Key Initiative 12:
Global Studies Major

A new multidisciplinary major in Global Studies responds to the knowledge needs and demands of the 21st century. The complexity of the economic, social, and cultural expressions of globalization necessitates strong, interdisciplinary academic approaches. The Global Studies major also strengthens and reinforces our liberal arts mission and curriculum, offering the opportunity for many of our liberal arts disciplines to become central in a relevant and timely new major. Furthermore, it is in strong support of the College’s mission to prepare women for life in a global community.

The Global Studies major will prepare students to shape their world as global leaders. The objective of the program is to develop global competence, that is, transnational understanding, and global engagement, that is, communication and action. The major prepares students to understand and respond to major historic changes in the world: the rise and decline of nation states in the 19th and 20th centuries and the emergence of a modern world system in the 21st century with new forms of authority and linkages throughout the globe. While the local perspective and identity politics are likely to endure, the new 21st century world requires a breadth of understanding beyond that of our traditional fields of study.

Students who declare a Global Studies major will complete a core curriculum in history, political science, anthropology, economic geography, religious studies, and language and then choose a focus in one of three areas: culture, society, and religion; international business and economics; or global stewardship. Students will be strongly encouraged to do a study abroad experience. The major will feature a capstone thesis course in the student’s senior year.

There will be a natural synergy between the Global Studies major and the Center for Global Community as well as initiatives contained in the Study Abroad proposal, both of which are discussed elsewhere in the Strategic Plan, such as international study, service learning and internships, scholarships, and sister-college relationships abroad.

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