Global Studies Major

Section 1


Spring 2018 Recommended Course List

Fall 2017 Recommended Course List

Summer 2017 Recommended Course List

Students! Please remember when consulting the course idea list the following:

  • Students must work with advisors to determine whether courses on this list will work with the student’s Major Plan of Study.
  • Courses should be considered as OPTIONS for students to consider with an advisor. Each student must be able to articulate why the courses they have selected will fit into his/her thematic area or area studies.
  • All substitutions to your Major/Minor Plan of Study must be approved by an advisor.

Global Studies Major Handbook

Major Plan of Study

Global Studies majors develop the interdisciplinary knowledge and intercultural skills necessary to analyze and solve contemporary world problems. Global Studies majors are able to:

  • combine the theories and methods of multiple social science disciplines to view the most pressing global issues from a variety of perspectives;
  • utilize advanced language and cultural skills to work professionally with diverse groups of people; and
  • develop specialized skills and expertise to address global challenges that suit their strengths and interests.

The Global Studies major fosters respect for diverse ways of living and commitment to sustainability. The competencies established through the Global Studies major prepare students for careers in business, communications, education, immigration, international affairs, law, public health, and sustainable development, among other areas.


Foundations courses introduce students to various social science disciplines and interdisciplinary analyses, enabling students to:

  • describe and critique the contemporary international system;
  • analyze the environmental, political, economic, and social conditions of different world regions; and
  • research and debate world events, global processes, and cross-cultural perspectives.


GLBL 100 Introduction to Global Studies (3 credits): This course introduces students to the major and is a recommended prerequisite for all other Global Studies courses. GLBL 100

Global Studies Seminars (3-7 credits): Seminars are opportunities to explore current global controversies and case studies on a variety of topics from interdisciplinary perspectives. Global Studies majors have the option to complete these seminars abroad or on campus. They may:

  1. complete three 1-credit seminars on campus (GLBL 296) on topics of their choice; OR
  2. complete one 3- or 6-credit seminar on campus (GLBL 296), and a one 1-credit seminar abroad (GLBL 298).

Students may choose seminars on any topic and any location. These do NOT need to correspond with language, regional, or thematic area choices in the Major Plan of Study.

Social Science Core Courses (12 credits): These courses offer students a firm grounding in the social science disciplines of Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, and Sociology, so that students can draw from these disciplinary perspectives in analyzing global issues. Global Studies majors must select a total of four courses from the list below, with no more than one course in each discipline. See our current recommended course list for this semester's offerings.




ANTH 230 Sociocultural Anthropology
ANTH 260 World Ethnography
ANTH 268 Images of the Other
ANTH 270/271 Language in Culture

ECON 220 International Economic Principles
ECON 420 International Economics
ECON 450 Development Economics

GEOG 204 Cities of the World
GEOG 210 Social & Env Issues
GEOG 221 Geographies of Global Conflict


Political Science


HIST 258 20TH Century World to Mid-Century
HIST 259 20TH Century World from Mid-Century
HIST 274 US & World Since 1917

PS 241 Comp Politics in Developing Nations
PS 280/281 Intro to International Relations
PS 282 Governing Globalization

SOC 226 Political Sociology
SOC 261 Gender in Transnational Perspective
SOC 270 Population Issues
SOC 350 Technology & Society
SOC 364 Impacts of Globalization
SOC 367 Globalization Dynamics Debates


Through advanced coursework and immersion in a foreign language and corresponding region of their choice, Global Studies majors develop the ability to:

  • address the impacts of global processes on a specific geographic location and cultural group;
  • communicate effectively in academic, professional, and social contexts abroad; and
  • explore, articulate, and debate diverse local perspectives on global issues.

Majors must choose a language, world region, and study abroad program that correspond with one another. Check out the map below to see some common combinations that our majors pursue.

*Note that in some cases, students can study abroad in English in programs that fit with their region and thematic area


Advanced Language Coursework (6 credits): Global Studies majors must complete 6 credit hours of advanced coursework in a language that corresponds with their regional focus and study abroad location, and that is not the student’s primary language. This requirement enables students to work in non-English speaking contexts and to gain familiarity with new ways of thinking, perceiving, and relating to other people.

Global Studies majors must select from the courses listed below to fulfill this requirement. All advanced language courses require four semesters of previous study at UIUC or the equivalent as determined by a placement exam. Students continuing a language that they began studying elsewhere should contact the corresponding language department to schedule a placement exam. The advanced language requirement for Global Studies majors cannot be waived through a proficiency exam. Global Studies majors may pursue languages that are not on this list by making arrangements with language instructors and consulting with a Global Studies advisor.





ARAB 405 Adv Standard Arabic I
ARAB 406 Adv Standard Arabic II

CHIN 305 Adv
Chinese I
CHIN 306 Adv
Chinese II

FR 205 Oral French
FR 207 Writing & Grammar
FR 211 Intro to Literary Studies
FR 212 Intro to Cultural Analysis
FR 213 French Phonetics
FR 314 Adv Grammar in Context
FR 413 Phonetics & Phonology

GER 211 Conv & Writing I
GER 212 Conv & Writing II
GER 320 German for Business





HEBR 405 Adv Modern Hebrew I
HEBR 406 Adv Modern Hebrew II

HNDI 405 Adv
Hindi I
HNDI 406 Adv
Hindi II

ITAL 200: Italian Studies in a Mediterranean Context
ITAL 210 Practical Review
ITAL 220 Contemp. Oral & Written
ITAL 310 Adv Grammar
ITAL 380 Business & Professions

JAPN 305 Adv Japanese I
JAPN 306 Adv Japanese II





KOR 305 Adv Korean I
KOR 306 Adv Korean II

LGLA 405 Adv
Lingala I
LGLA 406 Adv
Lingala II

PERS 453: Advanced Persian I
PERS 454: Advanced Persian II

PORT 200 Advanced Grammar
PORT 320 Readings in Port





RUSS 301 Third Year Russian I
RUSS 302 Third Year Russian II
RUSS 305 Business Russian

SPAN 200 Rdgs in Hispanic Texts
SPAN 204 Advanced Grammar
SPAN 208 Oral Spanish
SPAN 228 Spanish Composition

SWAH 405 Adv Swahili I
SWAH 406 Adv Swahili II

TURK 405 Adv Turkish I
TURK 406 Adv Turkish II

WLOF 405 Adv Wolof I
WLOF 406 Adv Wolof II

Regional Area Studies (9 credits): Global Studies majors take courses on a regional area that corresponds with their language and study abroad location in order to develop expertise on the historical, political, and cultural context of one world region. Students select one of the following: Africa, East and South Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe, Western Europe.

Most Global Studies majors begin their area studies coursework before traveling and complete it while studying abroad. Area studies courses must be from at least two different departments and must be at the 200-level or above. Students can choose any courses that fit this description, with approval from a Global Studies advisor. For suggested area studies courses on campus, see our current recommended course list and browse the websites of UIUC's Area Studies Centers.

Study Abroad (1 full semester): Global Studies majors are required to study abroad for at least one full fall or spring semester in order to gain substantial international experience. See our Global Studies Study Abroad page for more information.


The thematic area allows students to find their passion, something they want to pursue after graduation. The immediate goal of finishing coursework is thus taken over by the intention of truly enjoying the subject matter at hand. The ability to tailor the major to their interests further enables students to become conscientious human beings, who are invariably successful in their endeavors. Thematic area courses enable students to:

  • specialize in a global issue that aligns with their professional and personal aspirations;
  • articulate a deep understanding of the thematic area by drawing upon multiple disciplinary perspectives; and
  • apply the theoretical and practical knowledge gained in a professional context.

There are seven thematic areas in the LAS Global Studies major and students have the freedom of choosing their unique topic within a thematic area. For example, a student interested in environmental justice may declare Environment, Sustainability and Social Responsibility as a thematic area, and environmental justice as their specific topic. The student may then, as an example, proceed to take courses in law and environmental studies to build their distinctive expertise; apart from any other Global Studies student.


Each student must complete 18 credit hours of course work towards their thematic area, of which 9 credit hours must be advanced, i.e. at the 300 or 400 levels of classes. These advanced classes are intellectually challenging and aim to build students’ expertise on their topic of interest. The thematic area must have classes from more than one discipline. Students must consult a Global Studies advisor about their course selection to gain maximum benefit from their thematic area. The advisor will ask students to justify their courses vis-à-vis their professional aspirations to ensure that the skill set the student is developing will aid their growth in the long run.

LAS Global Studies offers three capstone options as a culminating undergraduate integrative learning experience for students interested in grappling with global studies issues beyond their Major Plan of Study.

What is a capstone experience?

An opportunity to:

  • Demonstrate intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and problem solving with a unique academic experience
  • Summarize the skills and knowledge you’ve developed toward your degree
  • Apply your coursework in professional contexts
  • Further develop your academic and professional skills

Students interested in pursuing a capstone should make an appointmentto meet with an advisor to discuss how to best plan for this experience. The three options are:

A distinction project is, in the most basic sense, an independent research paper (approximately 50 pages in length) that you produce as a capstone for your degree. As part of this process you will build your content knowledge (by reviewing the literature), learn the basics of research design (through the proposal process), and gain valuable experience in assembling data, applying research methodologies, and in formal academic writing. Successful completion of the distinction project will require organization, discipline, and planning on your part.

For this Capstone Option, you will successfully complete:

GLBL 200: Foundations of Research (3 credits)

GLBL 494: Research Methods I (3 credits)

LAS 494: Senior Project (2 credits)

And, optionally, take

GLBL 495: Research Methods II (1 credit)

Upon successful completion of all requirements, you will be eligible to graduate with Distinction, which will be listed on your official transcript.

Example Distinction Projects

Information for Students

Information for Faculty

Through the Faculty Research Assistance option you will work directly with a professor in any department to assist them with their professional academic research. This may involve such tasks as working in a lab, collecting field data, managing databases, or gathering bibliographic information, among others. You will learn through immersion how a professional research project functions, and how expert knowledge is developed, tested, and publicized. You will build skills in research, collaboration, and professionalism that prepare you to work in a variety of contexts or to pursue a graduate degree. You will also network with professors and graduate students in your area of specialization.

For this Capstone Option, you will successfully complete:

GLBL 200: Foundations of Research (3 credits)

GLBL 492: Undergraduate Research Assistance (3-6 credits)

Upon successful completion of all requirements, you will receive a letter from LAS Global Studies certifying your completion of this track. This will not be listed on your official transcript.


Example Faculty Research Assistance Projects

Procedures for Designation and Approval of Research Projects

Through the Internship option you will secure an academic internship which complements your global studies interests in a setting of your choosing including, but not limited to, non-governmental organizations, community groups, government agencies, and think tanks. You will learn through this professional work experience how to apply content and skills you have honed as a Global Studies major and make observations about the challenges and opportunities which face global studies-focused professionals. You will build skills in leadership, collaboration, and professionalism that prepare you to work in a variety of contexts or pursue a graduate degree. Before the internship you will take GLBL 199 to learn how to prepare application materials, conduct informational interviews, participate in mock job interviews, explore networking strategies, and create a career narrative that represents your academic interests and skills.

For this Capstone Option, you will successfully complete:

GLBL 225: Career Development: Internship (1 credit)

Students in the Internship Capstone must also take one of the following courses for a letter grade and complete an internship:

*PS 491 six credits if taken in Washington, DC through IL in Washington.

**LAS 3-- is used for internship courses affiliated with study abroad programs (IFE, MSID)

Upon successful completion of all requirements, you will receive a letter from LAS Global Studies certifying your completion of this track. For internship ideas students are encouraged to consult the Career Prep page. This will not be listed on your official transcript.