Global Studies Consortium

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Degrees awarded
  • BA in Global Studies
  • MA in Global Studies
Organization of the MA curriculum

The Global Studies MA is a two-year interdisciplinary “applied research” degree that combines scholarly rigor and practical skills. Students enrolled in the program will focus on analysis of trans-regional and trans-national themes, events, and processes that affect states and societies around the world, such as transnational social movements; the diffusion of, and clashes over, political and social norms; and implications of global trade, investment, production, and employment patterns. The program’s courses focus on issues with contemporary global significance and policy relevance. Global Studies is an emerging discipline, and UNC-Chapel Hill is at the forefront of defining the field and evolving methodological approaches.

Students will be required to complete 36 credits, of which 18 credits will be comprised of core courses, a methods course, and writing credits. Students will also complete 18 elective credits in a chosen concentration. Students will be required to complete and defend a research or policy paper. Class size will be approximately 10 students per year. While many applicants will be students who have been away from university for a few years in the “field” we will consider recent graduates.

The educational objectives of the program are to: (1) Highlight issues of current and emerging global significance; (2) Prepare current and future leaders with knowledge and conceptual skills needed for careers in international work; and (3) Provide an education that trains individuals to understand and respond to the nature of global change.

Time to complete MA

The program is designed to be completed in four semesters.  A minumum of two semesters must be completed in residence at UNC. 

Academic schedule

The academic year at UNC follows the traditional two-semester format.  The year starts with the fall semester in mid-August, ending in mid-December.  The spring semester begins in early January and concludes in early May.  Some summer classes are offered during two sessions in May-July.

Practical education is part of the curriculum.

Students may complete an international internship during their third semester.

Language(s) of instruction

Courses are taught in:

  • English

Courses at UNC will be in English.  Courses taken at partner universities will be in the primary languages of those institutions.


Sources of funding available for students

Students may receive tuition remission in exchange for serving as teaching assistants.  We are also seeking fellowship awards to help fund internships and study abroad.


Institutional Background

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has existed for two centuries as the nation’s first state university. Through its excellent undergraduate programs, it has provided higher education to 10 generations of students, many of whom have become leaders of the state and the nation. Since the 19th century, it has offered distinguished graduate and professional programs.

The University is a doctoral/research-extensive university. Fundamental to this designation is a faculty actively involved in research, scholarship and creative work, whose teaching is transformed by discovery and whose service is informed by current knowledge. The mission of the University is to serve all the people of the state, and indeed the nation, as a center for scholarship and creative endeavor. The University exists to teach students at all levels in an environment of research, free inquiry and personal responsibility; to expand the body of knowledge; to improve the condition of human life through service and publication; and to enrich the culture.


Cooperation with programs outside the university

The Curriculum works closely with a variety of organizations and seeks to build closer relationships with a variety of international and local agencies of economic and social development in the Triangle region, in North Carolina, and nationally. Graduate students in the Masters Program will work closely with government, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations in the Triangle area, North Carolina, nationally and internationally.  

Global Studies Consortium meeting participation:
  • Tokyo 2008
  • Shanghai 2011
  • Pittsburgh 2016

Contact details

Curriculum in International and Area Studies
FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro Street, CB#3263
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3263, USA


Program email address:
Erica Johnson