Global Studies Consortium

University of California at Santa Barbara : Global & International Studies Program

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Established 1999
Key features

When it was established in early 1999 it was widely recognized as one of the first interdisciplinary undergraduate majors in international studies in the country to focus on globalization. Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher presided over the inaugural occasion.

Within its first five years, the numbers of global studies majors grew to over 700 per year—60% focusing on the socioeconomic and political aspects of globalization, and 40% emphasizing the cultural and ideological side. More majors from Global Studies participate in the University of California's systemwide Education Abroad program than from any other department or program on campus.

Faculty related to the global studies program include several whose positions are partially or wholly in global and international studies and who teach the core required global studies courses in the curriculum. These faculty are augmented by affiliate faculty who teach courses related to the global studies major, and by distinguished visiting faculty which have included Richard Falk and Hilal Elver, Paul Orfalea, Barbara Bodine, Walden Bello, and Ann Louise Bardach. A total of over forty faculty participate directly in the program. (See our Faculty page.)

In Fall 2003 a graduate-level PhD Emphasis in Global Studies was created, supported by the departments of Anthropology, Communication, Comparative Literature, Education, English, Feminist Studies, Film & Media Studies, Geography, History, Linguistics, Political Science, Religious Studies, and Sociology departments, and coordinated by Global & International Studies.

A fully-fledged PhD in Global Studies was established in Spring 2014.

Number of faculty: 39

The program is comprised of currently fifteen core full-time faculty, as well as twenty-four affiliated faculty members and three visiting faculty. 


Degrees awarded
  • MA, Global and International Studies
  • Ph.D. Emphasis in Global Studies
  • Ph.D. in Global Studies
Organization of the MA curriculum

The two-year M.A. program combines courses from the social sciences and humanities with practical training and real-world experience. Students typically spend the summer of their first year and fall quarter of their second year abroad, taking courses and doing internships with non-governmental organizations, governmental bodies, or businesses. The program is developing partnerships with other globally-oriented educational institutions abroad, and a range of international NGOs, for study and intern placements. Students will also take two policy-oriented workshops designed to simulate real-life decision-making situations. Non-credit workshops will also be available for interested students, providing opportunities to learn about such practical matters as grant writing and foundation funding, tracking organizational finances, information management, and computer-based technologies.

The curriculum consists of three courses per quarter. The first year includes required courses on Organizational Policy and Management, Micro/Macro Economics, International Economics, Global Trade and Finance, Transnational Forces and Political Systems, Global Governance and World Order, Theories of Intercultural Understanding, and Global Organizations and Civil Society. Students are also required to take a course on Research Methods in Global & International Affairs, participate in a policy analysis and exercise seminar, and attend a one-unit seminar that focuses on contemporary issues and internship preparation.

The second year allows students to choose courses that provide background in particular cultural/geographic regions, and focus on a career emphasis in either Global Social and Economic Development or Global Culture and Human Rights. Students are also required to take courses in an area specialization of their choice: East Asia, South and Southeast Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa, or Europe. A course on Managing Development Organizations, Non-Profits and Other NGOs: Theory and Practice is also offered as an elective. The second year culminates with a required policy workshop.

In consultation with their advisors, students can elect either Master’s Plan I (thesis) or Master’s Plan II (project). It is expected that most students will choose the former.

Academic disciplines in curriculum
  • Anthropology
  • Area Studies
  • Economics
  • English
  • Environmental Studies
  • Law (Law & Society)
  • Middle East Studies
  • Political Science
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology
  • Women's Studies
Time to complete MA

Six academic quarters, plus one summer-quarter internship

PhD program

In Fall 2003 a graduate-level PhD Emphasis in Global Studies was created, supported by the departments of Anthropology, Communication, Comparative Literature, Education, English, Feminist Studies, Film & Media Studies, Geography, History, Linguistics, Political Science, Religious Studies, and Sociology, coordinated by Global & International Studies.

A fully-fledged PhD in Global Studies was launched in 2014.

Students can enter program in:
  • September
Practical education is part of the curriculum.

The MA includes a second year summer/fall NGO internship

Language(s) of instruction

Courses are taught in:

  • English


Student numbers and profile

In June 2008, the MA in Global & International Studies program graduated its inaugural (2006) class of students, totaling 18. With a second cohort of 15 and a Fall 2008 incoming class of 20 new students, the MAGIS program has been averaging between 25-35 students a year.


M.A. Student Profiles

MAGIS students reflect a broad diversity of backgrounds, prior academic training, work/professional experience, study abroad, and world travel. Among current students, non-US nationalities are represented by Canada, China, Greece, Guam, Kosovo, India, Iran, Israel, Trinidad/Tobego, and Turkey while American students from multi-ethnic backgrounds bring in Armenian, Chilean, Japanese, Lebanese, Mexican, Palestinian, Thai, and Vietnamese perspectives, among others. This diversity represents a tremendous enrichment to the program.

Graduate careers

Graduates of the Master of Arts in Global & International Studies will seek careers in the international NGO sector, in the foreign service and government agencies, and in international business; some will go on to other professional schools in foreign affairs or to PhD programs emphasizing global and international studies.


Administrative status

Both the Masters in Global & International Studies program and the Global & International Studies Program itself (undergraduate major, PhD emphasis, full PhD program) are administratively domiciled in UCSB's College of Letters and Science.

Support for research activities by faculty and students


On the web:

The Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies at UCSB is an interdisciplinary programmatic center spotlighting activities in global, transnational, and area studies across the campus. The Center helps coordinate support for students and initiatives of the Masters program in Global & International Studies, for interdepartmental, interdisciplinary research clusters focused on global issues, as well as other initiatives related to global studies at UCSB.

The Orfalea Center is coordinative office for the Global & International Studies program's affiliation with the Global Studies Consortium, and is a founding consortium Steering Committee member.

Cooperation with programs outside the university

The Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies maintains affiliations with numerous institutions related to international affairs and global civil society. These ties range from the Social Science Research Council and the the International Studies Association to the United Nations University, to the Southern California Consortium of International Studies and the Global Studies Consortium itself. The Center has close ties with numerous domestic and international global studies academic programs and centers, as well as related research centers in India, Japan and China, in several European countries, and elsewhere.

The Orfalea Center has also been the coordinative hub of a project with SAGE Publications to produce the Encyclopedia of Global Studies (Mark Juergensmeyer and Helmut Anheier, eds. 2012), a first-ever encyclopedia to focus on the burgeoning academic field of global studies.

Global Studies Consortium meeting participation:
  • Santa Barbara 2007
  • Tokyo 2008
  • Leipzig 2009
  • Santa Barbara 2010
  • Shanghai 2011
  • Melbourne 2012
  • Moscow 2013
  • Roskilde 2014
  • Cairo 2015
  • Pittsburgh 2016

Contact details

Graduate Program Advisor:


Room 3044, HSSB

Tel: (805) 893-4668


Program email address:
Dr. Raymond Clémençon