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. GCS 100: Introduction to Globalization, GCS 100, 3 credits
  2. One intermediate course, 3 credits
    • ANTH 210: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
    • PLSC 140: Comparative Politics
    • PLSC 220: International Relations
    • ECON 200: Macro Economics
  3. Methods course (3 credits) appropriate to area of concentration. Select from the following:
    • ANTH 312: Ethnographic Methods, 4 credits
    • HIST 380: Historical Methods
    • PLSC 385: Research Methods
    • SOC 310: Approaches to Social Research (200-level Soc course required), 4 credits
  4. Electives in the area of concentration (12 credits total, six of which may be taken as study abroad/cultural immersion). 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: PLSC 200: Introduction to International Relations (required); Three courses from the departments of Business Administration, Economics, Sociology, Political Science, Religious Studies, and/or History. No more than two courses should be taken in any one department.

    • Culture electives: one course from Anthropology Peoples of the World series (required). Three courses from Art, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Political Science and/or Economics. 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.

    • Issues electives: Students should select four classes relevant to their particular interest, with no more than two in any given department.

  5. Cultural immersion/study abroad (9 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. 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:
 ANTH 312 Ethnographic Methods (4 credits)
, HIST 380 Historical Methods
, PLSC 385 Research Methods,  SOC 310 
Approaches to Social Research (4 credits)
  4. Electives (9 credits) taken in the area of concentration. Courses may be drawn from study abroad experience.