The world is more interconnected than ever.
Conflict and climate change are driving migration on multiple continents. Contemporary problems require global solutions, but political and cultural differences can disrupt international agreements. The demand for people who can work across cultures has never been higher — and as a Global Studies major, you’ll help create a peaceful, sustainable future for people around the world.
You’ll study geography, world history, international politics, and peace and conflict. Intern at an Austin organization that supports immigrants, researches global economic and political trends, or facilitates international trade. Then go abroad, studying at one of St. Edward’s partner universities around the world. You’ll develop expertise in the politics, geography and history of a specific region, choosing from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America or the Middle East — as well as a related foreign language.
Graduate ready to build positive relationships between nations as a diplomat, or tackle humanitarian issues like disaster relief or human trafficking. Work for the United Nations or a multinational corporation. Whatever path you choose, you’ll shape the future as a citizen of the world.
What do our graduates do?
Global Studies majors go on to a variety of careers and graduate schools from St. Edward’s. Here’s a sample.
- Foreign service officer for the U.S. Department of State
- Foreign affairs officer for the National Nuclear Security Administration in the U.S. Department of Defense
- Consultant for Deloitte
- Active channels associate lead at Google
- Graduate students at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, Georgetown University, New York University and the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin
A Day as a Study Abroad Student
As a Global Studies majors, you’ll have opportunities to study abroad. Few experiences give you a deeper understanding of the world community (and yourself) than living, studying or doing an internship abroad. Read about Brian To ’18, who studied in Japan and earned a dual degree in Global Studies and Asia Pacific Studies.
The Classroom and Beyond
As a Global Studies major, you’ll learn a language and study or intern abroad. You’ll also cultivate an international perspective while you’re in Austin, by participating in active-learning projects in your classes, meeting with global experts through the Kozmetsky Center for Excellence, and interning at local organizations that have an international mission.
Your courses will teach you to apply what you learn in real-life situations. In Strategic Intelligence, you’ll learn about importance of information gathering in the 21st century and participate in gathering simulations throughout the semester.
Traveling abroad is the perfect way to learn about another culture, government, and economy and strengthen your language skills. You’ll be able to study abroad at one of St. Edward’s partner universities across more than 15 countries. Or take your studies almost anywhere in the world through another international education provider. You can also choose to intern abroad, helping increase your cultural agility, add to your skill set and expand your global network.
The St. Edward’s–Asia Pacific University dual-degree program gives you the chance to earn two degrees in four years and spend two years studying abroad. You’ll spend your first and fourth years of college at St. Edward’s, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies, and your second and third years at our partner university Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Beppu, Japan, earning a Bachelor of Social Science degree. APU is a multicultural campus with students from nearly 100 countries and offers most classes in Japanese and English. Your courses there will focus on Asia Pacific studies and business. The dual degrees — along with the cultural understanding, language skills and international perspective you’ll gain — will make you a stronger applicant for jobs or graduate school.
The Kozmetsky Center of Excellence at St. Edward’s brings international experts to campus, either in person or virtually, to share their knowledge with the university community. Past speakers have included American and foreign diplomats, policy makers, university scholars, and leaders of the business, non-profit and cultural communities. You’ll have the chance to listen and ask questions of these global experts in sustainable development, peace and security, global health, climate change and global finance.
Students for Sustainability educates the St. Edward’s community about eco-friendly practices and works with the St. Edward’s administration to implement environmental initiatives. Members help maintain the campus garden, learn about biking and public transportation, encourage fellow students to reduce their use of plastic water bottles, and have clothing swaps and upcycled craft nights.
The S.E.R.V.E. program, coordinated by Campus Ministry, connects you with volunteer opportunities in Austin. You can participate in a Saturday-morning program where you clean up a park or paint a school building, or commit to weekly service for the whole semester at an organization helping immigrants, children or the elderly.
Service Break Experiences give you the chance to travel to another community, volunteer and learn about local life. SBEs are built on ongoing relationships between St. Edward’s and the service location and require students to prepare — educationally and spiritually — for several months beforehand. The trips incorporate structured reflections so you’ll integrate what you’ve learned and use it to fuel your charity and justice work going forward. A hallmark of SBEs is their emphasis on living simply — you’ll leave your phone and other luxuries behind. In previous years, SBEs have gone to Peru, Canada, and India.
Global Studies students are particularly well positioned to compete for prestigious scholarships that value an international perspective.
St. Edward’s is one of the country’s leading producers of students who win Fulbright awards, a highly selective scholarship and grant program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Fulbright students conduct research or teach English abroad after graduating from college. Global Studies majors have won Fulbrights to work in Germany, Mexico, Colombia, Spain and South Korea. Their global education, language skills, and experiences interning, studying and researching abroad make them competitive candidates for the award.
Numerous Global Studies majors have been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which offers grants to undergraduates to study or intern abroad. Students have recently received these awards to study in Chile, Costa Rica and France.
Boren Scholarships fund study abroad by U.S. undergraduates in world regions critical to U.S. interests. A Global Studies major recently was awarded a Boren Scholarship to Lucknow, India.
Major Requirements: The Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies requires 43-57 hours of major courses, which include a combination of geography, global studies, history, and political studies. In addition, students choose both a regional and a thematic concentration. Students choose both a regional concentration and a thematic concentration to specialize their studies.
Electives: Students complete 18 hours of elective courses in any area of study they choose. These courses do not have to relate to the major.
General Education Requirements: The degree requires 45 hours of general education courses that students complete over four years in addition to their major courses and electives.
View and download the full degree plan for our Global Studies major (PDF).
A few examples of courses students in this major take:
- Global Public Health - examines how biological, historical, political and socio-economic factors influence the health of populations
- International Security and Conflict Resolution - explores the causes of war and the nature of diplomacy
- American Foreign Relations - delves into the interactions the United States has with other countries and the policymakers who craft those relations
Internships help you develop cultural competency and gain experience in a professional work environment. Students have interned with these organizations:
- Henry Davis Foundation
- The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES)
- Community development internship in Ecuador
- Equal Justice Center, a nonprofit law firm
- LifeWorks, an Austin agency that supports youth and families with housing, education and counseling
- AIDS Foundation Houston
“Teaching global and international affairs is endlessly fascinating for me because the world is always in a constant state of change. I try to create a classroom environment where discussions of global issues and events are lively and, while we may not be able to come up with the right answers, we can, at least try to agree upon what questions we should be asking."
– Dr. William Nichols, Professor of Political Science and Global Studies
“The things I enjoy most about teaching Global Studies and Political Science are the interactions I have with students. My classes are places which welcome lively discussions of current events and the underlying causes of those events."
– Jooyoun Lee, Associate Professor of Global Studies and Political Science
Dual Degree Program (with APU in Japan)
Students have the option to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies from St. Edward’s University and a Bachelor of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies from our partner university, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Beppu, Japan. Study in Austin your freshman and senior years, and Beppu your sophomore and junior years as you explore the social, political, cultural and economic changes shaping our world.
The Life-Changing Adventure (and Rewards) of a 4-Year Dual Degree: Brian To ('18) spent two years in Beppu, Japan, as part of a dual-degree partnership between St. Edward’s and Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University.
Interested? Contact Dr. William Nichols firstname.lastname@example.org.
Global Studies Minor
The minor in Global Studies is an asset for any student who wishes to add an international perspective to their education. Students are required to take 18 hours to complete the minor.
- Global Issues
- One Global Studies area survey course and one advanced History, Political Science or Economics course in that region
- Senior Seminar in Global Studies
- One course from each thematic track (International Business & Economics, International Conflict, Cooperation & Security, and Global Public Health)
Are you a current student? Contact your advisor for next steps on declaring your major or minor.