What Is a Global Studies Major and Why Choose It?

June 28, 2019

One of the more difficult decisions a college student will make is their choice of major. Although some college students enroll knowing what major they’d like to pursue, most are undecided, and with good reason! There are hundreds of different variations of major/minor degrees students can choose from based on their passion, skill set, and goals post-college and in the workforce. 

What College Major Is Right for Me and How to Make the Right Choice?

“Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.” We’ve all heard it before, and it is a bit trite, but there is an important truth in it. Before choosing a major, it’s helpful to start with some fundamental and essential questions. “What am I passionate about?” “How do I want to impact the world?” “Who has inspired me?” “What are my talents and strengths?”

Once you’ve answered these questions, if you find you are interested in exploring the world, learning about other cultures, solving problems that make the world a more peaceful place, or fostering collaboration with people from different cultures to help with global issues, a global studies major may be a great fit for you.

What Is a Global Studies Major?

The Global Studies program engages students in the interdisciplinary study of the world, and how it has been and is being shaped by globalization. Students study global and international politics, economics, business, media, history, society, and culture so that they can become productive contributors to, and find employment in a rapidly changing world.  As global perspectives and skills become more and more relevant to employers, a Global Studies major will offer a WPU graduate a range of career choices. 

The first two years of your studies typically include core courses in anthropology, business, literature, history, and communication. As you progress towards completion of your degree, your advisor will work with you on choosing your path and help you to define your specific interests and career goals. You’ll be encouraged to take upper-level courses on global issues, choose a study abroad program, and/or help develop your language skills. Take a look at our academic catalog for a complete listing of electives. 


Global Studies Degree

How Will You Know If the Degree Is Right for You?

In addition to the fundamental questions listed earlier, before you commit to any degree, you should ask yourself questions that are specific to the studies included in the degree program. For global studies majors, some great questions are:

  • Am I passionate about learning history, anthropology, political science, and other social sciences?
  • Am I willing and able to adapt to new cultures and people?
  • Do I keep up to date on current issues and historical patterns?
  • Am I interested in learning a new language?

What Jobs Are Available After College with a Global Studies Degree?

The job market of tomorrow is linked to the increasing trend of globalization. As globalization continues to accelerate, the demand for internationally trained and informed individuals will only grow. Whether you intend to work in the United States or abroad, the skills you develop from a degree in Global Studies will be invaluable and will open a wide variety of career options. While some graduates may find a Global Studies major excellent preparation for graduate school, others will be able to seek careers in government, education, nonprofits, finance, marketing, public relations, and other fields.

Jobs for a global studies degree graduate include:

  • Human resources with a multinational organization
  • International management consultant
  • Civil service worker
  • Consular/Embassy administrator or diplomat
  • Legal consultant
  • Teacher
  • International relations specialist
  • Journalist
  • Elected government official

Global Studies Major Salary 

Obviously, there are a number of factors that determine starting salaries for graduates with a major in global studies – the type of organization (private, public, or nonprofit), the size of the organization, the specific job requirements, and so on. PayScale’s recent survey reported that the median salary for a college graduate with a Global Studies major is an impressive $51,000.

Want to explore other majors and options? Check out our undergraduate and adult degree programs today!