Through the global studies program, students can take a wide range of classes to explore issues facing the global community that match their unique passions and interests. Global studies is a great fit for students who love exploring international issues and culture, care about global issues and can work independently.

Programs of Study

Major in Global Studies

A student majoring in global studies chooses one or two concentration areas in which to focus. All students will have an introduction to global studies and take part in the Senior Seminar course, which includes community research and career preparation.

Concentrations include:

  • Development Studies (poverty, inequality, socioeconomic development)
  • Global Environmental Studies (ecological and environmental issues)
  • Global Systems and Processes (social, political, economic, and religious interactions)
  • Culture and Identity in Global Affairs (cultural issues, cross-cultural dialogue)
  • Asian Studies
  • European Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • New Pathways (develop a new pathway to a global studies major not fulfilled through another concentration)

Minor in Cross-Cultural Interaction

This interdisciplinary program will prepare you to analyze culture and cultural differences and to acquire tools that enhance intercultural competency.

Minor in International Affairs

This interdisciplinary program will provide you with the knowledge and analytical tools to interpret the global landscape of interconnected countries.

Career

Global studies will prepare you for a wide variety of career paths from working in government, NGOs, nonprofits, and businesses. Many students go abroad after graduation, gaining work experience and learning language.

Recent grads have gone to:

  • Ukraine with the Peace Corps
  • Argentina and Hungary with ELCA's Young Adults in Global Mission
  • Chile, as an international student coordinator at a university
  • China, as a teaching assistant
  • Thailand, as a missionary
  • Ghana, as a refugee caseworker
  • Teach English in Japan, South Korea, France, Poland, and Slovakia

Some students also go on to graduate school, pursuing a variety of disciplines including social and public policy, law, ethnic studies, international relations, international human rights law, international peace studies, and journalism.

Global studies graduates have also found employment with organizations like America Abroad Media in Washington, D.C., New Futures in Seattle, Center for New Americans at the University of Minnesota Law School, World Endeavors in Minneapolis and United Planet in Boston.

Degree Requirements and Courses

Required Courses

Additional Requirements

Global Studies majors must choose at least one concentration (20-32 credits).

Concentrations

Culture and Identity in Global Affairs Concentration

Culture and Identity in Global Affairs Concentration requires 24-28 credits:

This concentration is intended for students who are interested in focusing on how culture and identity create and shape a variety of issues faced by communities around the world. In addition to learning to analyze the interaction of different cultural and identity groups, students will learn how cultural/identity differences can be navigated in order to address difficult problems. Examples of relevant issues and themes include ethnic tensions, religious nationalism, conflict and conflict resolution, peacemaking, immigration, migration, and tensions among local, regional, and global identities. Students in this concentration will improve their intercultural competency and acquire tools that will help them to work on issues involving culture and cross-cultural dialogue.

In a very few cases, courses included in the different lists of elective choices below have prerequisites; that is so noted wherever it is the case. No specifically required courses have prerequisites.

8 credits from courses that focus on providing foundational theories, concepts, and tools used in the study of culture, identity, and cross-cultural interaction (courses must be from two different departments): 

4 credits from a course with a substantial focus on colonialism and postcolonialism:

5-8 credits from courses that provide regional or local expertise and experience:

8 credits from courses focused on providing the tools and intercultural competencies needed to take action to address social problems and to bridge cultural/identity- based divisions. A portal seminar or PEAK experience may be used in place of one 4-credit course. 

Development Studies Concentration

Development Studies Concentration requires 27-28 credits:

This concentration is for students who are interested in issues concerning poverty, inequality and socioeconomic development. The curriculum enables students to gain expertise in the social, political and economic aspects of poverty, inequality and the effort to promote socioeconomic development.

Required Courses:

4 credits from a course on comparative political analysis and international relations, chosen from the following:

8 credits from courses focused entirely on the subject of socioeconomic development, chosen from the following:

7-8 credits from a course with subject matter that is relevant to the study of global socioeconomic development, poverty and inequality, chosen from the following:

4 credits earned through a study abroad or experiential learning opportunity. Credits must be approved by the chair of the global studies program. Credits may be earned in the following ways:

  • Completion of a relevant 4-credit Cooperative Education course (390);
  • Completion of a relevant 4-credit course taken as part of a study abroad experience that is related in some way to the study of development.

Global Environmental Studies Concentration

Global Environmental Studies Concentration requires 32 credits.

This concentration is for students who are interested in gaining the expertise necessary for engaging with the ecological and environmental issues facing humanity. Environmental problems and their solutions are explored from a distinctly global perspective.

4 credits in ethics, chosen from the following:

4 credits from a course on environmental policy, chosen from the following:

4 credits from relevant courses in the social sciences or humanities, chosen from the following:

4 credits earned through a study abroad or experiential learning opportunity. Credits must be approved by the chair of the concentration. Credits may be earned in one of the following ways:

  • completion of a relevant 4-credit Cooperative Education course (390)
  • completion of a 4-credit independent study (480) or research project (487) that involves original field research
  • completion of a relevant 4-credit course taken as part of a study abroad experience that is related in some way to the study of global environment issues.

Global Systems and Processes Concentration

Global Systems and Processes Concentration requires 31 credits.

Students pursuing this concentration will explore the contemporary institutions, assumptions, norms and practices that transcend individual states and civilizations and shape the interactions – social, political, economic and religious – of the peoples and states of the world. Students will not only explore the evolution of these various arrangements (including institutions such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization), they will also be encouraged to think about the implications of current trends and developments for the future of these arrangements.

OR
a substitute course approved by the chair of the global studies program

4-credits from an international perspectives course (explores the social, political, economic, or religious interactions of two or more states or geographic regions with an eye both to discerning areas of disagreement and common ground and to exploring the impact of these relationships on the global system), selected from the following:

4-credits from a global perspectives course (focuses on social, political, and economic problems in a global context, with particular attention to exploring the role of contemporary institutions, assumptions, norms and practices in addressing these various problems), selected from the following:

Regional Studies Concentrations

Students pursuing these concentrations will focus their study in a particular geographical and cultural region. Attention will be devoted to exploring a region’s unique history, institutions, assumptions and practices. Students selecting this concentration will be expected to complete a language requirement linked to their particular region of study.

Asian Studies Concentration

Asian Studies Concentration requires 20 credits, plus the language requirement.

20 credits selected from the following courses. To fulfill these requirements, courses must be primarily focused on Asia; if comparative, a minimum of one-half of the course content addresses Asia and a comparison with Asia is integral to the course (courses must be selected from no fewer than three academic departments).

  • India Program: Justice, Peace, and Sustainable Communities (up to 12 credits)
  • Kanda University Program, Japan (up to 12 credits plus language)
  • Temple University Program, Japan (up to 12 credits plus language)
  • United International College, China (up to 12 credits plus language)
  • USAC Programs in Japan, Thailand, South Korea (up to 12 credits plus language)

Language Requirement (number of language credits will vary by student’s choice of language):

  • Demonstration of proficiency in an Asian language at the level of a 212 (fourth semester) language course. This may be fulfilled in the following ways:
  • Completion of Chinese 212 or higher course
  • Completion of Japanese 202 or higher course through the Tri-College (MSUM)
  • Transfer of credit earned at another institution (for the study of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Vietnamese or other Asian language) equivalent to the level of a 212 or higher course at Concordia.

Recommended Study Abroad Options:

  • India Program: Justice, Peace, and Sustainable Communities
  • United International College, Zhuhai, China
  • Sichuan International Studies University, Chongqing, China
  • World Christianity Semester, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Hong Kong, China
  • Kanda University Program, Chiba, Japan
  • Temple University Program in Tokyo, Japan
  • USAC Programs in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea

European Studies Concentration

European Studies Concentration requires 24 credits plus the language requirement:

8 credits from courses that explore the question of Europe from historical and contemporary perspectives, chosen from the following:

  • 12 additional credits from courses that focus on European society and political perspectives. The question here is how one defines community in European context and what the issues are which either help provide cohesion whether on a regional, national or European-wide basis or place that sense of identity into question.
    • Students must take a minimum of 4 credits from each of the two areas listed below.
    • No more than one course may be taken within the same discipline.
    • Many of these electives require language proficiency at the 212 level or above. See catalog course descriptions for prerequisite information.

Area 1: Defining Community through the Arts. Understanding the role of culture in providing a sense of identity.

Area 2: Challenges in European Society. Historical and contemporary insights into the way in which politics, religion, social issues and economics impact an understanding of regional and national identity.

  • 4 credits earned through a study abroad or experimental learning opportunity that includes a focus on contemporary issues. Credits must be approved by the chair of the concentration. Credits may be earned in the following ways:
    • completion of a relevant 4-credit Cooperative Education course (390)
    • completion of a relevant 4-credit course taken as part of a study abroad experience

Language Requirement (number of language credits will vary by student’s choice of language) – One year (8 credits) of a non-English European language in addition to the college’s Core language requirement, fulfilled in one of the following ways:

  • Demonstration of proficiency in a non-English modern European language at the level of a 212 (fourth semester) language course at Concordia. This may be achieved through the completion at Concordia of a 212 language course in French, German, or Spanish or through the transfer of credit earned at another institution for a course equivalent to the level of a 212 or higher course at Concordia

  • Completion of two semesters of a second (in addition to the language used to fulfill the college’s Core language requirement) non-English European language

  • Completion of one semester each of two additional (in addition to the college’s Core language requirement) non-English European languages

Recommended Study Abroad Options: 

  • Liverpool Hope University, England
  • University of Glasgow, Scotland
  • Arcadia University in Athens, Greece
  • Lorenzo de Medici Institute, Italy
  • Friedrich Schiller Universität, Jena, Germany
  • Lebnitz Universität, Hannover, Germany, International Business
  • National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Institut de Gestion, Université de Rennes, France, International Business
  • L’Université François-Rabelais, Tours, France
  • Centro de Estudio Hispanicos de Segovia, Spain
  • Universidad de Alicante, Spain
  • Center for Cross-Cultural Studies, Seville, Spain

Latin American Studies Concentration

Latin American Studies Concentration requires 20 credits, plus the language requirement:

Language Requirement (number of language credits will vary by student’s choice of language) – Students must demonstrate competence in Spanish. Competence may be proven with a grade of B or better in SPAN 312 – Conversation and Film in the Hispanic World or a higher course. Native speakers of Spanish who have had extensive experience in the language should consult with a Latin American studies member of the faculty.

Recommended Study Abroad Options:

  • Universidad de las Américas, Mexico City, Mexico, International Business
  • Universidad Latina de Costa Rica
  • Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina
  • Universidad Dela Habana, Cuba

Required Courses

Additional Requirements

20 credits from the following:

Abroad program options:

  • India Program: Justice, Peace, and Sustainable Communities (up to 12 credits)

  • Kanda University Program, Japan (up to 12
    credits plus language)

  • Temple University Program, Japan (up to 12 credits plus language)

  • United International College, China (up to 12 credits plus language)

  • USAC Programs in Japan, Thailand, South Korea (up to 12 credits plus language)

Demonstration of proficiency in an Asian language at the level of a 212 language course. This may be fulfilled in the following ways:

  • Completion of Chinese 212 or higher
  • Completion of Japanese 202 or higher through Tri-College (MSUM)
  • Transfer credit earned at another institution (for the study of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Vietnamese or other Asian language)

Required Courses

Additional Requirements

4 credits from the following:

12 credits from "global discourse":

11 to 12 credits from "world community" courses:

Required Courses

Additional Requirements

8 credits from the following: 

7-8 credits from the following:

4 credits earned through a study abroad or experiential learning opportunity. Credits must be approved by the chair of the global studies program. credits may be earned in the following ways:

  • completion of a relevant 4-credit Cooperative Education course (390)
  • completion of a relevant 4-credit course taken as part of a study abroad experience that is related in some way to the study of development.

Required Courses

Additional Requirements

8 credits from the following:

12 additional credits from courses that focus on European society and political perspectives. From one of 2 areas:

  • Students must take a minimum of 4 credits from each of the two areas listed below.

  • No more than one course may be taken within the same discipline.

  • Many of these electives require language proficiency at the 212 level or above. See catalog course descriptions for prerequisite information.

4 credits earned through a study abroad or experimental learning opportunity:

  • completion of a relevant 4-credit Cooperative Education course (390)
  • completion of a relevant 4-credit course taken as part of a study abroad experience

One year (8 credits) of a non-English European language in addition to the college's core language requirement, fulfilled in one of the following ways:

  • Demonstration of proficiency in a non-English modern European language at the level of a 212 (fourth semester) language course at Concordia. This may be achieved through the completion at Concordia of a 212 language course in French, German, Norwegian, or Spanish or through the transfer of credit earned at another institution for a course equivalent to the level of a 212 or higher course at Concordia

  • Completion of two semesters of a second (in addition to the language used to fulfill the college’s Core language requirement) non-English European language

  • Completion of one semester each of two additional (in addition to the college’s Core language requirement) non-English European languages

Recommended study abroad experience: 

  • Liverpool Hope University, England

  • University of Glasgow, Scotland

  • Arcadia University in Athens, Greece

  • Lorenzo de Medici Institute, Italy

  • Friedrich Schiller Universität, Jena, Germany

  • Johannes Gutenberg Universität, Mainz, Germany, International Business

  • LebnitzUniversität,Hannover,Germany,InternationalBusiness

  • National University of Ireland, Galway

  • Institut de Gestion, Université de Rennes, France, International Business

  • L’UniversitéFrançois-Rabelais,Tours,France

  • Centro de Estudio Hispanicos de Segovia, Spain

  • Universidad de Alicante, Spain

  • Center for Cross-Cultural Studies, Seville, Spain

  • The programs listed under the Scandinavia in the Global Age Concentration

Concentrations

Area 1: Defining Community through the Arts

Area 2: Challenges in European Society

Required Courses

Additional Requirements

4 credits in ethics, chosen from the following:

4 credits from the following:

4 credits earned through a study abroad or experiential learning opportunity. Credits must be approved by the chair of the concentration. Credits may be earned in one of the following ways:

  • completion of a relevant 4-credit Cooperative Education course (390)
  • completion of a 4-credit independent study (480) or research project (487) that involves original field research
  • completion of a relevant 4-credit course taken as part of a study abroad experience that is related in some way to the study of global environment issues

Required Courses

Additional Requirements

8 additional credits from the following: 

Language Requirement: Students must demonstrate competence in Spanish. Competence may be proven with a grade of B or better in SPAN 312 – Conversation and Film in the Hispanic World or a higher course. Native speakers of Spanish who have had extensive experience in the language should consult with a Latin American studies member of the faculty.

Recommended study abroad experiences: 

  • Universidad de las Américas, Mexico City, Mexico, International Business

  • Universidad Latina de Costa Rica

  • UniversidadNacionaldeCórdoba,Argentina

  • Universidad Dela Habana, Cuba

Required Courses

"Concordia's mission statement inspired me to make my own mission statement: In pursuit to be the change, I will live adventurously and explore the cultures of the world in order to follow my dreams, create a sense of inspiration and truly foster a global community."
Kjerstin Engebretson '16, Program Manager at Microsoft

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Contact

Dr. Kenneth W. Foster

Chair/Professor, Political Science; Director, Community Engagement Political Science, Global Studies, Environmental and Sustainability Studies, Social Activism, Community Engagement