Global Studies

Sarah C. Andrews, Associate Professor

Sally A. Steindorf, Professor

Faculty from other disciplines also support this program.

Global Studies at Principia College is the study of contemporary issues that are truly global in scope, such as poverty, refugees, human trafficking, environmental degradation, climate change, systemic conflict, etc. The focus is both on the complex problems raised by these issues as well as their potential solutions. The program's purpose is to educate professionals who can communicate and work effectively across the boundaries of traditional bodies of knowledge; understand the interplay among local, national, regional, and global forces; and demonstrate the tools needed to solve complex global problems. Students with a major in Global Studies may choose to work for NGOs, government agencies or intergovernmental bodies tasked with addressing these problems on the ground, or they may prefer to become scholars working to create a more strategic understanding of complex global issues, developing solution landscapes, and deepening academic involvement.

Students meeting the language study and proficiency requirement through the French and Spanish offerings at Principia College must demonstrate proficiency at a minimum of the 205 level. Students meeting this requirement through a non-Western language must demonstrate proficiency by completion of study at a level appropriate for the demands of the particular language. Criteria for language proficiency are determined by the Department of Languages and Cultures. Any transfer work applied to this requirement must meet institutional transfer policies administered by the Registrar’s Office.

International Experience Criteria

The following criteria must be met for both international and domestic students:

  1. Travel with any official faculty-led Principia College Abroad* to any country – as long as the program is a semester-long abroad and excludes the student’s country of origin.


  1. A minimum of eight weeks of experiential activity which includes:

a. Travel with any official faculty-led Principia College Abroad* to any country – as long as the duration of the time abroad is at least four weeks and excludes the student’s country of origin AND

b. A globally-focused internship in any country including the U.S.

Note: The combined total of the study abroad and the internship should be at least eight weeks.


Independent student travel abroad which meets the below criteria and is approved by the Global Studies Department Chair.

The student must:

  1. Select a travel destination other than the student’s country of origin.
  2. Take part in eight weeks of experiential activity with at least four weeks in-country. If a student is abroad for fewer than eight weeks then the remainder of the experiential activity must take the form of a globally-focused internship in any country including the U.S.
  3. Read at least one book about the country or culture of the country in order to demonstrate to the Global Studies Department Chair a degree of familiarity with the country prior to traveling.
  4. Familiarize one’s self with one of the languages of the country before traveling there or during your stay by learning a minimum of 200 words/phrases needed for survival and courtesy.
  5. Become immersed in the local culture while abroad. This immersion may occur in a variety of ways, but must include at least one of the following:
  • Homestay (minimum 3 weeks)
  • Internship (minimum 3 weeks)
  • Community Service (minimum 3 weeks)
  • Interviews for the purpose of research (with an interpreter if the student’s language level is not sufficient to ask questions or fully understand responses) (minimum 7 interviews); Requires IRB approval
  • Academic Component (e.g., attending a local university or taking language classes) (minimum 3 weeks)
  • Work experience in a host national working environment (minimum 3 weeks)
  • Any other type of cultural immersion – pre-approved by the Global Studies Department Chair – in which the student spends the majority of his or her time abroad in the presence of and learning from the individuals of that country.


Alternative scenarios may be presented to the Global Studies Department Chair for consideration.


  “Official” Principia College abroad is defined here as one that meets all of the student learning outcomes of a Principia College Abroad. Other faculty-led Principia College study abroad programs may qualify for the Global Studies international experience; however, they must be approved by the Global Studies Department Chair.

Departmental Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the complex nature of globalization, including the interplay among global and national and/or local factors
  2. Evaluate structures of inequality (e.g. race, ethnicity, class, religion, gender, etc.) within the context of complex systems 
  3. Apply multidisciplinary methods and tools to analyze and develop solutions to complex global issues
  4. Apply relevant theories and/or analytical frameworks to global phenomena
  5. Demonstrate global citizenship
    1. Demonstrate intercultural learning skills
    2. Participate in global service

College Wide Student Learning Outcomes of Principia College: Defining a Liberal Arts Education

The curricular and co-curricular programs at Principia College are designed for students to be lifelong learners, thinkers, and problem-solvers. To accomplish this, the College has established the following outcomes for its graduates.

Guided by Principle, Principia College students will demonstrate:

  1. Depth and breadth of knowledge
  2. Critical and creative thinking
  3. Effective communication
  4. Intellectual inquiry and engagement
  5. Active commitment to community and global citizenship

GLBS 200 Global Citizenship 3.0 SH [GESS]

This course introduces students to both the Global Studies major and the concept of global citizenship which is one of the learning outcomes for the major. Students will discuss various definitions, values, and practices of a global citizen, and will have several opportunities in this course to practice active global citizenship.

GLBS 225 Global Issues 3.0 SH [GESS]

This course introduces students to issues that are global in scope and that raise complex problems that need to be considered with the concepts and tools of more than one discipline.
Class Level Restriction: Freshman and Sophomore and Junior only.

GLBS 230 Global Changemakers 3.0 SH [GESS]

This course explores what it means to be a global changemaker through examining the lives, qualities, and leadership styles of individuals whose ideas have had a global impact.

GLBS 235 International Organizations 3.0 SH [GESS]

This course introduces students to the roles that major international organizations play in addressing global issues and to the controversies surrounding these organizations. Organizations covered may include the United Nations, World Bank, IMF, and regional international organizations. Also listed as POLS 235.

GLBS 250 Contemporary Global Topics 2.0-3.0 SH [  ]

This course is an exploration of a contemporary topic or issue in Global Studies. The course will examine both factors that make this issue complex as well as potential solution-oriented strategies for this issue. Title extended to identify current topic. May be taken more than once provided topics differ. Only one 3SH course may count toward the Global Studies major/minor.

GLBS 275 Transformative Mediation & ADR 3.0 SH [GESS]

This course introduces students to Alternative Dispute Resolution techniques with a specific focus on Mediation. Students learn deep-reading techniques, critical thinking and evaluation of data, detailed nuances of interpersonal communication, persuasion and negotiation. True peacemaking brings parties together in a non-adversarial atmosphere and uses language and techniques that demonstrate impartiality, confidentiality, creativity, and flexibility. The goal is harmonious resolution.

GLBS 290 Methods for Global Research 3.0 SH [GESS]

Provides students with a foundation in qualitative and quantitative methods as applied to global research. This course will include practical and ethical issues related to doing global research, applied exercises in the methods covered, and analysis of methods in practice.
Prerequisite: GLBS 200.
Class Level Restriction: Sophomore and Junior and Senior only.

GLBS 315 Strategies to Global Solutions 3.0 SH [  ]

This course introduces students to strategies that could be used to solve complex, global issues. These strategies include the lenses of social innovation, systems thinking, transdisciplinary thinking; problem solving; and intercultural communication. Students first study a complex, global issue of their choice and then create their own project-based social innovation for this issue.
Prerequisite: GLBS 225 or SUS 151.
Class Level Restriction: Sophomore and Junior and Senior only.

GLBS 320 Development & Underdevelopment 3.0 SH [  ]

This course enables students to analyze the complex problem of global poverty. The course will consider historical, political, economic, social, and cultural factors that contribute to poverty in developing countries, as well as approaches to development.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

GLBS 375 Globalization and Culture 3.0 SH [  ]

Uses both theories and case examples to explore the concept of globalization through the lens of cultural anthropology. Analyzes the global flows of money, people, commodities, media, and ideas while considering how class, gender, and ethnicity affect the way globalization is experienced around the world. Also listed as SOAN 375.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

GLBS 405 Internship 1.0-6.0 SH [  ]

This course provides an opportunity to gain practical experience in fields related to Global Studies. Includes field sponsor supervision, journals, colleague interviews, and final research paper. Title will be extended to describe the topic. May be offered for variable credit from one to six semester hours. May be repeated once for a total of 6 SH if internship sites differ.

GLBS 410 Global Citizenship Project 1.0-3.0 SH [  ]

An independent, student-designed project under faculty supervision that results in growth in the knowledge, attitudes, and skills associated with global citizenship. May be offered for variable credit from one to three semester hours. May be repeated once for a maximum of 6 semester hours.
Prerequisite: GLBS 200.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

GLBS 431 Worldography 3.0 SH [  ]

A seminar involving critical reading and discussion of outstanding books on different world-encompassing issues. A set of criteria is applied to each book to determine its effectiveness. Open only to Global Studies majors.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.
Field of Study Restrictions: Global Studies Majors only.

GLBS 440 Global Studies Capstone 3.0 SH [  ]

Individual research and writing on a complex, global issue and its potential solutions. Course work culminates in a significant research paper.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.