Carnegie Mellon University

What is Global Studies?

The B.A. in Global Studies is an interdepartmental major designed for students interested in humanistic approaches to past and present processes of globalization. The rigorous yet flexible Global Studies curriculum combines courses in anthropology, history, cultural studies, and language training that enable students to gain a nuanced understanding of both global processes and regional histories and cultures. Graduates of the program have pursued careers in a wide range of fields, including law, the private and non-governmental sectors, and graduate work in psychology, business, health and medicine, and international studies.

Faculty affiliated with the program come from the departments of History, Modern Languages, English, and Philosophy, and draw on their international expertise to help students gain a rich, multidisciplinary understanding of global issues and concerns (such as, climate change and the environment; migration; social and political movements; imperial legacies and contemporary politics; art, language, culture, and globalization.)

Students should consult with the Global Studies academic advisor about new courses and study abroad courses that may be approved for the Global Studies major.

Global Studies may be elected as a primary or an additional major; the requirements for each are the same.

  1. One Gen Ed course

To satisfy the Gen Ed requirement, students could take one of the following three courses:

  • Introduction to Anthropology (79-203)
  • History of Democracy: Thinking Beyond the Self (79-189)
  • Genocide and Weapons of Mass Destruction (79-145)
  1. Introduction to Global Studies (79-275)

Students must earn a final grade of "C" or better for this course to count toward the major.

  1. Advanced Seminar in Global Studies (79-400)

The research seminar is the capstone course for Global Studies majors and is designed to give students the chance to define and carry out a research project of personal interest. Students are strongly encouraged to incorporate their prior coursework (including foreign language training), study abroad or internships into their research. Students must earn a final grade of "C" or better for this course to count toward the major.

For more info on these courses, see the course catalogue


Gaining skills in more languages is a crucial component of the major in Global Studies. Students will pursue at least three semesters of language study, no matter the level. That is, students could take three introductory courses in three different languages, or three different level courses in the same language, or two different level courses in Language 1 and a third course on Language 2.

If students already know a language at an advanced level, they will take a test to certify those language skills. If they pass the test, they will need to take at least two semesters of language study, focused on a language different from the one they were tested on.

Please see the Modern Languages section of the schedule of classes. 


To gain a solid foundation in the theories and analytical topics underpinning the B.A. in Global Studies, students select 18 units (typically two courses). Students must earn a final grade of "C" or better in these courses to fulfill the theoretical and topical core course requirement.

Current course offerings include:

History 79-211: Modern Southeast Asia: Colonialism, Capitalism, and Cultural Exchange

HISTORY 79-280: Coffee and Capitalism

HISTORY 79-289: Animal Planet: An Environmental History of People and Animals

HISTORY 79-315: Thirsty Planet: The Politics of Water in Global Perspective

HISTORY 79-317: Art, Anthropology, and Empire

To gain insight into how complex transnational and global processes shape and are affected by local, national, and regional dynamics, students will select 27 units (typically three courses).

Current course offerings include:

English 76-384: Race, Nation, and the Enemy

English 76-337: Intersectional Feminism

History 79-270: Anti-Semitism, Then and Now: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

History 79-271: East Asia in the World, 1600-Present

History 79-313/A2: Mini “Unwanted”: Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Patterns of Global Migration

History 79-386/A2: Mini Pandemic — Disease, Panic, or Both? Epidemics in Historical and Contemporary Perspective

ML 82-283: Language Diversity & Cultural Identity

ML 82-304: French & Francophone Sociolinguistics

ML 82-345: Introduction to Hispanic Literary and Cultural Studies

IPS 84-326: Theories of International Relations

IPS 84-370: Global Nuclear Politics

Regional Courses

The Americas

History 79-223: Mexico: From the Aztec Empire to the Drug War

ML 82-245: New Directions in Hispanic Studies

ML 82-343: Latin America:  Language and Culture

ML 82-455: Topics in Hispanic Studies 


History 79-227: Modern Africa: The Slave Trade to the End of Apartheid

History 79-290/A2: Mini The Slave Passage: From West Africa to the Americas

Eastern and Southern Asia and the Pacific

History 79-211: Modern Southeast Asia, Capitalism, and Cultural Exchange

SDS 88-411: Rise of the Asian Economies


History 79-219: Film in Modern European History

ML 82-320: Contemporary Society in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

ML 82-415: Topics in French and Francophone Studies

The Middle East

ML 82-215: Arab Culture Through Dialogues

Please schedule an appointment with the academic advisor for guidance in selecting appropriate Thematic and region-based courses that satisfy Global Studies degree requirements.

Students are required to take an additional 27 units of elective courses, selected from one or both of the subcategories below. Any History course (79-xxx) not listed above at the 200 level or higher will count as an elective. In addition, Category IV and V courses listed above that are not used to fulfill those requirements may be counted as electives in addition to the courses listed below.

 Students should consult each semester with the Global Studies advisor, Dr. Andrew Ramey  about new courses approved for the Global Studies major. Students may “double-count” a maximum of two courses for the Global Studies major that are used to fulfill the requirements of other majors and programs. (Note that some of the courses may have prerequisites established by the departments offering them. Students should consult with the academic advisor about how such prerequisites may affect their course of study.)

Please visit the Department of History’s Current Courses webpage to see what is available. You can also see a list of electives on the Undergraduate Course Catalog.

In addition to coursework at Carnegie Mellon, Global Studies majors are encouraged to incorporate a semester of study abroad into their course of study in order to immerse themselves in society different from their own with unfamiliar cultural practices, language, and history.

Majors should consult frequently with the program's advisor and with participating faculty who will help students to craft a coherent course of study on specific regions and/or topics that may lead to the development of independent research projects.

Faculty & Advising

Emanuela Grama

Director of Global Studies
Andrew Ramey

Andrew Ramey

Academic Advisor

John Soluri

John Soluri


Latin America, Food, Environment
Paul Eiss

Paul Eiss

Anthropology, Mexico, Latin America

Noah Theriault

Noah Theriault

Culture, South East Asia, Environment