Global Studies

What is Global Studies?

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Global Studies major seeks to provide student with a way of thinking that is consistent with the world of the 21st century. Global Studies majors are encouraged to become global thinkers—they learn how to relate their knowledge of a particular part of the world to the larger trends and issues that affect the whole globe. Examples of contemporary global trends include: the transnational interactions of peoples, cultures, economies, and polities; the globalizing processes of the communications media; technological and environmental changes; and the sometimes violent political, ethnic and religious responses to the cultural and economic homogenization engendered by these global changes.

The Global Studies major provides a well-rounded liberal arts degree that will help prepare students for a variety of careers in the international arena. It will also help prepare students for further graduate study in international affairs, international business, peace and world order studies, area studies, and the emergent global civil society.

Global and International Studies was established as an interdisciplinary major in 1998. The program offers an examination of international studies with contemporary globalizing trends as a central organizing theme, and is distinctive in its emphasis on the transnational processes and interactions that are bringing the world together across traditional national boundaries. It provides training in the analysis of global trends. Global Studies majors learn how to relate their knowledge of a particular part of the world to the larger trends and issues that affect the whole globe.

General Major Information

How Can I Tell If I Would Like Global Studies?

Global Studies majors have an interest in contemporary global trends including the transnational interactions of peoples, cultures, economies, and politics; the globalizing processes of the communications media; technological and environmental changes; and the sometimes violent political, ethnic and religious responses to the cultural and economic homogenization engendered by these global changes.

What Are Potential Topics Within This Major?

Although the following list can provide students with topics that may be covered in this major, look at the UCSB catalog and consult with the Undergraduate Department Advisor for more detailed information about requirements and course offerings.

Global History, Culture and Ideology
Global Socioeconomic and Political Processes
Global Religion
Global Conflict
Social Analysis of Terrorism
Europe in a Global Context
Women, Culture, and Development
Modern South Asia

To learn more about whether you might enjoy this major, check with a peer in the Career Resource Room for details on:

- Focus 2 to explore college majors and careers.

- The Strong Interest Inventory®, an assessment that compares your interests against six broad categories of work. This assessment helps match your interests and suggests potential careers to explore.

What Can I Do To Make My Major More Marketable?

  • Pursue relevant work, internship, volunteer, and/or research experience.
  • Choose a complementary minor.
  • Specialize in an area; take courses in related fields.
  • Develop your computer skills.
  • Learn a foreign language.
  • Study abroad.
  • Join professional associations.
  • Get involved in student clubs.
  • Participate in community organizations.
  • Seek out leadership positions.
  • Research specific prerequisites for different positions.
  • Network with others in fields that interest you.


General Career Information

What Are Some Possible Career Options?


Global and International Studies majors with a strong liberal arts background may pursue career options in many fields. More than 80% of international careers are not overseas, but with the international department of a multi-national corporation; a federal agency; and/or non governmental organization headquartered in the U.S. Depending on experience, specialized coursework, and possible graduate study, options include:



Business/Communications:                        International Development:

International Trade Consultant                        Human Rights Advocate

Travel Agent/Tour Guide                                 International Community Organizer

International Sales or Marketing Specialist       Economic Development Officer

Importer/Exporter                                           International Public Health Educator

Foreign Correspondent                                    Environmental Policy Analyst

Intercultural Communications Consultant        Development Officer


Education:                                                     Government:

Director of International Programs                 Foreign Service Officer or Specialist

International Student Advisor                         Information Officer, CIA or FBI

College Study Abroad Advisor                        Immigration Officer

ESL or EFL Instructor                                      Political Risk Analyst


To learn more about these and other occupations, please visit:
O*Net Online
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Come visit the Career Resource Room to see our vast collection of career books and resources.

See what other UCSB alumni are doing with their major on LinkedIn

Graduate and Professional Schools
Provides information about where graduate programs are offered throughout the nation.  Indicate area of interest and then select subject interested in pursuing.
Find where graduate programs are offered throughout the U.S.
Come to the Career Resources Room to view the CHOICES lab version of graduate schools.


Experience Search Strategies
Links to embassies, jobs overseas, living overseas, etc.

Features 1000s of graduate job opportunities across Europe.

Foreign Policy Association
See “Global Job Board”.
Features international job opportunities for professionals, expatriates and adventure seekers.

Planet Recruit
Search by location and career category.

Riley Guide International
Besides links by multiple and individual countries, don’t miss links under international employment info.

Features job and internship opportunities in the government.
Links to graduate schools of public policy.

UCSB Career Services “Job Links” section
Check out job links in the following categories: Local/CA, National, International, Industry Specific, UCSB Careers by Majors and Diversity.

Expert advice for finding jobs at home and abroad.

When you join LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do.

Information on international work permits.

iHipo enables candidates to find internships and jobs abroad. As a social network, iHipo offers the ideal opportunity to build an international career network (e.g. with other expatriates) and join country-based communities.

Professional Associations

Alliance for Conflict Transformation
Includes information and jobs for those interested in conflict resolution and peace building careers.

Foreign Policy Association
Click on Student Corner for useful links.

International Communication Association
The overall purposes of this Association are to advance the scholarly study of human communication and to facilitate the implementation of such study so as to be of maximum benefit to humankind.

International Council of Management Consulting Institutes
ICMCI is the global association of management consulting institutes.

International Chamber of Commerce
Only representative body that speaks on behalf of enterprises from all sectors in every part of the world.

Association of Women in International Trade (WIIT)
The Association of Women in International Trade is a professional association of members who share an interest and expertise in international trade.

UCSB Resources

UCSB Library Global and International Studies Homepage
Research databases for Global and International Studies.

Global and International Studies Department
Home page of the Global and International Studies Department at UCSB.

Leadership Certification Program
Employers value leadership, organizational and teamwork experience. Leverage your participation in a career oriented organization.

Career Resource Room
For students who are trying to figure out a major, research careers or find jobs, Career Services has a Career Resource Room to help. Visit a Career Counselor who can answer any quick questions, review drafts of your resume, and/or help you brainstorm how to uncover jobs in a particular field.

UCSB General Catalog

UCSB Office of Student Life

UCSB Minors