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Each month, we feature one of our 49 majors. Learn about the Global and International Studies major at Penn State and what our students and alumni are doing with their degrees.

The Penn State College of the Liberal Arts seeks to offer students a transformative educational experience that combines core liberal arts values—communication, analytic thinking, ethical decision-making, and appreciation for other cultures and other times—with internships, research opportunities, and global experiences that allow students to apply their skills in real-world contexts and grow personally and professionally. That educational experience also includes providing students opportunities to learn from, and work with, the leading liberal arts scholars within their respective disciplines; and connecting students with the vast network of college and University alumni who can serve as mentors and otherwise assist students as they begin building their professional networks.

Get Started

We are offering on-campus visits on Mondays and Fridays. Please note, these visits do not include a campus tour. For those who are not able to visit Penn State University Park in person, please register for a virtual meeting, which will be offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Our on-campus and virtual appointments give students and families a better understanding of our programs and the resources and opportunities available to Liberal Arts students. Use the buttons below to schedule an appointment.

If you have any questions, please contact Recruitment Manager Chantel Harley at 814-865-7141 or .

Schedule an On-Campus Meeting

Schedule a Virtual One-on-One Meeting

Attend a Virtual Alumni Panel

Attend an On-Campus Accepted Student Program

Attend a Virtual Accepted Student Program

Apply Now

Global and International Studies

Explore Global and International Studies, our featured major of the month

Global and International Studies Major

Global and International Studies Major

Program Spotlight

The Global and International Studies major combines expertise from various humanities and social science disciplines to uncover methods for understanding the dynamic issues humans face around the world.

Christina Fomunyoh

Christina Fomunyoh

Student Spotlight

Christina Fomonyoh is a fourth-year student majoring in Global and International Studies and International Politics and minoring in Spanish. Christina worked as a virtual student federal service intern with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. In addition, she worked as an au pair in Madrid, Spain, completed an immersive exchange in Nasauvuki, Fiji, and interned with the former president of Kosovo in Pristina, Kosovo.

GLIS 101N Globalization

GLIS 101N Globalization

Course Spotlight

GLIS 101N explores how people and nations confront the phenomenon of globalization, presenting different perspectives for studying and making sense of the world. This course focuses on a variety of topics from gender, poverty, and human rights and how they connect with their literary representations in global and comparative contexts. In addition, the course focuses on global peace and conflict and how globalization can bring people and nations together. Any student at Penn State can take GLIS 101N as it satisfies General Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and International Cultures requirements.

GLIS 101N Globalization

GLIS 101N Globalization

Program Spotlight

Thinking about studying abroad or completing a foreign language competency? You're on your way to an International Studies Minor! Students in any major can use those credits towards the International Studies minor.

Ana Y. Ayala de Barbosa

Ana Y. Ayala de Barbosa

Alumni Spotlight

Ana, a 2007 Global and International Studies and Japanese alumna, works as a regional policy officer for the IS Department of State and coordinates public diplomacy programs and policy for the Bureau of International Programs (IIP) for South Asia and Central Asia. Ana said, "My degrees set me apart from other job applicants as I could point to the steady approach I took to gain experience, both academically and professionally."

Global Pathways

Global Pathways

Program Spotlight

Students pursuing a degree in GLIS focus their studies on one of the following global pathways: human rights, culture and identity, global conflict, wealth and inequality, and health and environment. Additionally, students who have at least a 3.5 grade-point average can create a personalized pathway.

Liberal Arts by the numbers
  • Number 5 in Developmental Psychology
  • Number 5 in Criminology
  • Number 11 in International Economics
  • Number 17 in Sociology
  • Number 18 nationally among "Top Public Schools" by U.S. News
  • 5 out of 5 stars for overall campus climate in the 2019 Campus Pride LGBTQ-Friendly Campus Climate Index

 

Majors and Minors

Full List of Majors and Minors

Social Sciences

The social sciences examine the relationships between individuals and societies, as well as the development and operation of societies. The critical thinking, research, and analytical skills gained in a social science major help prepare graduates for diverse job titles, including economist, psychologist, political scientist, and historian, postsecondary teachers, museum curators, and social workers.

Languages

Intercultural communication, critical thinking and reasoning, cultural adaptability, information and trend analysis, and the other skills that drive the global economy, are in high demand today. Language graduates find jobs in tourism, international development, marketing, policy making, journalism, government, and more.

Humanities

Students in the humanities study how people process and document the human experience. Most majors in the humanities build widely transferable skills that employers appreciate and go on to be writers, counselors, event organizers, social media managers, fundraisers, travel bloggers, and more.

Interested in business?

Consider Communication Arts and Sciences, Economics, Global and International Studies, International Politics, Political Science, Psychology (Business Option), or any of the languages above.

Interested in computers or cyber security?

Consider Social Data Analytics.

Interested in health and medicine?

Consider Anthropological Sciences (Biological Anthropology Option), Communication Arts and Sciences, Psychology (Life Sciences Option or Neuroscience Option), Women's Studies, or even English! Being a liberal arts major helped recent graduate John Miller develop a greater worldly perspective, improve his communication skills, and see how people experience life in different ways—traits that have benefitted the Paterno Fellow on his unique path to medical school. Read his story.

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