Many Global Studies students have an interest in graduate and professional school, but are uncertain about their options. The most common interests among our majors include law, education, international policy and political science. Depending on your personal career goals, such popular areas of study may be very good options: however, you are strongly encouraged to carefully explore the many options that are available to find the right one for you. Graduate school can be a very rewarding experience, but it is not for everyone. Admissions are highly competitive and completion of a degree requires a great deal of time and money as well as emotional investment and sacrifice – graduate school is not just the next step beyond your senior year, it is a major leap. Therefore, it is in your best interest to become well informed about your options and begin to plan early if graduate school is your goal.
Students who intend to study beyond the undergraduate level should, ideally, be planning for graduate school by the fall of their junior year in order to build credentials and coursework to improve their chances of acceptance. Graduate programs each have their own admissions standards, so you should start researching the expectations of your chosen discipline and targeted programs as early as possible. You can build your credentials through advanced coursework, student organizations, career workshops, independent study, and part-time, volunteer and internship work. Global Studies students should focus on their graduate school interest through their Thematic Area concentration and should also plan to undertake a Distinction Project. Research conducted for the major will be particularly useful for exploring your disciplinary specialization and developing the research skills necessary to succeed at the graduate level. The Occupational Outlook Handbook can be very helpful in determining an appropriate career path that matches your interests and skill set. The Career Center's Graduate School Page is also useful, but you should also visit the Career Center in person and utilize their local resources. Your Global Studies advisor can be helpful you as you consider graduate school, but you should also meet with administrators or professors who specialize in your potential area of study.
Not all graduate programs expect applicants to have completed a list of specific courses at the undergraduate level, but it is expected that you will have had enough relevant coursework to develop requisite skills and demonstrate considerable understanding of the field of study. Graduate programs in traditional disciplines, such as political science or history, are more likely to expect applicants to have completed significant coursework in their disciplines. Regardless of your potential graduate curriculum, you should research graduate programs early enough to allow for the completion of necessary undergraduate coursework.
Recent International Studies graduates have gone on to study a wide variety of subjects including: Arab Studies, Central Eurasian Studies, European Union Studies, International Affairs, Law, Library and Information Science, Political Science, TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language), Urban and Regional Planning, as well as Law School. The following links will help you to learn more about your options and graduate school in general – these links are for informational purposes only and are not an indication of any endorsement by Global Studies – please read the disclaimer.
In order to better assist students researching graduate schools, we have listed popular curricula, relevant UIUC programs and (when available) links to related academic and/or professional associations.
- Area Studies
- International Affairs/Relations
- Library & Information Science
- Languages (including English)
- Political Science
- Public Health
- Public Affairs/Policy
- Social Work
- TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language)
- Urban & Regional Planning
Disclaimer: Links and information are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to be endorsements of the individual organizations. Employees and agents of The University of Illinois are not responsible for errors contained within these linked sites or any actions taken in reliance thereon. Global Studies, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and The University of Illinois make no claim that the information provided within these linked sites is accurate or current. Global Studies, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the University of Illinois, and its employees and agents take no responsibility for any direct, indirect, consequential, or punitive damages resulting from the user's access to or reliance on the information provided on this website or any linked websites.