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What is a Global Studies Major and is it Right for Me?

If you’re a huge fan of social sciences like political science, economics, anthropology, sociology and geography, becoming a global studies major may be for you. If you choose to take on this course of study, you’ll be examining, comparing and contrasting different cultures and the issues they face.

What is a global studies major?

A global studies major is a broad, interdisciplinary social science major. Your classes will cover subjects areas like economics, statistics, political science, history and geography, focusing in on specific cultures and issues within each of these broader categories.

Most global studies program also offer you the ability to concentrate on a particular culture or issue, especially during your last year or two in college. For example, you may broadly study women’s issues and then narrow your personal research focus to women’s issues in Southeast Asia.

Is it right for me?

  • Before committing to the major, here are some important questions to ask yourself.
  • Am I able and excited to learn a language (and possibly even multiple languages)?
  • Do I want to (and have the financial means to) go abroad? Am I excited to immerse myself in other cultures?
  • Do I like keeping up with current events and understanding how they fit with larger historical patterns?
  • Am I able to look at the big picture of different places as well as look at them on a more culture-specific level?
  • Would I be okay with dedicating my time to a long-term project, like a capstone or thesis

What can I do with a global studies degree?

The great thing about a global studies degree is that the knowledge base is broad and gives you the ability to pursue a variety of fields based on your other interests. Some of the careers you can get with a global studies major include:

  • journalist/correspondent
  • government official
  • politician
  • international businessperson
  • lawyer
  • salesperson
  • travel guide
  • nonprofit leader
  • diplomat
  • humanitarian worker
  • educator
  • … and more

What does someone who majored in global studies earn?

Because there are many career option for global studies majors, there’s no consensus on the salary range among majors in this group. For example, a humanitarian worker is likely to have a starting salary of $25,000-$30,000 while a government worker is much more likely to be in the $40,000-$50,000 range.

Next, learn more about this college major such as What Types of Skills Are Best for a Global Studies Major? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as When to Start Applying for a Summer Internship.


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