Why 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.
Students are encouraged to enroll in a Global Studies academic program early in their studies although admission is open to students at any time during their academic tenure at Pitt. Students should schedule an appointment with our advisor, Elaine Linn within the semester of enrollment, in order to maximize the benefits of center affiliation.
Students enroll in a certificate through the myPitt Global App (Suitable), which will also help you track your progress throughout the program. The Suitable platform will help you keep track of your progress towards completing the certificate and make it easy to record other global experiences you are having while on campus or abroad.
Download the iPhone App or the Android App. Search for "Suitable" in your app store. Open the app and it'll take you through the process of setting your temporary password.
To access the Suitable platform via a web browser, visit www.suitable.co and follow the log in instructions.
Once you have logged in:
Click here to enroll via your desktop or laptop computer.
Click here to enroll via an App on your smartphone.
Global Studies offers 3 academic credentials. Students personalize a suite of courses and experiences unique to their global interest working with courses from their major, general education requirements and electives, along with co-curricular experiences.
Global Studies Certificate
Students draw from more than 200 courses across 5 global concentrations. Students begin the process by selecting one of the five global concentrations relevant to their personal and/or career interests. The certificate requires 18 credits of coursework, a demonstrated 2.5 GPA, language study and completion of a digital portfolio.
Globally Themed Certificate Requirements:
PS 0550 Introduction to Global Studies
15 credits of coursework in one global concentration
4 semesters of language study or demonstrated language proficiency
Completion and approval of digital portfolio
The following descriptions emphasize overarching themes and concerns; students might pursue a wide variety of questions, contemporary or historical, within these concentrations. Think of these concentrations as doorways into global studies, rather than as separate silos within it. We encourage a flexible and individualized approach to studying what interests you within this broad framework.
Cultural Dynamics explores the diverse ways people understand, evaluate, and feel about the world around them and how these shape and reflect people’s involvement in complex new forms of social interaction related to globalization. Students might study the processes producing increasing cultural sameness and growing cultural difference, identity formation and challenges of intercultural communication and understanding, or people’s engagement with these processes through the arts, film, literature, performance, and other forms of creative expression.
Ecology and Sustainability focuses on the ways in which humans relate to nature and on how those relations shape and reflect our relations with one another. Students might study the interplay of globalization and the environment, struggles over how best to address planetary environmental challenges like global warming, environmental injustices and their connection with other forms of inequality, or questions of environmental governance.
Health and Well-Being explores the relationship between global health, social suffering, and the processes that connect and divide people around the world. Students might study how globalization affects people’s susceptibility to physical and mental illnesses, their access to appropriate kinds of care and, more broadly, their well-being (enjoyment of a healthy, secure, and satisfying life) and capacity for “living well” (belonging to a community in which people live harmoniously with one another and with nature).
Peace, Conflict, and Security addresses contemporary possibilities for peace and security in the world by examining how major conflicts and emergencies arise, are addressed, and are sometimes averted. Students might study the relationship between state sovereignty, international law, and armed intervention, the meanings of human rights and (human) security, terrorism and counterterrorism, processes of peace building, peace keeping, and reconciliation, and the work of the UN, NGOs, and other non-state actors.
Politics and Economy focuses on the organization and workings of power. It highlights the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services and how these processes relate to one another in producing global connections and divisions; it also highlights how states and other actors interact as they attempt to manage these processes. Students might study changes in the character and reach of capitalism, models of sustainable development, interactions among states, empires, social movements, and other political entities, or systems of inequality organized geopolitically and by factors such as class, race, gender, and sexuality.
Undergraduate Global Health Certificate
Bachelor of Philosopy in International and Area Studies
The Bachelor of Philosophy in International and Area Studies (BPhil in IAS) – Global Studies track, is awarded by the University Honors College (UHC) in cooperation with the Global Studies Center. It is an interdisciplinary degree requiring 30 credits of course work, three years of language study, and rigorous independent research. Students must submit a BPHIL application to the Honors College once their research question is formulated and have demonstrated a 3.5 GPA. Please visit the UHC website with full details of expectations of students and faculty.
See What Our Students Say
Emma Creighton, English Writing ’18, Peace Corps Indonesia
"The vast majority of the classes I chose focus on the ways in which structures of power interact and impact the lives of citizens and displaced peoples around the world. More specifically, I focused on courses that I thought would shed light on the ways in which politics and the economy impacted my personal passions—access to education, freedom of expression, and human rights."
Jacqueline Choffo, Nutrition and Dietetics’ 18 Post Baccalaureate Internship, University of Maryland
To compliment my Nutrition and Dietetic degree, I really wanted to delve more into prominent global health issues. I have taken courses in a variety of departments at the University of Pittsburgh and I have been able to identify common themes throughout the different disciplines. One of the overarching ideas is understanding how to be a responsible global citizen.
Meet your 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