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Why study global and international studies?

A major or minor in Global and international studies will give you the tools to understand the rapid and profound changes that are occurring internationally and trans-nationally throughout the world and across various regions. Global and international studies at KU offers an interdisciplinary program in which faculty and students think critically about some of the most fundamental transnational and trans-regional issues facing societies today: population growth, politics and governance, migration, the global economy, poverty and inequality, religion, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, peace and conflict, and climate change. Through an investigation of these topics, majors in global and international studies acquire an enriched understanding of the world today, which is not only a desirable end in itself but also a useful background for professionals whose careers may involve them in different geographical and cultural areas. A major in global and international studies is helpful for careers in journalism, foreign service, business and industry, education, law, politics and government, and social service agencies.

Ideally, students who choose to major in global and international studies should have a trans-regional focus in mind for their educational goals. KU is also host to a number of excellent international Area Studies Centers that provide the best opportunities and resources for those students whose international interest is predominantly located in a particular region.  Students in our major, while gaining a measure of expertise in a particular region of the world, are expected to take a majority of their courses for the major on other regions or the international or transnational context. For those who want to take additional courses beyond the regional concentration within the GIST major, we recommend one of the three following options: (1) Do a minor in the area studies of interest (such as European StudiesAfrican-African American StudiesEast Asian Languages and CulturesLatin American Studies, or Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies) along with a GIST major, (2) do a major in the regional area and a minor in GIST, or (3) double-major in the area studies of interest and GIST. Since our major includes 9 credit hours which can easily double up as general or core requirements in the first two years (and count toward the degree requirements in the areas studies programs), the opportunity and flexibility to do a double-major or an additional minor with your GIST major is quite strong and highly encouraged.


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