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Social Science BA
Global Studies Track, Social Science BA

About The Program

Why Global Studies?

The Global Studies Track is an ideal course of study for students interested in:

  • Critical issues, conflicts and opportunities relating to globalization;
  • Cultural change resulting from global flows of people, goods, wealth, and ideas;
  • Careers that meet global challenges.

What will I do in the Major?

Global Studies is a track within the Social Science Major. Courses in Global Studies will explore:

  • Global issues including human rights, environmental concerns, conflict and violence, inequalities among nations;
  • Citizenship and social movements in global perspectives;
  • Local, national, and international changes due to globalization and multiculturalism;
  • and Social science approaches to identifying and solving global problems.

The Global Studies track combines courses in Anthropology, Geography, Political Science, and Sociology. Students in the Global Studies Track learn fundamental skills in social science research and conduct their own research to complete their degrees.

What can I do with the degree?

The Global Studies Track offers graduates valuable training that can be applied to professional work in a number of fields, such as:

  • International Law and Global Business
  • Foreign Service and International Development
  • Non-Profit and Humanitarian Work
  • Non-Governmental Organizations.

The Global Studies Track prepares students who wish to explore international careers or work with groups of diverse backgrounds.

Student outcomes

The learning outcomes for this major provide the knowledge, skills, and abilities to enter the 21st-century workplace to:

  • know and understand the essential concepts of social science;
  • comprehend the historical foundations, theoretical paradigms, and research methods of social science;
  • develop higher order thinking skills by analyzing and interpreting social science literature;
  • write analytically in a style that is informed, well-reasoned, and literate;
  • recognize and understand differences of gender and sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, religion, and social class;
  • understand and utilize a global perspective
  • develop civic skills by participating in community-based learning and internships
  • become advocates and leaders in their communities, our nation, and the globe.

Related minors

Courses and Requirements


Summary (40 credits)

At least half of the credits required for the major must be completed at Metropolitan State University. Students must earn a grade of C- or above in all major courses. Student should select lower division electives and upper division electives in consultation with an advisor. Transfer courses may be applicable to major requirements. The university's degree audit will specify transfer courses that are directly equivalent to major requirements. Other transfer courses must be approved by a faculty advisor in the department.

+ Lower Division Courses (3 - 9 credits)

Students must take GEO 201. In addition, students may take up to 6 additional credits in courses related to global studies. Students may select ECON 200 as a lower division elective. Students may also select SSCI 100: Introduction to Social Science. Please see an advisor for more information.

This course introduces students to the concepts and tools used by geographers to think critically about the relationship between humans and their environment. Geographers use this focus to answer contemporary questions of political, economic, social and environmental concern. This course is designed to help students understand the role human and physical geographies play in shaping individuals' experiences and understanding of the world.

Full course description for Introduction to Geography

+ Survey Courses (8 credits)

Select two of the following courses, no more than one course from any one discipline:

What is gender? How can we understand differences in gender and sexuality? Through the perspective of cultural anthropology, students examine how gender is perceived and realized in a range of human societies. Discussions on the biological/cultural determinants of gender are considered. Ethnographic materials explore how gender varies cross culturally and historically and is related to social power. Students engage with contemporary debates surrounding such themes as marriage, family, human rights, and sexuality.

Full course description for Gender and Culture

The dramatic population movements globally and into the U.S. over recent decades of people fleeing violence or seeking viable livelihoods leads to many complex questions concerning migration. This course explores contemporary migration through an anthropological perspective into the lived experiences of refugees and immigrants who come to the U.S., and gives particular attention to immigrant groups residing locally. Students will gain empirical and theoretical bases of social science research to place migration experiences in sociocultural, economic and political context and to critically assess assumptions about refugees and migrants found in discourses on immigration.

Full course description for Anthropology of Immigrants and Refugees

This course investigates the theory and practice of citizenship in local communities, the United States and the world. Students draw on core concepts from political science to explore contrasting ideas about citizenship and the political, economic and cultural dimensions of critical issues facing the global community. Classroom inquiry is supplemented by field experiences and investigation.

Full course description for Citizenship in a Global Context

This course examines critical global issues and the organizations and institutions that are attempting to address them. Drawing on concepts from political science and international relations, students explore such issues as human rights, the global environment, violence within and between nations, and the gap between "have" and "have not" nations. The course investigates the response of the United States to these issues as well as the effectiveness of formal international organizations like the United Nations and emerging transnational citizen organization. Classroom inquiry is supplemented by field experience and investigation.

Full course description for Approaches to World Politics

This is an era characterized by a global resurgence of ethnic identity and a revival of ethnic antagonisms. This course applies a comparative and historical perspective to the sources and dynamics of ethnic conflict. The processes of ethnic mobilization and social conflict are explored in case studies both global and domestic. Films, fiction, memoirs and classroom exercises are used to explore this topic.

Full course description for Ethnic Conflict in Global Perspective

This course draws on key concepts from social theory to examine select social movements through a global perspective. Using case studies of movements that focus on such central themes as democracy, human rights, and economic justice, the course will explore how movements begin, the development of ideology and world view, and contrasting approaches to organization, tactics, strategy and leadership. On a broader level, students will examine the relationship between tradition and change, and movement and counter-movement, in order to evaluate how social movements have influenced-and continue to influence-the world we live in.

Full course description for Social Movements in Global Perspective

+ Core Courses (17 credits)

All social science majors must complete all four core courses (SSCI 300, SSCI 311, SSCI 411, and SSCI 451/452). Sequencing: SSCI 300, SSCI 311, SSCI 411, and SSCI 451 or SSCI 452. Social science majors may take one core course at a time. Alternatively, majors may take SSCI 300 and SSCI 311 concurrently, or they may take SSCI 311 and SSCI 411 concurrently. SSCI 300, 311, and 411 must be completed before beginning a capstone class (SSCI 451 or 452).


Most of us are only dimly aware of how politics, culture, and society influence, and often coerce, our daily lives. The calling of a social scientist is to help us make these invisible social structures visible. In this course, students develop the skills and tools to discover, analyze, and interpret these obscure social processes. Ideally, this knowledge will have a liberating effect on their individual lives. Students will also perceive how their civic and ethical participation can change politics, culture, and society, as well as themselves.

Full course description for Seeing Like a Social Scientist


This course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of social science research. Students learn and implement a variety of research methods, and critically reflect on the relationship of these methods to philosophical traditions within social science. The courses examines two approaches to social science research, quantitative and qualitative, and the unique contribution of each approach for understanding social life. Experiential activities enhance classroom learning.

Full course description for Research Methods in Social Science


Social scientists study the world so that we may take informed action to solve social problems. In this class, students explore how theory contributes to solving social problems. Students will learn how theorists identify and analyze social problems, as well as offer potential solutions. Special emphasis will be placed on some of the most contested and controversial social problems of our time, such as neoliberalism and its role in deepening economic inequality, climate collapse, and the erosion of democracy globally. Students will also explore issues such as identity politics and oppression based on identity categories, which may include race, gender, sexuality, ability, and nationality. Students will consider how theory helps us to envision and pursue a more just, humane, and sustainable world.

Full course description for Theory and Social Problems


Social scientists investigate the patterns of human interactions and then seek to interpret, explain and communicate human behavior. This seminar is designed to provide a final, integrating experience for students with a social science major. Seminar participants complete a senior project that demonstrates an ability to design a study, collect new or existing data, analyze those findings and communicate the results.

Full course description for Empirical Research Capstone


The social sciences have been shaping our understanding of the human condition for 175 years. Students will be comparing and evaluating ideas that continue to engage and perplex thoughtful public intellectuals. The capstone project involves researching an idea that remains disputable. The goal of a student's thesis is an independent interpretation of a specific concept.

Full course description for Conceptual Research Capstone

+ Upper division electives (to reach 40 credits)

This course introduces the study of humanity from a comparative and cross-cultural perspective. Students learn what anthropologists do, how they do it, and why. Exposure to the range of human possibilities, differences, and similarities will highlight the processes of enculturation in all societies. The course explores topics such as kinship, economics, religion, social control, globalization, culture change, and contemporary cultural issues affecting all humans.

Full course description for Approaches to Cultural Anthropology

Who owns the past and why should we try to preserve it? This course explores the formation of the archaeological record, and the methods archaeologists use to interpret that record. Students examine how professional archaeology differs from looting, and how archaeologists work to protect the archaeological record. The course also analyzes and evaluates academic and popular interpretations of archaeology.

Full course description for Archaeology: Explaining the Past

Additional survey courses may be taken to fulfill upper division elective requirements.