May 25, 2019  
2016-2018 Catalog 
2016-2018 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Global Studies, B.A.

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Program of Study

The Global Studies Program provides students with the opportunity to study international affairs from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Whether pursuing the major or the minor, students can choose from an approved list of courses from Anthropology, Communication, Economics, History, Liberal Studies, Literature and Writing, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, Modern Language Studies, Visual and Performing Arts, and Women’s Studies. The program allows students to specialize in one of five geographic regions: the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, or Sub-Saharan Africa, and in two of five global issue areas: Foreign Policy, Global Conflict and Cooperation, International Law and Human Rights, Global Political Economy and Development, and Gender in Global Perspective.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with a B.A. in Global studies will be able to:

  1. Describe and explain how their own culture is one of many diverse cultures and that alternate perceptions and behaviors may be based in cultural differences.
  2. Analyze world geography, global issues, processes, trends and systems.
  3. Compare and contrast global cultures beliefs, values, religions, arts, practices, and philosophies).
  4. Interpret and analyze global issues from a variety of disciplinary perspectives to think critically and solve problems.
  5. Communicate in and use second-language skills (at an intermediate high proficiency level) in order to gain knowledge of other cultures to extend access to information, experiences, and understanding.

Career Opportunities

The Global Studies Degree will be useful to students pursuing careers in international development, international organizations (e.g., United Nations), law, non-governmental organizations focusing on international affairs (e.g., Amnesty International), government, graduate study in History, Political Science, and International Affairs, and education.


Prior to taking any upper-division coursework for the major, students are encouraged to complete, or be in the final semester of completing, all lower-division General Education  requirements.

Special Conditions for the Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies

All courses counted toward the major, including “Preparation for the Major” courses, must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better. A minimum of eighteen (18) units counted toward the major must be earned in residence at Cal State San Marcos. No more than six (6) units of internship, GBST 495, and/or independent study, GBST 498, credit may be counted toward the major. In order to graduate, all Global Studies majors must successfully complete GBST 400 - Senior Seminar in Global Studies  during their senior year.

All Global Studies majors must meet a second-language competency requirement. This requirement can be met by completing an approved fourth semester language course with a grade of C (2.0) or higher or by successfully passing a fourth-semester-level language competency exam given by the CSUSM Language Learning Center. If the CSUSM Language Learning Center does not offer a competency exam in a student’s second language, this student may request that the competency exam be conducted by the Berlitz Language Center. Students requesting this option must receive official approval from the Global Studies Department Chair before scheduling a Berlitz exam. International students may satisfy this requirement by meeting the university’s TOEFL requirement for admission. A partial list of courses that can be used to meet the second-language competency requirement are listed below:


Language courses may not be “double-counted” to meet the Global Culture, Geographic Areas, and second-language competency requirements of the Global Studies major.

General Education (51 Units)

General Education Requirements 

Preparation for the Major (9 Units)

Complete the following nine (9) units of preparatory coursework with a grade of C (2.0) or better:

Total (9 Units)

*GEOG 201  may also be used to meet the “Area D – Discipline Specific Social Science” lower-division General Education  requirement.

**HIST 102  may also be used to meet the “Area C2 – Humanities” lower-division General Education  requirement.

***GBST 100  may also be used to meet the “D7 – Interdisciplinary Social Sciences” lower-division General Education  requirement.

Upper-Division Requirements

Total (39-48 Units)

Upper-Division Electives

For the latest list of upper-division electives that count for the major and minor, see “Requirements and Important Documents” at\globalstudies.

Geographic Areas
At least five units (5) in one geographic area drawn from at least two different disciplines; please see “Requirements and Important Documents” at for a list of approved courses in these areas:

The Americas
Middle East and North Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa

Global Culture
Students must complete two courses (5-6 units) from different disciplines; please see “Requirements and Important Documents” at for a list of approved courses in these areas.

Global Issues
Students must complete three courses in each of two of the following global issues areas listed below, for a total of at least seventeen (17) units. At least two courses in each issue area must be from different disciplines. Please see “Requirements and Important Documents” at for a list of approved courses in these areas:

Foreign Policy
Global Conflict and Cooperation
International Law and Human Rights
Global Political Economy and Development
Gender in Global Perspective

Minimum Total (120 Units)

Students must take a sufficient number of elective units to bring the total number of units to a minimum of 120

*At least six (6) units of General Education Requirements  in Areas C (Arts and Humanities) and D (Social Sciences) are automatically satisfied by courses taken in Preparation for the Major.

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