Nov 28, 2022  
Undergraduate Catalog 2011-12 
Undergraduate Catalog 2011-12 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Global Studies

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The College of Arts and Sciences, in cooperation with the Diether H. Haenicke Institute for Global Education, houses a family of interdisciplinary programs devoted to the study of global and international issues and major regions and cultures of the world. These programs include a broad, interdisciplinary major and several interdisciplinary minors as well as study abroad opportunities. Study abroad opportunities are not limited to those students who major or minor in global studies but are open to all Western students. Although most of the courses offered for these programs are primarily in the College of Arts and Sciences, other colleges also provide appropriate courses. 

In addition to their interdisciplinary structure of the global studies major and minor, global studies as well as international and area studies programs are designed to maximize opportunities for foreign study and academic experiences outside the United States. Extensive foreign language study is required in the global studies major. Although minors can be completed without including foreign language, most students include some in their programs as appropriate. With advisor approval, courses taken at colleges and universities in conjunction with a study abroad program, either in English or in other languages, may be used to meet some academic requirements for global studies majors and minors, With prior approval, study abroad courses may be accepted for other program requirements as well.

Course listings for global studies as well as international and area program are very extensive and may be found on the Web at or in printed materials available from advisors. All course work in global, international and area studies programs must carry a grade of “C” or better. For additional information on international academic activities and study abroad opportunities, see the “International Programs” section of this catalog.

Global and International Studies Major (42 hours)

Dr. Donald G. McCloud, Dean
Diether H. Haenicke Institute for Global Education
Room B 2530, Ellsworth Hall
(269) 387-3985

This program is designed to provide a broad but integrative approach to the study of global and international issues, supported by the methods and theories of several disciplines and regional case studies. The major requires a minimum of 42 hours, of which at least 24 hours must be in course work at the 3000-level or above. In addition, the major must include course selections from at least four different departments or course prefixes. Students should see the program advisor to select a course to satisfy the University’s baccalaureate-level writing requirement.

Courses from Participating Departments

Course selection must include a disciplinary focus consisting of four courses from one of the following departments with at least half of the course work at the 3000-level or above; in some circumstances courses from these departments not on the attached list but required for access to advanced courses may also be counted:

  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Comparative Religion
  • Sociology

Course selection

With prior approval, courses from departments not on the above list may be approved for “core” emphasis. Course selection must lead to a regional, comparative, or foreign language option emphasis for each student’s major or minor in global studies.

Regional Option

The regional option consists of at least three courses dealing exclusively or substantially with one of the following:

Asia-Middle East/Islamic
Western Europe
Russia/Eastern Europe
Latin America

Comparative Option

The comparative option consists of four advisor-approved courses extending the comparative and cross-cultural nature of the program. It may include thematic, theoretical, and area studies courses. The course work must be drawn from at least three different departments/prefixes.

Foreign Language Option

The foreign language option permits the exploration of comparative and cross-cultural issues through the study of a second foreign language in addition to the required foreign language component in the program. Up to four courses in a second foreign language beyond the 1000-level may be incorporated into the major.

Foreign Language Cognate Requirement

Proficiency in a second language is a key goal. The program requires at least two courses beyond the 2010-level in a single language other than the student’s native language and appropriate to the chosen regional focus. Intermediate proficiency is required if the chosen language is not offered at WMU beyond the 2000-2010 level. Some advanced courses in foreign languages may be included in a regional focus within the major as listed. Students whose native languages are other than English should consult the program advisor on fulfillment of the cognate requirement.

No minor is required for students choosing the major, although development of a foreign language minor is strongly recommended. In fact, credits for the Foreign Language Cognate Requirement apply also toward a declared minor or major in a foreign language. Students should see advisors in the foreign language departments to declare their minor or major in a foreign language.

In addition to listed courses for the major, appropriate subtopic titles in topical courses may be used with advisor approval.

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