Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies

Wayne State's bachelor's in global studies is tailored for those passionate about understanding and participating in our diverse world.

Blending captivating subjects in history, the humanities, social sciences and languages, this interdisciplinary degree resonates with the adventurous at heart. With a global experience requirement, elective classes in three distinct focus areas and a wide range of language courses, you embark on a transformative journey of cultural exploration.

Why Wayne State's global studies major?

  • Learn a foreign language.
  • Affordable opportunities to study abroad in China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Poland or Russia.
  • Actively engage with multicultural, multilingual communities in the urban center of Detroit, MI.
  • Gain versatile skills such as communication and collaboration that easily transfer across a broad spectrum of professions.

What is global studies?

Global studies is the interdisciplinary study of how contemporary issues affect people across the globe. Those involved in global studies analyze the interconnectedness of anthropology, culture, economics, ethnography, law, politics and more to determine how and why major problems arise.

These professionals utilize many forms of available media to raise awareness about global challenges. Working to facilitate cross-cultural understanding, informed decision-making and policy development, global studies experts often operate in travel-oriented or related diverse positions.

Learning objectives

  • Communicate in at least one foreign language at an intermediate level.
  • Become an engaged global citizen through the development of intercultural competencies.
  • Lead thoughtful, respectful discussions regarding the effects of globalization on individuals and societies across various perspectives.
  • Prepare for business, diplomacy, government, healthcare, journalism, law, nonprofit organizations, politics, research or teaching careers.

Global studies program requirements and curriculum

The Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies program requires a minimum of 120 credits. The curriculum includes department program requirements along with your global studies major requirements:

  • Core courses
  • Language courses
  • Global experience
  • Focus area courses (choose one):
  • Global politics and economics
  • Global health and environment
  • Global culture and identities

View requirements


Your course schedule differs depending on which focus area you choose. However, all global studies majors engage in the following exciting topics:

  • Globalization
  • Intercultural competence
  • World languages
  • Globalization across literature, film, media and the visual arts
  • Worldwide environmental issues

Global experience: intern or study abroad

Enrolling in the global studies degree program means you have the unique opportunity to study or intern abroad as part of your global experience requirement. This requirement-which can be funded through the Office of International Programs is met through your choice of the following:

  • An internship at a local agency dealing with global issues
  • Study or intern abroad
  • Engage in fieldwork or study abroad that is part of a specific global studies course

If you choose to study or intern abroad, take a look at the many locations you can explore:

  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Lebanon
  • Mexico
  • Poland
  • Russia

Start mapping out your study abroad experience.

Minor in language

Looking to enhance your global studies major? A minor in a language not only allows your résumé to stand out but also provides opportunities for you to explore your interests. Review a few of our available language minors:

Explore more language minors

Honors program

The global studies honors program offers capable students the opportunity to pursue independent study and to work closely with department faculty members. Completing the honors major results in an honors degree designation on the diploma.

  • Requirements

    In order to enter the global studies honors program, students must have achieved academic excellence in previous work, such as a college or university GPA of 3.3.

    For honors in the major, students must meet all regular major requirements, including the following:

    • Three honors-option courses within their major (internships cannot satisfy this requirement)
    • At least one HON 42XX seminar offered through the liberal arts honors program (see: honors program in the Undergraduate Bulletin). For further information about seminar topics, consult the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section of the Schedule of Classes, under 'Honors Program'
    • A senior honors thesis under the direction of a full-time faculty adviser in their major area (GLS 4996)
    • A GPA of 3.3 within the major
    • Total number of honors credits required (including Honors seminar and thesis): 15 credits

    GS 4996 Senior Honors Thesis three credits

    Prerequisite: Admission to the global studies honors program; a proposal accepted and given written consent by the thesis adviser and program director. The honors thesis involves a closely supervised research project that results in a paper of approximately 20 to 25 pages.

    If you would like to be considered for the global studies honors program, contact Dr. Patricia McCormick.

  • Application

    Fields with asterisks (*) are required.

    In addition to this form, please attach a personal statement that describes your interest in global studies and specific research topics or areas of interest.

    In 400 to 500 words, please address the following:

    1. Describe your interest in global studies and specific international issues that you focus on.

    2. Describe an issue in global studies that you are highly motivated to address and to invest time and effort exploring. Why are you motivated to study this issue?

    3. Discuss your career goals and your after-graduation plans.

    4. Provide any additional information that will help the members of the Global Studies
    Honors Committee evaluate your application.

Global studies bachelor's career outlook

Whether working in your home country or traveling abroad to improve international relations, the cross-cultural lenses you develop as a global studies major are valuable across all industries. For-profit businesses, nonprofits and government agencies constantly seek talented communicators, meaning you have ample opportunities to find your niche.

The global studies major prepares you for graduate study or employment in the following settings:

  • Academia
  • Business
  • Diplomacy
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Marketing agencies
  • Medicine
  • Research
  • Tourism

Scholarships and tuition

Wayne State University has several scholarships available to part- or full-time students that can be applied to their overall education or study abroad programs.

Learn more about Wayne State University's B.A. in Global Studies

Begin your intellectual exploration and cross-cultural insight journey by enrolling as a global studies major at Wayne State University! With a rich tapestry of immersive language courses, exhilarating study abroad experiences and specialized focus areas, become a trailblazer that unravels and solves complex global challenges across our planet.

Career insights

This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.