2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Global Studies (B.A.)

Location(s): Brookings Main Campus

Blue rectangle with triangles.

Apply Now Request More Information

Image of a the world connected by lines.

Program Coordinator/Contact

Molly Enz, Professor of French & Global Studies
School of American and Global Studies
Lincoln Hall 311, Box 2212

Program Information

The Global Studies program allows students to investigate and evaluate critical global issues, hone verbal and written communication skills, and develop intercultural competence necessary essential in a global marketplace and society. The interdisciplinary global studies major combines a set of required core courses, a modern language series, an international study abroad or internship experience, and a flexible series of electives from disciplines such as economics, geography, history, modern languages, philosophy, political science, religion, and sociology.  These components are designed to educate students in the complexity of the diverse cultural, environmental, political, religious and social interactions that comprise our modern world and to help them find solutions to the complex global challenges of the 21st century.

Course Delivery Format

Most courses for the Global Studies program are taught face-to-face on campus. Several courses required for the major may be offered online once a year. 

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the global studies major, students will:

  • Demonstrate a broad understanding of global issues, societies, civilizations, economies, and cultures through an interdisciplinary approach.
  • Gain verbal and written communication skills essential in a global marketplace and society.
  • Speak, read, understand, and write a foreign language at the intermediate-high level with solid narrative skills in the past, present, and future tenses.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of intercultural competence and effectively bridge cultural differences and commonalities.
  • Articulate the value of their global, cultural, and language studies and apply these skills to future employment.

Requirements for Global Studies Major: 120 Credits

Bachelor of Arts

System General Education Requirements

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Requirements

Bachelor of Arts Requirements: 6+

  • Modern Foreign Language Including the 202-Level Credits: 6+
  • One declared minor outside of the major discipline OR a second major OR a teaching specialization. The minor may be a traditional minor within one department or school or it may be interdisciplinary involving more than one department or school. The minor can be in a different college. The minor must be declared no later than the student’s third semester of enrollment.
  • Capstone course in the major discipline
  • Upper division coursework Credits: 33

System General Education and/or major coursework may satisfy some or all of the above requirements. Consult program advisor for details. See the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences  for additional information about Bachelor of Arts specifications.

Modern Languages Requirement

Select Option 1 - One Language, Option 2 - Two Languages, or Option 3 - Qualified Waiver. Credits: 20-22

  • Option 1 - One Language Credits: 20
  • Option 2 - Two Languages Credits: 22
    • Global Studies majors may, with approval of the school, design a Modern Language program that combines two languages.  Students have the option of taking courses in two languages offered at SDSU with coursework in one language through the intermediate level (201 and 202) and in the second language through the introductory level (101 and 102). Another option is for students to combine coursework in one of the languages offered at SDSU through the intermediate level (201 and 202) with coursework in a less commonly taught language (e.g., Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, etc.) through the introductory level (101 and 102 or the equivalent). This option, including an assessment plan, must be approved in advance by the school.
  • Option 3 - Qualified Waiver Credits: 21
    • The School of American and Global Studies recognizes the need to be flexible regarding languages that are not offered at SDSU or that are less commonly taught in universities across the United States. The Modern Language Requirement for the major may be waived if examination shows the student has achieved a level of language learning equivalent to that of students who have completed 21 credit hours in a language and are able to use the language at an intermediate level (Intermediate Low according to the ACTFL scale). The school will evaluate the documentation. A student may be exempt from examination at SDSU if they have successfully completed one or more of the nationally administered tests showing an equivalent level of proficiency.

Global Studies Electives

In consultation with an Academic Advisor, students develop a plan of study using courses listed below for a total of 12 credits with at least:

  • 2 different prefixes minimum
  • No more than 6 credits per prefix
  • No more than 3 credits of lower division (100- and 200-level) coursework

Other courses not listed below that have a significant global emphasis may also qualify but must be approved in advance. Credits: 12

Cross Cultural Experience

Credits: 3

  • Students may use a variety of travel experience courses in the catalog to fulfill this requirement for a cross-cultural experience outside of the United States that includes at least three credits of academic coursework and lasts at least 4 weeks.
  • Students may select several shorter experiences that add up to four weeks total with approval from the school director.  However, a semester or academic year abroad is highly recommended.
  • Exceptions to the cross cultural experience must be pre-approved by the Program Leader of Global Studies and Director of the School of American and Global Studies.
  • International students may petition for an exemption from the cross-cultural experience.
  • Credits may be applied to another requirement when appropriate.
  • Academic credit will be considered only from an accredited institution or through an international exchange program approved by SDSU.
  • All students must have the approval before beginning the cross cultural experience.


Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Total Required Credits: 120

Summary of Program Requirements

Bachelor of Arts

System General Education Requirements* 18 Credit Hours
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Requirements** 6+ Credit Hours
Major Requirements 59-61 Credit Hours
Electives*** 41-43 Credit Hours

*System General Education Requirements for students pursuing a baccalaureate degree shall include a minimum of 30 credit hours. Some general education coursework may be counted for Major Requirements, Supporting Coursework, and College Requirements.
**System General Education Requirements, Major Requirements, and Supporting Coursework may satisfy some or all of the above requirements.  
***Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Academic Advising Guide Sheet

The goal of the academic advising guide sheets and sample plans of study is to promote undergraduate student success by guiding all students to timely completion of an undergraduate degree. Students are not limited to the course sequence provided for their academic program. Instead, the sample plan of study is one possible path to completing your degree and is meant to be used as a guide for planning purposes in consultation with an academic advisor. The plans also help students prepare for meetings with their academic advisor and track their progress in their selected academic program.