skills and develop a proposal for an independent research project, goals and timeline. The proposal will include a literature review and methods section for their final project. Topics include: research approaches, design and implementation, as well as methods, analysis and ethics of data collection. 1 undergraduate hour. No graduate credit. Prerequisite: GLBL 200.

GLBL 495   Research Methods II   credit: 1 Hour.

Second semester of the optional Capstone experience for International/Global Studies students. Designed to guide the interpretation of the data, development of conclusions and implications. In addition to the final project, students will learn how to write a paper abstract and conference proposal, as well as acquire presentation skills. 1 undergraduate hour. No graduate credit. Prerequisite: GLBL 494.

GLBL 499   Special Topics   credit: 3 Hours.

Selected reading and research in Global Studies. See schedule for current topics. 3 undergraduate hours. 1 to 4 graduate hours. May be repeated, if topics vary, in the same or separate terms to a maximum of 6 undergraduate or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: GLBL 100 or six hours of global studies, anthropology, social geography, political science, sociology, or economics; consent of instructor.