Masters Curriculum

UC Santa Barbara’s academic terms are based on the quarter system of three quarters per year, with optional summer session as a fourth quarter. Most academic courses are 4 units each, so full time study is usually 3 courses, or 12 units, per quarter. The curriculum for the M.A. degree in Global Studies consists of 57 units of graduate-level work in core and elective courses, all courses passed with a Letter Grade of “B” or higher. This coursework includes 37 units during the first year, comprised of 7 required core courses and 4 electives. Twenty units are completed in year two, with 3 elective or independent reading courses, and 2 courses in mentor-directed research.

The first year course requirement includes introductory graduate coursework in global studies, GLOBL 220 History and Theory of Globalization and in the three areas of specialization: GLOBL 222 Global Culture, Ideology, and Religion, GLOBL 223 Global Governance, Human Rights, & Civil Society, and GLOBL 221 Political Economy, Sustainable Development and the Environment. Students also take two courses on research methods (GLOBL 224, GLOBL 225), and three elective courses, usually within one of the areas of specialization. In addition, students attend a contemporary issues seminar (GLOBL 232A) in the fall.

During summer and fall quarter of the second year, independent research takes place during the internship and/or study abroad program component of the program. Students engaged in internships will enroll in 12 units of GLOBL 598 for research credit. For students choosing study abroad, up to eight units of coursework may be done in a non-E.A.P. program (with prior approval) or students within the Education Abroad Program transfer all the academic units from the EAP-approved foreign university.

During the final two quarters, the second-year students will take an additional three graduate-level elective courses in the students’ chosen areas of specialization, and complete 2 advisory independent study courses (GLOBL 596A and 596B) in winter and spring with their primary advisor. The degree is earned with completion and approval of the Master’s Plan I thesis, submitted spring or summer of the second year.

Additionally, two years of a second language are required for the M.A. degree, which may be met prior to entering the program.

The General Catalog and Schedule of Courses have the most updated course information.