Why study global and international studies?

Global and international studies will give you the tools to understand the rapid and profound changes that are occurring around the world. As a degree of study, it is useful for careers in business and the private sector, non-profit work, and foreign and civil service. Students have also used the degree as a precursor to graduate study and law school. It's interdisciplinary curriculum provides a great deal of flexibility that allows you to tailor your program toward your career aspirations. We live in a world where there is a great demand in most career fields for the contemporary global dynamics, language and cultural study, and research and writing development that our degree provides.

Undergraduate Admission

Admission to KU

All students applying for admission must send high school and college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Unless they are college transfer students with at least 24 hours of credit, prospective students must send ACT or SAT scores to the Office of Admissions. Prospective first-year students should be aware that KU has qualified admission requirements that all new first-year students must meet to be admitted. Consult the Office of Admissions for application deadlines and specific admission requirements.

Visit the International Support Services for information about international admissions.

Students considering transferring to KU may see how their college-level course work will transfer on the Office of Admissions website.

Admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Admission to the College is a different process from admission to a major field. Some CLAS departments have admission requirements. See individual department/program sections for departmental admission requirements.


Requirements for the B.A. Major

Global & International Studies Core Knowledge and Skills. (One course from the following list, plus GIST 220.)

Select one course from the following list:
ANTH 108Introduction to Cultural Anthropology3-4
or ANTH 109 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Honors
or ANTH 308 Fundamentals of Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 160The Varieties of Human Experience3
or ANTH 162 The Varieties of Human Experience, Honors
or ANTH 360 The Varieties of Human Experience
ECON 104Introductory Economics4
or ECON 105 Introductory Economics, Honors
ECON 144Principles of Macroeconomics3
or ECON 145 Principles of Macroeconomics, Honors
GEOG 100World Regional Geography3
or GEOG 101 World Regional Geography, Honors
GEOG 102People, Place, and Society3
or GEOG 103 People, Place, and Society, Honors
GIST 210Culture and Health3
GIST 215A Global History of Money: Aristotle to Bitcoin3
HIST/EVRN 103Environment and History3
HIST/EVRN/GEOG 140Global Environment I: The Discovery of Environmental Change5
or HIST 144 Global Environment I: The Discovery of Environmental Change, Honors
HIST/EVRN/GEOG 142Global Environment II: The Ecology of Human Civilization5
or HIST 145 Global Environment II: The Ecology of Human Civilization, Honors
POLS 150Introduction to Comparative Politics3
or POLS 151 Introduction to Comparative Politics Honors
POLS 170Introduction to International Politics3
or POLS 171 Introduction to International Politics Honors
REL 106Asian Religions3
or REL 108 Asian Religions, Honors
REL 107Jews, Christians, Muslims3
or REL 109 Jews, Christians, Muslims, Honors
SOC 130Comparative Societies3
or SOC 131 Comparative Societies, Honors
Introduction to Global and International Studies Satisfied by:3
Introduction to Global and International Studies

Additional Language. (3-5 hours/ 1 unit) Satisfied by:
Completion of one additional foreign language course (3 hours) beyond the 4th semester proficiency language requirement (300 level or above), or any available additional language course (3-5 hours).

The Capstone Research Coursework (6 hours/ 2 units) Satisfied by the completion of the following two courses:

Satisfied by:
GIST 610Interdisciplinary Methods for Global Contexts3
Students must complete GIST 220 prior to taking this course.
GIST 698Capstone Seminar3
or GIST 699 Capstone Seminar, Honors
Students must complete GIST 610 prior to taking this course.

Issues in Global Studies. (9 hours/3 units)  Majors must take 3 courses from an approved list of GIST courses focusing on contemporary global themes on subjects such as human trafficking, the global environment, terrorism, transnational migration and borders, global issues in gender, citizenship, indigenous peoples, the global economic system, and globalization.  Courses offered as: GIST 550: Issues in Global Studies:__________ are always approved to fulfill this requirement.

Issues in Global Studies (9 hours, 3 units)9
World Indigenous Literatures
Global Environmental Literature
Key Themes in Modern Global History
Globalization: History and Theory
Globalization: A Geographic Approach
Environmental Geopolitics
Immigrants, Refugees, and Diasporas
Genocide and Ethnocide
Global Internship
Issues in Global Studies: _____
Seminar in Urban Geography
The Literature of Human Rights
Gender, Culture, and Migration
Anthropology of Violence
Geopolitics and Genocide
Indigenous Peoples of the World
Islam and Politics
International Human Rights
Sociology of Global Health
Wealth, Power, and Inequality
Global Ethnic and Racial Relations
Sociology of Violence
Sociology of Sport

Global & International Studies International Electives. Majors must take 3 courses from the list of approved international elective courses. Students are strongly encouraged to strategically select a cluster of three courses that would help them to fulfill KU Core requirements, or maximize a double-major with another program. For example, students double-majoring in geography or history, should select their international electives from the list of approved GEOG or HIST courses. Likewise, students majoring in Latin American Studies or Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, should choose their courses from the approved list of LAA or REES courses. Students may, however, select from any of the approved courses available. 

The following list shows the most commonly taught approved international electives.  To see a full list of approved courses for the international elective, consult our website.  Other courses may also be approved in consultation with the department.

Modern Africa
Religion, Power, and Sexuality in Arab Societies
The United States in Global Context
Indigenous Traditions of Latin America
Introduction to Intercultural Communication
Eastern Civilizations
International Trade
The European Union
Environmental Policy Analysis
History of the International Sound Film Post 1950
Introduction to Cultural Geography
Geography of African Development
Geography of Latin America
Peoples and Cultures of South Asia
Social Movements in the Middle East
The Modern Middle East
Introduction to History of Japan: Anime to Zen
Introduction to International Business
International Management
Latin American Culture and Society
Politics of the Middle East
Chinese Foreign Policy
United States Foreign Policy
Understanding Russia and Eastern Europe
Societies and Cultures of Eurasia
Religion in India
Population and Society
Wealth, Power, and Inequality
From Mystics to Feminists: Women's History in Europe 1600 to the Present

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 11 units (minimum of 31 credit hours) of major courses.

Major Hours in GIST
Satisfied by a minimum of 6 GIST courses in the major. 

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 21 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Below is a sample 4-year plan for students pursuing the BA in Global and International Studies. To view the list of courses approved to fulfill KU Core Goals, please visit the KU Core website.

ENGL 101 (Goal 2.1 (2 crs req), BA Writing I)13ENGL 102 (Goal 2.1 (2 crs req), BA Writing II)3
MATH 101 (Goal 1.2 Quantitative Reasoning)3Quantitative Reasoning (Goal 1.2, BA Quantitative Reasoning)23
1st Semester Language (BA Second Language)52nd Semester Language (BA Second Language)5
GIST 220 (Goal 1.1 Critical Thinking)3Goal 2.2 Communication3
 GIST Core Knowledge Course (Should target Goal 3S or 3H) 3
 14 17
3rd Semester Language (BA Second Language)34th Semester Language (BA Second Language, Major Requirement)33
Goal 3 Humanities (Could be GIST major course)3Goal 3 Social Science (Could be a GIST major course)3
Goal 3 Natural Science3(Double-Major or Minor) Elective Course3
Lab Science (BA Lab Requirement)1-2GIST "Issues in Global Studies" Course43
GIST "Issues in Global Studies" Course3GIST International Elective Course (Should target Core Goal 4.2)43
(Double Major or Minor) Elective Course1 
 14-15 15
Goal 4.1 US Diversity3Goal 5 Social Responsibility & Ethics 3
Additional Language Course 300+ (Major Reqiurement)33GIST International Elective Course43
GIST "Issues in Global Studies" Course43(Double-Major or Minor) Elective Course43
GIST International Elective Course43(Double-Major or Minor) Elective Course43
(Double-Major or Minor) Elective Course43(Double-Major or Minor) Elective Course43
 15 15
GIST 610 (Major Requirement)3GIST 698 (Goal 6 Integration & Creativity, Major Requirement)3
(Double-Major or Minor) Elective Course43(Double-Major or Minor) Elective Course43
LA&S 490 (Recommended, or elective)3(Double-Major or Minor) Elective Course43
(Double-Major or Minor) Elective Course43(Double-Major or Minor) Elective Course43
(Double-Major or Minor) Elective Course43(Double-Major or Minor) Elective Course43
 15 15
Total Hours 120-121

Please note:

All students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are required to complete 120 total hours of which 45 hours must be at the Jr/Sr (300+) level.

The same course cannot be used to fulfill more than one KU Core Goal. However, overlap of a KU Core course with a major or degree-specific requirement is allowed. Overlapping is recommended to allow more opportunities to explore other majors and/or minors.

Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors. To graduate with honors in global and international studies, students must complete all requirements for the major plus GIST 699, Honors Capstone with a 3.5 grade-point average in the major and a 3.25 cumulative grade-point average. The honors seminar allows students to receive individualized assistance from a faculty member while they write their thesis.

To enroll in the program, students must have a 3.5 grade-point average in the courses making up the global and international studies major and a 3.25 cumulative grade-point average. Students must obtain approval of their research topic by a faculty member affiliated with the Center for Global and International Studies who will serve as their thesis director. Each student who completes an honor's thesis must defend it in an oral examination before a thesis committee of three faculty members. The student's thesis director chairs and chooses the committee in consultation with the student and the center director.