About Global & Cultural Studies


Program Requirements

Students begin with an introductory course on globalization that explores the concept from multiple points of view (historic, political, economic, sociological) and interrogates its impact on particular countries and cultures. Students should select their concentration in the sophomore year as this decision will guide all other curricular decisions, including the selection of the methods course, electives, cultural immersion units and the paper in the major. In the junior year, students in the major will participate in a cultural immersion experience, preferably a semester-long study abroad, in order to get first-hand knowledge of their area of concentration. A senior capstone seminar enables students to integrate study abroad/cultural immersion experience with their culminating research project.

Guidelines for the Major in Global and Cultural Studies 

The Global & Cultural Studies major requires a maximum of 39 credits, leaving opportunity for a complementary second major. Many of the courses within the GCS major can also meet the requirements for the second major, as well as satisfy Liberal Education requirements.


1. Introduction to Globalization, GCS 100, 3 credits

2. Two intermediate courses, 6 credits:
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, ANTH 210
And one of the following:
Comparative Politics, PLSC 140
International Relations, PLSC 220
Macro Economics, ECON 200

3. Methods course (3 credits) appropriate to area of concentration. Select from the following:
Cultural Studies: Field Research Methods: Crossing Cultural Boundaries, ANTH/SOC 311
Historical Methods, HIST 380 (HIST 280 or equivalent required)
Political Methodology, PLSC 280 (PLSC 110, 140 or 220 or equivalent required)
Approaches to Social Research, SOC/SOWK 310, (SOC 100 or equivalent required)

4. Electives in area of concentration (12 credits, six of which may be taken while studying abroad.) Because of the multiple options available to the students within this interdisciplinary major, it is important that concentrations and electives be made in consultation with an advisor. (Three courses must be at the 300 level or higher) Guidelines for this process are below:

  • National/transnational Institutions electives: Introduction to International Relations,PSC 220 (required) Three courses from the departments of business, economics, sociology, political science, religion, or history. No more than two courses should be taken in any one department.
  • Culture electives: one course from ANTH: Peoples of the World series (required) Three courses from either the arts, philosophy, religion, politics and economics, or comparative studies. No more than two course should be taken in any one department.
  • Geographical area electives: Study abroad will be in that geographical area and three electives should focus on that region, each of which should be chosen from a different disciplinary perspective, i.e., history, political science, philosophy, arts, etc.
  • Issues electives: Students should select four classes relevant to their particular interest, no more than two in any given department.

5. Cultural immersion/study abroad (12 credits): Ideally, students in the major will study off-campus their junior year, either abroad in their region of concentration or in some other location, foreign or domestic, that would allow them to develop their area of concentration more deeply. GCS majors are encouraged to study an appropriate language through the Intermediate level (221 or above). Coursework in a language not taught at Whittier College should be approved by the GCS Faculty Council in consultation with the Chair of The Department of Modern Languages.)

6. GCS 499 Senior seminar, (3 credits): A senior capstone will bring all of the majors together to integrate their coursework with their cultural immersion experience and to peer review their papers in the major.

Guidelines for the Minor in Global and Cultural Studies

The minor in GCS will include 18-19 credits of the following subset of courses from the major:

  1. Introduction to Globalization, GCS 100, 3 credits
  2. One Intermediate course (3 credits) in area of concentration, select one of the following:
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, ANTH 210
Macro Economics, ECON 200
Comparative Politics, PLSC 140
International Relations, PLSC 220
  3. One methods course (3 credits) in area of concentration, select from the following:
Ethnographic Methods, ANTH 312, 4 credits
Historical Methods, HIST 380
Political Methodology, PLSC 280 
Approaches to Social Research, SOC 310, 4 credits
  4. Electives (9 credits) taken in the area of concentration. Courses may be drawn from study abroad experience.