The Global Studies curriculum enables students to build a foundation for understanding the global aspects of international issues, to develop tools for considering such issues from a variety of perspectives and then to focus on one of many possible fields in global studies. There are three key components to the Global Studies degree:

  • You will design and develop a focus area with the guidance and approval of your advisor that will allow you to explore complex, contemporary issues. Students will often choose a transnational topic (such as global health, globalization and development, international human rights, etc.) or a region of focus (such as North Africa, the Americas, East Asia etc.) Students can also combine elements to  better reflect their specific interests (such as Immigration and U.S.-Latin American Relations, Food Systems and the Global South, etc.)
  • You will minor in a foreign language. We strongly believe that proficiency in a second language is critical for students who want to gain a more international and transnational perspective on social and cultural issues. Appalachian State currently offers minors in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Students for whom English is not their first language are exempt from this requirement, but they will still have to select a minor to complete their degree.
  • You will study abroad for a minimum of 12 weeks. We want you to be abroad long enough to get beyond the "tourist glow" and start to have an immersive learning experience in another country. Most students will complete a traditional study abroad experience, taking a mix of classes in their target language (for their foreign language minor) and in English (for their focus area), but some students opt for an international internship. While we require a semester-long experience, some students choose to study abroad for an entire academic year.

Ideally, these three components will support each other in their learning outcomes: your language studies will enrich your study abroad experience, and your first hand experience in another country and culture will enrich your understanding of your focus area. In your very last semester, your capstone course will allow you to draw these threads together through an in-depth study of a topic of your choosing related to your focus area.

Declaring a Major in Global Studies

There are lots of ways to "do global" as a major, but Global Studies is uniquely well-suited for exploring and understanding the complex, interconnected transnational issues that face the world today. Global Studies will allow you to design your own focus area, with the guidance and approval of an advisor, from coursework across the curriculum to create an interdisciplinary perspective on these issues. If you are interested in globalization and development, immigration and refugee studies, global health, international human rights, or a range of other global interests, we have the major for you!

If you have 30 or more earned hours, credit (or in progress) for RC 1000 and UCO 1200, and a 2.0 cumulative GPA, you can officially declare Global Studies as your major by following these easy steps!

If you have already declared your major and would like to change your major to Global Studies, please fill out this form!

Sample GLS Major Worksheets

The following documents will serve as examples of what at GLS major's program of study (i.e. focus area) may look like. These may aid you in filling out your own program of study with your advisor.  We will have updates soon from some of our 2016-2017 students!

(*This was a self-designed focus area at the time; it is now a focus area called Global Health - ASK for details!)

Minor in Global Studies

A minor in Global Studies consists of 18 hours, including a minimum of one 3 hour Global Studies (GLS) course. The remaining 15 hours must focus on a single coherent emphasis, such as: German Studies; Francophone Studies; Latin American Studies; African Studies; Development and Globalization; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights; Judaic and Holocaust Studies (for other potential focus areas, consult the director). With the approval of the program director, students may create their own focus area if the university offers courses sufficient to support it. Only six hours of the major may be counted towards the minor in Global Studies, and at least 9 hours of the minor must be at the 3000 level or above. Credit hours from study abroad or international internship may be used in the student’s focus area, as appropriate.

2023-24 Undergraduate Bulletin: Global Studies Minor

Declaring a Minor in Global Studies

Students with a major in University College who want to declare or add a minor should come to the University College Office (101 D.D. Dougherty) or to the Interdisciplinary Degree Programs Office (LLA 113) to pick up the appropriate form to have the minor added to their academic program.

Students who minor in Global Studies also must choose a Focus Area; therefore, students must make an appointment to discuss the minor with the Global Studies director.

Honors Program

The Global Studies program has an Honors Program to provide qualified students in the major with an opportunity for advanced research in a seminar atmosphere.   

Honors courses are available for students at the sophomore, junior and senior level; these courses are open to students who have distinguished themselves.  Junior and senior level honors courses carry full credit toward the focus area in the Global Studies major or, for non-majors, full elective credit. 

Admissions to the honors program requires completion of GLS 2000 and a minimum grade-point average, both overall and in the major, of 3.0 (a B average).  In order to remain in the program students must maintain at least a B average in honors work.  

To graduate with “honors in Global Studies,” a student must have a minimum grade point average of 3.45, overall and in Global Studies, and must take nine semester hours of Global Studies honors credits with a “B” average or better, including GLS 4510 (Thesis/Project) with honors.  Upon admission to the honors program, students will determine their focus area Honors courses in consultation with the advisor.  This will become part of their program of study.The nine semester hours in Gobal Studies include: 

  • 2  Honors courses in the focus area.  These can be an appropriate Honors course from another department or it can be a graduate course, if the student has the appropriate preparation.  These courses must count in the student’s focus area.
  • GLS 4510 Thesis/Project with honors