Welcome Future Gaucho

Congratulations to all those finding out they have been accepted to UC Santa Barbara! Welcome, Class of 2024, to your new home on the edge of the Pacific. We can’t wait to have you! #FutureGaucho

Global Studies Department History

Global Studies was established as an interdisciplinary major within the Global and International Studies Program in 1998. It provides an undergraduate major that is distinctive in its emphasis on transnational processes and interactions that bring the world together across traditional national boundaries. It is one of the first programs in the nation to offer a degree with contemporary as well as historical globalizing trends as the central organizing theme.

The major includes two introductory gateway courses in global history, culture, and ideology and on global socioeconomics and politics and is built around three upper-division core courses that provide a coherent introduction to global culture and ethics, global ideologies and world order, and global economy and development.

Through its elective requirements, the major also affords students an opportunity to take additional courses offered by other departments and programs in the university: three in global issues and another three in one particular region of the world (Africa, the Middle East, South/Southeast Asia and the Pacific, East Asia, Europe and Eurasia, Latin America, or North America).

The Global Studies major requires three years of language study, which can be fulfilled all in one language or by taking two years of one language and an additional year of a second language. This requirement is consistent with the program’s belief that language study is essential to the study of the global and the international, whether it leads to greater facility in a single language or broadened familiarity with the way two different languages can open windows on the world.

Is the Global Studies Major for Me? As a prospective or recently-admitted student, what do I need to know?

The Global Studies major provides a well-rounded liberal arts degree that will help prepare students for a variety of careers in the international arena, although it is not strictly a business-oriented major. It will, however, help prepare students for further graduate study in international affairs, international business, peace and world order studies, area studies, and the emergent global civil society.
Global Studies is an established interdisciplinary major focused on preparing students to be active global citizens. Our major provides a broad background in world history, politics, culture, and economy that will equip you to “think globally” and prepare you for the challenges of the 21st century. Our talented and diverse faculty have knowledge of multiple regions of the world, are interested in global integration of ideas, and are committed to using global thinking to transform world problems.
  • Do you have a passion for world events and global issues like human rights, environment, and social justice? *Do you like to immerse yourself in other cultures or get excited about learning new languages?
  • Are you interested in working with global organizations, NGOs, or cultural exchange programs?
  • Do you like to explore multiple perspectives and compare diverse regions/countries across the globe?
For more information about preparing to join the major as a newly-admitted student, click here. For general major requirements, visit the UCSB General Catalog

Global Studies Advising & FAQ

Due to COVID-19, the advising office is closed to in-person visits until further notice. Please click here for online appointment and drop-in advising options.

Questions regarding your major and/or academic progress? Please email Undergraduate Advisor Meghan Zero at: meghanzero@global.ucsb.edu or schedule an appointment with this link.

For emails, please include your name and perm #. If you are a UCSB student, emails must be sent from your UCSB email account. Please allow at least one full business day for a response to your email.

For quick questions, drop-in hours are 2-3:45 pm most days of the week, but they will not be held in-person. Click here for more information about virtual drop-in advising procedures.

Common questions and quick answers/resources:

  • For requests to change your major or thinking of adding Global Studies as a double major? Click here, then make an appointment using this link to discuss your change of major petition if you have remaining questions about it or the major requirements.
  • For EAP course petitions as well as petitions to use courses not on the major sheet towards the major requirements, click here. Petition requests received by week 7 of the current quarter will be processed during the 2nd half of the quarter, or you may make an appointment using this link to process them sooner.
  • For questions about declaring degree candidacy (finishing degree requirements and being eligible to graduate) and commencement (the optional graduation ceremony, postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19), click here
  • For questions related to general education requirements and overall degree progress, contact the College of Letters and Sciences advisors or the Transfer Center advisors.
  • For urgent academic difficulty questions, click here or reach out to the advisors in the College of Letters and Science.
  • For questions about withholding winter 2020 grades due to the TA strike and how it might affect you, click here.

Copyright Tony Mastres Commencement 2018

Student Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is the Global Studies major a business major?
    • No, the major is not a major heavily focused on business, although you may have the opportunity to take some economics-related courses as part of it. The major is much more focused on the study of political and social systems that connect the world. Expect to take many courses related to history and culture as well as political systems.
  • When can I declare the major?
    • It depends, but often it's easier to get classes for your major the earlier you declare it. You'll want to come by my office (make an appointment using the link above) or drop in (between 2-3:45 most days) to begin the paperwork of declaring (or changing) your major. Click here for more information on general processes for declaring a major in the College of Letters & Science.
  • I've heard there is a Pre-Major requirement for Global Studies; do I have to complete that first?
    • ​New freshmen beginning in 2019 (and beyond) will need to complete the new Pre-Major requirements before they can declare the full major; however, any current students and incoming transfer students can follow the "2018-2019 degree requirements" sheet to help them complete the degree.
  • What is the foreign language requirement for the major? Click here to download a full info sheet about the foreign language requirement for Global Studies
    • The foreign language requirement for Global Studies is as follows: 1) 6 quarters (2 years - through intermediate level) of one modern foreign language PLUS an additional 1 year (3 quarters) of YOUR CHOICE: advanced courses in that same language OR 1 beginning year (3 quarters) of a DIFFERENT language. There are often lots of ways to fulfill these two related requirements (EAP/study abroad, summer courses, placement exams.)
      • If you are a native speaking Chinese, Japanese, or Korean international student, there is a special process for you.
        • If you can prove that you studied in high school in your native language at least through the 9th grade (ex: if you are a Chinese student, you attended a high school where the majority of instruction was in Chinese rather than English) using a high school transcript, you can turn that in to the UCSB Admissions office and we can use that to prove fluency in a second language for Global Studies.
        • If you do not have a high school transcript turned in to the admissions office, you must register for and attend one of the Chinese language placement exams (offered at the beginning of each quarter) to have your Chinese/Japanese/Korean fluency evaluated by an instructor in that language's department so that Global Studies can use your native language for your major. See more information about how to register and when these Chinese/Japanese/Korean exams take place here. Please follow the instructions listed there carefully so that you can fulfill this requirement easily, and do not wait until your last week(s) and quarter(s) to finish this requirement.
          • For native speakers of languages besides Chinese/Japanese/Korean, meet with the advisor in that language's department to discuss placement/fluency exam possibilities.
  • I'm a transfer student; what do I need to know?
    • Congrats and welcome to UCSB!
    • Click here for general transfer information, not specific to Global Studies.
    • Click here to visit Assist.org - if you are a California community college student, it will help guide you in knowing what classes may transfer over for our Global Studies major prep requirements. 
    • Make sure you have completed all transfer workshops and online signup information so that you can register for our incoming transfer workshops, where you'll get more information about how to get started in Global Studies (including transfer student spaces saved in required classes for Fall 2019)

Meghan Zero Undergrad Advisor Photo