Welcome To The Global Studies Center

Our Mission

The Global Studies Center promotes critical global thinking and practical engagement with the world through the interdisciplinary study of transnational processes.  We emphasize the connections, divisions, disruptions, inequalities, and productive possibilities these processes engender across time and space.  We foster innovative research, rigorous study, and thoughtful practice through our collaborations with staff, students, faculty, and community partners locally and around the world, creating diverse and inclusive spaces for intellectual growth and debate.

Our History

The University of Pittsburgh's Global Studies Program was established in 2001 as a joint project of the University Center for International Studies (UCIS) and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), under then-UCIS Director William Brustein and then-GSPIA Dean Carolyn Ban.  At that time, Global Studies was envisioned as a way of furthering Pitt’s goal to “expand our global focus by increasing international study and research opportunities.”  For its first several years of existence, the Global Studies Program was under the immediate purview of the Director of UCIS, and it was conceived on the same model as the existing UCIS Area Studies centers.  UCIS leadership strongly prioritized competition in the Department of Education’s Title VI award process, though applications in 2002 and 2006 were unsuccessful.  As the center evolved, it became fully a UCIS venture.

In 2010, under the direction of Larry Feick, UCIS was successful in the national competition, earning one of 11 National Resource Center designations for international studies under Title VI.  Subsequently, Global Studies became a full Center and Dr. Nancy Condee (Slavic Languages and Literature) was appointed as its first faculty director.  GSC was also made responsible for the unique and innovative PittMAP study abroad program, which was created (by a committee under the direction of Dr. Condee) as a successor to the Semester at Sea program.  The Global Studies Center (GSC) again competed successfully for Title VI designation in 2014, one of only seven centers nationally.  It has experienced phenomenal growth, quickly becoming the largest of the UCIS undergraduate certificate programs and sponsoring a large and diverse array of programs for our various constituencies.  

GSC has always been thematically driven, with a focus on global processes and their repercussions, in the past as well as the present.  Like other global studies programs around the world, it is largely concerned with the study of globalization in the broadest sense.  Global studies imagines a world of connections, divisions, and disruptions, of global flows and impediments to them, and seeks to understand their workings and implications.  Our work thus complements that of Pitt’s outstanding Area Studies centers, which emphasize the distinctiveness and difference among the world’s regions.  We have built productive working relationships with these centers and with other units across campus and in the Pittsburgh Community.

What we offer

  • Lectures and dialogues
  • Conferences and Workshops
  • Grants for faculty and students
  • Professional development opportunities for faculty and community members
  • Academic credentials for Undergraduate and Graduate students
  • Co-curricular programs and study abroad programs
  • A diverse community of scholars and approaches
  • Engagement with Pittsburgh and the world