Global Studies

Global Studies Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree On-campus

About Global Studies

Learn to thrive and succeed in a changing, global world.

Today's world is connected in ways that were unimaginable just a generation ago. Global economies, markets, cultures, political structures and religions link all nations and all cultures. The B. A. in Global Studies degree program prepares you to participate in, and contribute to, a fast-paced, ever-changing world.  

For any career, a degree in Global studies at PennWest California will help you develop global awareness and readiness for success and encourage your continued intellectual growth. PennWest California's bachelor's degree in global studies also strives to enhance your skills in critical thinking and intellectual inquiry, so you can move ahead as a fully skilled professional in the global community.

Gain a career advantage with PennWest California's top undergraduate program in Global Studies.

The philosophy of the global studies program is that well-educated individuals are those who are knowledgeable in their particular specialties, as well as in the humanities and in the social and natural sciences. Developing communication skills and cross-cultural expertise is also important to ensure that you can deal positively and accurately in all diplomatic, cultural, social and business-related interchanges.

Global studies students begin with an interdisciplinary course that introduces them to the broad and varied approaches that will be used in the program. In addition to general education courses, global studies majors complete courses in selected areas: international language (French, Spanish or Arabic); culture and/or international experience; business and economics; history and political science; science and technology; and global issues.

Our diverse faculty includes professors with national reputations for outstanding and innovative research in their fields of expertise. Since the global studies program is interdisciplinary in nature, all of our faculty members collaborate on the development of our programs. 


Specialized study: Global studies majors complete a common core of courses and choose one of four focus areas:  business and economics; history and political science; science and technology; or global issues. All majors will have a core adviser and a focus adviser, with faculty members drawn from such areas as biology, business, Spanish, Arabic, history, French and geography. 

Travel abroad: The global studies program sponsors travel abroad, enabling students to explore and learn around the world. Past trips have featured such destinations as Cuba, Ethiopia, Greece, Russia, and Cozumel and Belize. In spring 2017 students visited European sites related to the Holocaust.

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Student-to-faculty ratio at PennWest California.
Credit hours for the bachelor's degree in global studies, which can be completed in eight semesters or four years.
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Degree Benefits

Students in the global studies program can complete short courses for credit on trips abroad. Global studies majors also have access to undergraduate research funding. As a member of the Council for Undergraduate Research, PennWest California offers institutional support for undergraduate research endeavors. Students also can get help with travel and research funding through the University. 

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Graduate Outcomes

The B.A. in Global Studies prepares you for careers in business, government, non-governmental organizations, philanthropic agencies and the arts. At PennWest California, you'll learn how to enter the workforce with knowledge, integrity, character and experience. PennWest California's Career and Professional Development Center will help to connect you with potential employers through networking events, job shadowing opportunities, on-campus recruiting, job and internship fairs, and organizational visits. 


B.A., Global Studies

Course Credits
General Education Courses 40 or 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar
ENG 101  English Composition I
Public Speaking
Any Public Speaking Course
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
Any Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy Course
Health and Wellness
Any Health and Wellness Course
Technological Literacy
Any Technological Literacy Course
Any Humanities Course
Fine Arts
Any Fine Arts Course
Natural Sciences
Any Natural Sciences Course
Social Sciences
Any Social Sciences Course
General Education Options
  • Any Ethics and Multicultural Awareness Emphasis Course
  • General Education Courses (three courses)
Required Major Course 3
INT 200  Intro to International Studies 3
Language Proficiency Courses*
Elementary I: SPN 101, FRE 101 or ARB 101 3
Elementary II: SPN 102, FRE 102 or ARB 102 3
Intermediate I: SPN 203, FRE 203 or ARB 203 3
Intermediate II: SPN 204, FRE 204 or ARB 204 3
Advanced Course: SPN 311, FRE 345 or ARB 350 3
Cultural/International Experience Courses 6
Select two courses: SPN 345, SPN 346, SPN 348, SPN 349, SPN 350, FRE 341, FRE 343, FRE 344, FRE 346, ARB 351, ARB 480, MFL 479, MFL 481, ENS 480 6
Focus Area Courses (select one focus area)**
Business and Economics Focus:
ACC 200, ECO 201, ECO 202, FIN 301, MGT 300, MGT 431, MKT 300
0 or 18
History and Political Science Focus
HIS 106, HIS 112, HIS 240, HIS 309, HIS 316, HIS 323, HIS 348, HIS 366, HIS 370, HIS 379, HIS 425, HIS 430, POS 210, POS 312, POS 320, POS 322, POS 323, POS 325, POS 326, POS 336
0 or 18
Biology and Environment Focus***:
BIO 327, BIO 337, BIO 400, BIO 414, BIO 433, BIO 435, BIO 441, BIO 445, BIO 478, BIO 488, ENS 399, ENS 425, ENS 440, ENS 475, ENS 480, ENS 495
0 or 18
Geography Focus:
GEO 100, TOU 101, TOU 205, GEO 217, GEO 220, GEO 325, TOU 350, TOU 400
0 or 18
Global Issues Focus:
ACC 200, ANT 100, ANT 255, ANT 232, ANT 300, ART 316, ART 317, BIO 103, BIO 232, CHE 381, GLG 230, EAS 300, ECO 201, ECO 202, ENS 101, FIN 301, GEO 100, TOU 101, TOU 205, GEO 217, GEO 220, GEO 325, TOU 350, TOU 400, HIS 106, HIS 112, HIS 240, HIS 309, HIS 316, HIS 323, HIS 348, HIS 366, HIS 370, HIS 379, HIS 425, HIS 430, JUS 305, JUS 400, JUS 470, MAT 304, MGT 300, MGT 431, MKT 300, PHS 137, PHI 200, PHI 220, PHI 225, POS 210, POS 312, POS 320, POS 322, POS 323, POS 325, POS 326, POS 336, SOC 210, SOC 320, SOC 330, SOC 377, SOW 340
0 or 18
Free Electives 37 or 38
Electives courses are based on the student's interests and may include requirements toward a declared minor 37 or 38
Total 120

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): Any Special Experience Course
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): Approved by Focus Area Adviser
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): Any Laboratory Course

* Additional languages may be taken, with approval.

** Select six courses within the chosen focus area.

*** Those who select the "Biology and Environmental Focus" are also required to minor in biology (21 credits in BIO/ENS). Required courses are: BIO 120, 125, 215 (12 credits). Suggested additional courses are: BIO 232, 248, 318 and ENS 101.  

Program Notes: Minimum GPA - 2.0; Minimum Credits - 120. Developmental courses do not count toward the 120 credits necessary for graduation but are calculated in your overall GPA.

International students at PennWest California.

See the World

Global studies students get the full experience at travel destinations during planned trips. For instance, in March 2016, on a seven-day trip to Ireland, students visited the Malahide Castle, toured the Guinness storehouse, walked the streets of Dublin, visited the Old Jameson distillery, toured Kilkenny and Glendalough, kissed the rock of Blarney Castle and visited Galway.

A PennWest California graduate.

Campus Connections

Global studies students can take advantage of a wide range of academic and social activities on campus. For instance, the history department sponsors Phi Alpha Theta, the international history honor society. Membership is a recognized mark of excellence. Students also can participate in such diverse activities as the Fencing Club and the Silvi Vulcani Club (dedicated to pre-1601 studies).

A photo of a church in Europe.

Learn Abroad

Through PennWest California's Cultural Experiences Abroad or National Student Exchange (CEA/NSE), you can complete your studies during any semester, including summers, in countries such as Spain, France, Mexico or Argentina. You may take courses at the host university in English, French or Spanish, and your course credits and grades transfer automatically back to PennWest California. Your PennWest California financial aid can be applied. Additionally, the National Student Exchange provides opportunities to study at another college or university within the United States and Canada. 

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