Global Studies Program


To meet the opportunities and challenges posed by an increasingly interdependent world, the Global Studies Program at CLU is committed to preparing and educating students to be "leaders in a global society" through their academic coursework and experiential learning opportunities.

The twenty-first century world is one characterized by globalization. The forces of globalization, integration and interdependence, have altered the way human beings interact with one another. World affairs are no longer primarily defined by national boundaries, but by the global integration of resources, ideas and communities.

The Global Studies program offers courses that examine the actors (individuals, countries, non-governmental organizations), ideas and processes that shape the cultural, social, political and economic dimensions of global society. The coursework for this program emphasizes three themes:

  • Global Culture and Identity
  • Global Governance and Civil Society
  • Global Economy, Development and Resources

Global Culture and Identity

Courses examine how historical, cultural, racial/ethnic, gender and spirituality factors are understood within a global context.

Global Governance and Civil Society

Courses examine how actors encounter the political and social challenges and opportunities posed by integration and interdependence in global society.

Global Economy, Development and Resources

Courses examine the economic forces, technology and natural resources in the global community.

These thematic courses are used to illustrate how similar issues are understood across different communities in global society. The program offers students an interdisciplinary curriculum that promotes an enhanced appreciation for global diversity (non-Western cultures/societies) and experiential learning. Global studies majors not only gain a deeper understanding of complex global processes and their consequences but develop skills that enable them to be an agent of a positive change in this rapidly changing global world.

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is the pedagogical emphasis of the program. Global studies students are required to engage in experiential learning through an internship or study abroad, and through field research in the required core courses. Experiential learning in the form of study abroad or internships fosters cultural sensitivity and appreciation of global diversity.

In the capstone and required upper division course, students work on projects that involve on-site, field research that allows them to observe and interact with aspects of global society without traveling abroad. Exposure to global society (via study abroad and internships) and engagement in global society through field research (via the required upper division course and capstone) will equip students with the knowledge and skills to be "leaders in a global society."

The best capstone projects are selected for the Pearson Scholar summer research program in which the students work on expanding their projects in sample and analysis full-time in 10 to 12 weeks during a summer break. The Summer Research program was made possible by a generous gift by the late Alma Pearson of Santa Barbara in 2008. Since then, the Pearson Scholars produced excellent scholarship and presented their work at professional and/or undergraduate research conferences.