Global Studies Mission

The Global Studies requirement provides a global dimension to each student’s education by fostering intercultural competence and by equipping students to explore their roles amid complex global forces that are affecting the interconnectedness of our world.


Global Studies Outcomes

All of the following outcomes must be included (in words more specifically suited to course content) as part of the learning goals for each Global Studies (GBS) course:

  1. Students analyze connections and tensions between multiple cultural perspectives and demonstrate self-awareness about how the students’ cultural heritages both shape and limit their perspectives.
  2. Students analyze processes that are affecting global interconnectedness and assess the significance of those processes.
  3. Students describe multiple perspectives on an ethical issue that has global or international ramifications, and evaluate those perspectives in light of their own sense of personal and civic responsibility.


The Global Studies committee invites departments to be creative in conceiving courses that can advance the above mission.  Ways to create such courses include:


  1. Regional studies courses. A course may focus on the culture or society of a specific country or region of the globe outside the U.S. (or any set of such cultures or societies).  The privileged lens may be historical, political, economic, sociological, religious, literary/artistic, ecological, technological, or more broadly cultural.  The spirit of the Global Studies requirement encourages bringing multiple disciplinary perspectives to bear on the region(s) under study.
  2. Global dynamics courses. A course may focus on global forces that affect regions across the globe.  In today’s world, the links between diverse regions are being affected in numerous ways, for example, through migration, trade and finance, and communication technologies.  Scholars debate the degree to which such forces have eroded the significance of national boundaries that once defined areas of study.  A course may also take its cue from global concern about the problems of ecological degradation, global diseases, and new forms of hegemony.  This sort of course may choose any aspect(s) of these dynamics as the focus.  The Global Studies requirement encourages bringing multiple disciplinary perspectives to bear on the issues.


The foregoing categories are meant to be evocative rather than exhaustive of the sorts of courses that could be offered as GBS courses.


To achieve the goal of the Global Studies requirement, courses should explore subject matter at a depth well beyond the introductory level, typically at the 3000 level or above, although 2000 level courses are eligible to apply for Global Studies credit.  First Year Seminars and other courses that count for the university core (the required written skills, language skills, quantitative reasoning, and ethical reasoning courses) are ineligible for Global Studies.  A course meeting the Area I or Area II elective requirement may be submitted as a GBS course.  Departments hosting a GBS course may also elect to give credit within the major.  If a student enrolls in a GBS course outside of his or her major, that course may also meet a maturity requirement.  GBS courses will require a certain degree of maturity of the student, but they need not have prerequisites.  On the other hand, neither is there any limit on the number of prerequisites for a GBS course.  Our goal is to offer departments the flexibility to design courses that fit their own curriculum while also honoring the mission of the Global Studies requirement.


Bullet-point checklist

  • the course must be a four-credit course
  • the course should have a contemporary focus (mostly 20th and 21st century—travel courses with a more pre-20th century focus can be eligible if they discuss the impact of the material on today’s society and incorporate reflection on the contemporary culture students experience)
  • the course should heavily emphasize areas outside the U.S.
  • the course objectives should include all three of the Global Studies outcomes
  • the syllabus should link course assignments with the relevant course objectives
  • the course should require substantial amounts of student writing, commensurate with a junior-level (or in some cases sophomore-level) course
  • the syllabus should include a Global Studies assessment essay as one of the course assignments and require students near the end of the semester to complete an online Qualtrics survey from the Global Studies committee, into which students will cut-and-paste their short writing assignment. N.B.: Instructors may design the assignment prompt to align with course content, but the assignment should be designed to elicit student responses demonstrating their achievement of one of the Global Studies outcomes (each academic year the committee will focus on a different outcome).


Course submission procedures

  • Prepare a complete syllabus and rationale for how the course fulfills the Global Studies requirement
  • Course numbering should include a GBS prefix; when choosing a course number, be sure to avoid any conflict with existing GBS courses
  • Submit through the HPU curriculum website