Global Studies Consortium

University of Pittsburgh : World History Center / Global Studies Center


Key features

This affiliate of the Global Studies Consortium consists of a partnership at the University of Pittsburgh of the World History Center (WHC - located in the Department of History and affiliated with the University Center for International Studies) and the Global Studies Center (GSC - a part of the University Center for International Studies - UCIS). The University of Pittsburgh, founded in 1787, is one of the oldest universities in the United States and a member of the Association of American Universities.

The WHC, founded in 2008, has set as its mission to advance world-historical analysis through research, graduate and undergraduate study, and support for secondary education. It supports collaboration with institutions worldwide. Its major initiatives include a summer dissertation workshop in world history, a Teaching World History initiative, and the World-Historical Dataverse, a project to create a global historical data resource. Faculty members and graduate students in History, Arts & Sciences, and schools throughout the university are invited to become affiliated with the Center. Current membership includes 80 faculty members and 25 graduate students.

The GSC is a National Resource Center in international studies, as designated by the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI grant program. The GSC was established in 2001 as a joint offering of the UCIS and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA). The Center fosters global competence of students, educators, and members of the community at large. The Center also initiates interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, and historical teaching and research in six areas of concentration: Changing Identities in a Global World; Communication, Technology, and Society; Conflict and Conflict Resolution; Global Economy and Global Governance; Global Health; and Sustainable Development. Over 200 University of Pittsburgh faculty members are affiliated with the GSC. Their teaching expertise and research specializations provide the substance for the GSC’s six concentrations. Each academic year, they teach courses on global themes in 35 departments and schools.


Degrees awarded
  • Graduate Certificate in World History
  • Graduate Certificate in Global Studies
  • PhD Thematic concentration in World History

Graduate Certificate in World History

The WHC is developing a graduate certificate program of six courses to be instituted during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Graduate Certificate in Global Studies

Certificate students receive interdisciplinary training concurrent with academic or professional degrees in a major field. In consultation with an academic advisor, students design an individualized program of study. Global Studies students choose one of the six concentrations and unite it with the study of a particular region and a language of that region. To ensure interdisciplinary learning, students take three courses in two departments other than their major. The certificate programs also encourage students to take advantage of the many international learning opportunities available at the University of Pittsburgh. Students are encouraged to enroll in a study or service abroad program or participate in an international internship.

The Global Studies certificate program is an interdisciplinary program incorporating courses from within the following schools:

William P. Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences: Departments of Africana Studies | Anthropology | Biological Sciences | Classics | Communication | Economics | English | Geology and Planetary Science | History | History and Philosophy of Science | History of Art and Architecture | Linguistics | Music | Philosophy | Political Science | Religious Studies | Sociology | Theatre Arts | Urban Studies

Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business; School of Education; Swanson School of Engineering; School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences; School of Information Sciences; School of Law; School of Medicine; School of Nursing; Graduate School of Public and International Affairs; Graduate School of Public Health


World History thematic field

  • Core seminar in world history or empires in world history
  • Second seminar in world history or empires in world history

Graduate Certificate in World History

  • Two History Department courses in world history
  • Two UCIS or Cultural Studies courses in interdisciplinary methods
  • Choice among a regional concentration (two courses in a given region), a theoretical concentration (two theoretical courses in a given discipline), or a teaching concentration (one course in educational methods and one in teaching world history)
  • Reading proficiency in two languages other than English
  • A Capstone Paper using materials from the student's languages

Graduate Certificate in Global Studies

  • Four courses in a chosen global concentration
  • Two courses in a chosen regional concentration
  • Six semesters of university-level proficiency in a foreign language relevant to the region
  • Capstone Paper uniting the student's global and regional concentrations. The Capstone must be written as part of a course, with a faculty member. All students must consult with their Global Studies advisor regarding Capstone Paper requirements.
  • Grades of B or better in relevant coursework including the Capstone Paper
  • Total of three courses in two departments other than the student's major (excluding language courses)
  • Participation in the Global Studies Poster Session
PhD program

PhD. thematic concentration in World History. Since 2007, the Department of History and the WHC have jointly supported a graduate theme in "Empires in World History." From 2012, the thematic specialization will expand to "World History" with a subfield in the study of empires.

Language(s) of instruction

Courses are taught in:

  • English

Some courses are taught in languages other than English.


Student numbers and profile

World History

5 students have taken Ph.D. comprehensive examinations in World History;

14 students enrolled in the Empires in World History core course, 2009;

13 students enrolled in the same course for 2012.

Global Studies

41 students currently enrolled in the graduate certificate programs.

Of the alumni enrolled in graduate studies during AY2010-11, 37% are continuing focused research on international/area studies; 71% of these students are continuing to study less commonly taught languages.

Graduate careers

Master's Placement:
100% of Master's level students graduating with a certificate are using their language in employment with nonprofit international and national organizations, or pursuit of a PhD

Doctoral Placement:
100% of doctoral students graduating with a certificate are using their language in their teaching positions.


Cooperation with programs outside the university

The WHC and the GSC hold a joint membership in the Global Studies Consortium, the world-wide consortium of programs providing graduate study in Global Studies.

The WHC, in association with the independent nonprofit World History Network, Inc., maintains close relations with the Network of Global and World History Organizations (NOGWHISTO) and with its affiliates, including the World History Association, the Asian Association of World Historians, the African Network in Global History, and the European Network in Universal and  Global History.

The WHC, through its World-Historical Dataverse research project (, is an affiliate and also the administrative office of the Center for Historical Information and Analysis.

The Teaching World History Collaborative includes the WHC, the GSC, the School of Education, and the Department of History. The Teaching World History Collaborative directs professional development workshops in world history for secondary teachers in Western Pennsylvania.

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

Contact details

World History Center
University of Pittsburgh
Department of History
3900 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Tel. 412-624-3073; Fax. 412-648-9074

World History Center website

Global Studies Center
University of Pittsburgh
University Center for International Studies
4100 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Tel. 412-648-5085; Fax. 412-624-4672

Global Studies Center website

Dr. Patrick Manning (World History Center); Dr. Nancy Condee (Global Studies Center)