NEW Dornsife Major: Global Studies

What is Global Studies?

Global Studies is a new interdisciplinary major at USC.

Global Studies is an emerging field that brings together anthropology, political science, international relations, history, foreign languages and religion.

It offers students the opportunity to learn about the world from a variety of academic perspectives and to make connections among them, with the goal of producing active global citizens, who understand the links between human rights, human duties, and cosmopolitan beliefs. In order to so, they study the complex connections between the local and the global and to understand the webs that link local actions (such as consumption patterns) to international outcomes (such as resource-based conflicts).

Global Studies challenges students to learn about themselves, to question who they want to become, and to discover how they can actively participate in their world. Global issues are studied so that students can leverage that knowledge effectively and responsibly in working for peace, human rights, environmental preservation and economic equality.

How it works:

Students take a sequence of three courses offered through the Anthropology department:

205 Introduction to Global Studies and Overseas Research

325 Global Studies Research Methods

415 Global Studies Senior Seminar

They also take six more courses from a list of recommended courses, two study abroad programs (one shorter one and one lasting at least a semester), the senior seminar in the fall semester of the senior year (Anth 415) and a senior thesis. Students are encouraged to concentrate on a single area of the world (Middle East, Europe, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa) and to work out a coherent program with their advisor for a sequence of upper division courses dealing at least in part with this area. Substitutions are allowed of other courses that would suit the student’s interests with the approval of the thesis advisor.

The Global Studies major is built around the study abroad experience and the opportunities it offers to do original field research. In order to prepare for this experience, students take courses in the culture, language, history, politics and economics of this region, and develop a plan for an independent research project that will be the subject of their senior thesis. The thesis provides an opportunity to analyze the data collected during the study abroad period and put it into comparative perspective.

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