FAQ: What Is a Global Studies Major? (With Jobs and Salaries)

What is a global studies major?

Social Science Core Courses (12 credits): These courses provide students with a solid foundation in the social science fields of Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, and Sociology, allowing them to use these disciplinary viewpoints in analyzing global issues. Majors in global studies must choose four courses from the following list, with no more than one course from each discipline. See our current recommended course list for this semesters offerings.

Advanced Language Coursework (6 Credits): Global Studies majors are required to complete 6 Credit Hours of Advanced Language Study in a Language that is Not Their Primary Language and Corresponds to Their Regional Focus and Study Abroad Location. Students can work in non-English speaking environments and become accustomed to new ways of thinking, perceiving, and interacting with others thanks to this requirement.

Majors in Global Studies must choose one of the following courses to satisfy this requirement. The equivalent of four semesters of prior UIUC coursework, as determined by a placement exam, are required for all advanced language courses. Students who are continuing a language they started learning elsewhere should get in touch with the relevant language department to arrange a placement exam. Students majoring in Global Studies cannot satisfy the advanced language requirement by passing a proficiency test. By working with language instructors and seeking advice from a Global Studies advisor, language majors can pursue languages that aren’t on this list.

Global Studies majors take courses on a regional area that matches their language and study abroad destination to gain knowledge of the historical, political, and cultural context of one particular world region. Regional Area Studies (9 credits): African, East and South Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Russian and Eastern European, and Western European regions are the ones that students choose from.

The majority of area studies majors start their coursework before traveling and finish it while studying abroad. Courses in area studies must be at the 200-level or higher and must come from at least two different departments. Any courses that fall under this category may be selected by students with the advisor for global studies’ approval. View our most recent list of recommended courses and peruse the websites of UIUC’s area studies centers for information on suggested area studies courses on campus.

The subject area enables students to identify their areas of interest for post-graduation pursuit. The intention to genuinely enjoy the topic at hand thus replaces the immediate goal of finishing coursework. Students can further develop into responsible people who are always successful in their endeavors by designing their major to fit their interests. Thematic area courses enable students to:

The LAS Global Studies major has seven thematic areas, and students are free to select their special subject within a thematic area. For instance, a student interested in environmental justice might declare environmental justice as their specific topic and Environment, Sustainability, and Social Responsibility as their thematic area. The student could then go on to take courses in law and environmental studies, for instance, to develop their unique expertise and set themselves apart from other Global Studies students.

Each student is required to complete 18 credits of course work related to their chosen theme, of which 9 credits must be advanced, i e. at the 300 or 400 levels of classes. These challenging advanced courses are designed to increase students’ knowledge of their chosen subject. Multiple disciplines must be represented in the thematic area’s classes. To make the most of their thematic area, students should choose their courses in consultation with a Global Studies advisor. In order to make sure that the skill set a student is developing will support their growth over time, the advisor will ask students to justify their course choices in relation to their career goals.

Introducing the Global Studies Major

What is the curriculum for global studies?

A global studies major’s course of study might include introductory classes in the following areas:

Students may begin taking more difficult and specialized courses as they advance and decide on their areas of concentration. Upperclassmen might study topics like:

Most upperclassmen choose a region to concentrate on, such as the Middle East, Europe, Asia, or Africa. After settling on a region, they research specific subjects within it, such as modern African history or political movements in Latin America. Students enrolled in global studies programs are frequently required to spend at least one semester studying abroad and to finish a thesis project in their senior year.

What is a global studies major?

A major in global studies focuses on how politics and culture influence people’s lives in various countries. Students can study abroad, research global issues, consume media from various cultures, and read about international news in addition to learning languages. Students majoring in global studies frequently want to learn how to form knowledgeable opinions about international relations, draw conclusions about how different countries interact, and understand how global issues affect people’s daily lives. They may specialize in a specific area of the world and concentrate on issues like business and economics, linguistics and culture, or international conflict.

How can you decide if a major in global studies is right for you?

Here are some methods for determining whether or not this is the best major for you:

Consider your interests and goals

By assessing your interest in global issues, cultural anthropology, and international relations, you can determine if a global studies major is the right choice for you. It might also be helpful to consider your desired career paths and whether this major will prepare you for those paths. Many educational institutions anticipate global studies majors to be adaptable and open-minded when learning about the traditions, languages, and ideologies of other cultures. Global studies could be a useful major if you’re interested in broadening your perspectives on religion, media, women’s issues, and other cultural subjects.

Consider if you want to travel internationally

People who enjoy exploring new cultures, cuisines, traditions, and lifestyles might also enjoy earning a degree in global studies and taking part in study abroad opportunities. You may also benefit from a global studies program if you keep up with world affairs and have strong opinions about international relations and other global issues. You can assess your ability to handle frequent travel to determine if this is the ideal career for you.

Consider your skills and strengths

Research papers and group discussions are typical components of global studies courses. Success may be attained by those with strong research abilities, an understanding of logic and critical thinking, and good written and verbal communication skills. Hard skills like math could help you evaluate international research studies.

What jobs can you pursue with a major in global studies?

Here are six possible careers for those majoring in global studies. Please click on the links below to view the most recent Indeed salaries:

Journalists’ main responsibilities include conducting research, writing articles, and speaking on news programs about current affairs, cultural issues, and human interest topics. They may be responsible for submitting story proposals, working with editors, conducting source interviews, revising stories, and updating ones that have already been published when new information becomes available. Reporters for television news outlets known as broadcast journalists may also be required to practice, travel, and conduct live interviews with guests.

Among their main responsibilities is advocating for people’s mental, emotional, and material needs when going through difficult times or life changes. They could keep an eye on the actions of their clients, find resources and support networks, deal with crises and urgent situations, and create long-term plans with their clients. Clinical social workers are concerned with their patients’ mental health and refer them to doctors as needed. They also diagnose conditions and disorders, create treatment plans, and instruct patients on how to take care of themselves.

Political analysts’ main responsibilities are to research political ideologies and systems and to forecast trends, events, and public sentiment. They frequently have to conduct polls and surveys, read historical texts, research ideologies, analyze and interpret statistical data, and produce summaries of their research in reports and presentations. The majority of the time, they forecast social, political, and economic changes using this research and analysis.

Business consultants are professionals in sales and business who advise organizations on how to boost output and increase revenue. They examine business practices, look into trends, recommend cost-cutting measures, and suggest methods to reduce waste and boost productivity. Business consultants frequently research the global market and recommend adjustments to sales strategies, investments, or human resources to help global brands maintain competitiveness.

Lawyers’ main responsibilities include defending clients in court who are individuals, groups, businesses, or governmental bodies. Lawyers frequently do things like conduct case research, draft legal documents, counsel clients, attend hearings, interact with the court, create filings, and present evidence in court. In order to reduce legal risks, they may also examine documents and provide organizations and businesses with advice.

A diplomat’s main responsibilities include representing their nation in matters of foreign policy, frequently while stationed abroad. They are in charge of establishing and upholding friendly relations with other countries, promoting the interests of their own, negotiating economic policies, and offering advice to government officials. Additionally, diplomats frequently keep an eye on the political situation in the nation in which they are stationed, report any pertinent information to government officials back home, and form social, political, or economic hypotheses based on their observations.


Is a global studies major worth it?

degree is highly reputable and graduates will get jobs. Global studies offers helpful training that can be applied to a variety of jobs due to its interdisciplinary nature and the world’s shrinking in so many ways, he said.

What do you learn with a global studies degree?

An interdisciplinary course of study called “global studies” includes topics like politics, ecology, economics, culture, history, and globalization. A major in global studies will teach you about the effects of globalization, as well as how societies around the world are attempting to address current issues and problems.

Does global studies pay well?

The majority of Global Studies salaries currently range between $73,000 (25th percentile) and $171,000 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) making $191,000 annually across the United States, while ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $196,000 and as low as $25,500.

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