What is Global Studies?
Global studies interrogates the waning importance of regional borders and disciplinary boundaries in the world today. The Center offers academic credentials to students who desire a deeper understanding of social and economic inequality in transnational context, with thematic concentrations that allow them to dig deeper into a particular topic of interest.
The foundational course, Introduction to Global Studies, offers a framework to think globally about these processes related to their chosen plan of study, about the connections and disruptions they provoke and the social struggles they engender, and about how it all impacts their own lives and community. Beyond their own focus area, a broader understanding of the dominant political and economic trends will equip students to lead lives of impact, as well as the analytical tools and 21st century professional skills necessary to effectively navigate their future careers.
A wide range of co-curricular opportunities allow students to further personalize their education while contributing to a dynamic, intellectually diverse community that prioritizes faculty, peer, and alumni mentorship.
Our 5 Concentrations of Study
- Cultural Dynamics asks how our understanding of who we are changes through globalization processes, exploring issues such as race, religion, nationality, and gender across time and space. It considers how identities are affected by changing patterns of human interaction, the evolution of culture and cultural clashes, the exchange of ideas among cultures, movements of people, international rights etc.
- Ecology and Sustainability explores challenges and solutions to improving quality of life without increasing the use of natural resources beyond environmental capacity or compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It addresses issues such as global population growth, historical and contemporary economic and human development, global resource management, environmental change, and international environmental law.
- Health and Well-Being explores the risks and opportunities globalization poses for the health of the world population, including the spread of diseases across borders and oceans, the development of transnational health systems and communications, and the effects global processes have had on physical, mental, and behavioral health around the world.
- Peace, Conflict and Security explores the causes and consequences of international, ethnic, and religious conflicts, and considers ways of preventing and resolving conflicts, such as negotiation and fostering deeper cross-cultural understanding. It explores, for instance, the role of peacekeeping and armed interventions, non-governmental organizations and humanitarian relief, terrorism, international law, and diplomacy.
- Politics and Economy explores the changing reach and nature of economic flows and political organization under conditions of globalization and neoliberalism, raising issues such as international economic growth and crisis, global competition, global civil society, international and transnational organizations, and state sovereignty in global relations.
Global studies is an exciting—and evolving—interdisciplinary field concerned with transnational structures, processes, and interactions that cross familiar political borders and cultural boundaries and affect our social, economic, cultural, political, and ecological environments. Our students learn to understand and analyze how these structures, processes, and interactions both connect people and places and disrupt established norms, communities, institutions, and relationships.
Graduate students from the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and Pitt’s professional schools can tailor a unique plan of interdisciplinary study through GSC’s graduate certificate, drawn from more than 200 courses across 5 global concentrations. Students gain a solid understanding of the academic debates over globalization and their policy implications in both the global and local contexts. Students also achieve foreign language proficiency in one of 35 languages offered at Pitt.
Meet Our Student Advisor
Elaine Linn, Assistant Director for Academic Affairs, would be happy to meet with you to discuss your academic aspirations and career goals, and to help you begin to carve out a path of study related to transnational issues of interest to you. Elaine has advised hundreds of students, and recognizes that every one is unique. She can direct you to programs, and resources that can help you meet your specific goals. You can schedule a time with Elaine below, or reach out to her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Schedule Your Appointment