2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Sep 19, 2020  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

School of American & Global Studies

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Christine Garst-Santos, Director
School of American and Global Studies
Wagner Hall 121



Marie-Pierre Caquot Baggett, Molly Enz, Gregory Peterson, William Prigge, María Ramos-García, Eckhard Rölz

Associate Professors

José Álvarez, Arthur James Murphy, Dale Potts, Christine Garst-Santos, Maria Spitz, Charles Vollan, Evren Celik Wiltse, David Wiltse, Graham Wrightson

Assistant Professors

Sharity Bassett, Mark Freeland, Lisa Hager, Luz Angélica Kirschner, Filip Viskupic


Christopher Hummel, Karl Schmidt, George Tsakiridis


Macarena Escondrillas, Kyle Irvin


Ann Marie Bahr, Phillip Baker, Patricia Beattie, Rodney Bell, Dennis Bielfeldt, Robert Burns, Karen Cárdenas, David Crain, Michael Funchion, Delmer Lonowski, John E. Miller, David S. Nelson, Anthony Richter, Carl Sunde, Jerry Sweeney, Gordon Tolle


The School of American and Global Studies (AGS) prepares critical thinkers and proficient researchers who are culturally literate and globally engaged. The School brings together many of the core disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. AGS offers majors and minors in American Indian studies, French studies, German, global studies, history, political science and Spanish, along with minors in legal studies, philosophy and religion in addition to a certificate in workplace intercultural competence. More broadly, the school fulfills SDSU’s land-grant mission by creating an opportunity for the campus and the community to explore current and historical social, cultural and political issues in-depth. The curriculum provides students with experience in the cultural, historical, linguistic, philosophical, political, and religious systems that sustain U.S. and global societies.  

School faculty efforts support a challenging curriculum that encourages civic participation to strengthen the values and historic traditions of democracy. Its members encourage and prepare students to live in an increasingly interconnected world and to understand and appreciate the human diversity created by cultures, geography, and time. The political science faculty promote an awareness and understanding of global events, while the history faculty identify the historic background and historical trends that influence these events. The modern languages faculty provide critical understanding of the languages, cultures, and histories of specific geopolitical regions. The philosophy and religion faculty deal with the fundamental questions of life, the basis of knowledge and morality and practices of the world’s many religious traditions. All faculty contribute to the global studies curriculum, fostering the development of intercultural competence and global citizenship. This curriculum is presented in a manner that develops and enhances critical thinking and communication skills to prepare students for meaningful employment, further scholarship, and community engagement. These efforts facilitate the achievement of national distinction by the school’s majors as scholars and engaged citizens.

Faculty research crosses academic, disciplinary, and geographic boundaries to advance and disseminate knowledge about key domestic and global issues that are of vital importance to South Dakota and beyond. As part of our Land Grant mission, the School connects the university with the community and the world through its outreach. We serve communities at home and abroad in areas such as linguistic and cultural competency, diversity and inclusion, and experiential learning. Many degrees prepare you for a specific job; our degrees prepare you for life in a globalized world.

Modern Language Placement

Students entering the University with prior courses or family background in modern languages should take the placement exam. Students who test into courses beyond 101 are eligible to receive credit for all previous courses up to 202 (i.e., 101, 102, 201, and 202). Whatever a student’s career goals, previous study of any second language may make a second major or a minor feasible. Employers in every field seek graduates who are interculturally competent.

Students who are native speakers of a language other than English can apply to get first or second year credit (101, 102, 201, and 202) for their native language. For more information please check the Modern Language Credit policy in the Policies & General Academic Information  section of this catalog.

International Students

International students enrolled at SDSU are strongly encouraged to discuss with their advisor or the Director possible variations in requirements for the majors and minors that take into consideration their mastery of a foreign language and previous international experiences. The School has placement information as well as specific information on all of its programs available in the main office of the School of American and Global Studies and on the school’s web page.





Pre-Professional Interest Areas

Facilities & Services

The School of American and Global Studies has a language resource center for language practice and testing. The School offers computerized Oral Proficiency Interviews that rank student language proficiency and provide a nationally recognized certificate that can be used when applying to both jobs and graduate schools.

Student Support & Engagement Opportunities

The School provides numerous opportunities for student involvement through the Arrowhead Model United Nations program, Pre-Law Society, and French, Spanish, German, Global Studies, History, and Political Science clubs.  Some of these activities include film screenings, game nights, conversation tables, and meals featuring food from around the world.  Students also have the possibility to become members of the Delta Phi Alpha German Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honor Society, and Phi Alpha Theta (History’s national honor society).

The School provides numerous travel, service, and internship opportunities for students, both locally and abroad.  Faculty-led study abroad programs are offered annually, some of which include a service-learning component.  Many of the language and global studies courses integrate service-learning projects where students can become involved with a local community partner and gain practical experience in their field of study.

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