Global Studies (MA)

Faculty and students in the Department of Global Studies integrate theory and praxis, drawing pragmatically from a variety of fields and perspectives in order to address rapidly changing and complex global issues. We offer an interdisciplinary MA degree in Global Studies for students who contemplate careers in global sustainable development, international education, global health, human rights, and related fields.

The MA degree program is tailored to meet the unique professional and academic interests of each student. In close consultation with a faculty advisor, the student develops a program that combines expertise in a specific professional concentration area with interdisciplinary training in Global Studies. A minimum of 56 credits must be completed for the degree.

Professional Concentration

In consultation with their faculty advisor, students identify and curate a professional concentration based on their interests, such as:

  • education and development
  • cross-cultural communication
  • environment
  • indigenous rights and sovereignty
  • food and food systems
  • gender and development
  • global health
  • international community development
  • international education
  • human rights and conflict resolution
  • non-profit management
  • public policy and planning

Concentrations in other professional areas can be arranged. 

Graduates of the Department of Global Studies successfully secure careers in non-profit organizations, international non-governmental organizations, policy organizations, study abroad offices, public service, and higher education settings.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate mastery of subject content knowledge in the field of Global Studies
  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Conduct independent research and analysis and contribute substantively in their field.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of a professional concentration and/or a geographic focus, dependent on coursework and degree.
  • Demonstrate a proficiency in a second language relevant to their professional or geographic focus.
  • Understand ethical issues and responsibilities especially in matters related to professionalism, data collection and in writing and publishing theses and academic/policy papers.

Master of Arts Degree Requirements

Interdisciplinary Core
GLBL 655International Studies Graduate Core Seminar4
Proseminar Series
GLBL 656Research and Writing in International Studies1
GLBL 657Proseminar: Proposal Writing2
Professional Concentration Area 1
Concentration area courses from relevant departments or professional schools 224
Geographic Focus
Courses in geographic focus area 312
Supervised Field Internship or Field Research
Internship or research experience related to student's career plans12
Master of Arts Project
Thesis or capstone project9
Total Credits64

Three of the four courses (12 credits) must have the GLBL subject code.


Concentration areas are tailored to individual student interests. If students complete a geographic focus, students will complete 24 credits of professional concentration; if students don’t do a geographic focus, students will complete 36 credits of professional concentration.


Geographic focus areas are Africa, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, or Southeast Asia. Students may opt to not do a geographic focus and instead substitute an additional 12 credits in the professional concentration for the 12 credits of geographic focus. Students are encouraged to choose a geographic focus outside their home region.

Additional Requirements

Students must take a minimum of 24 graded credits in the professional concentration area. A maximum of 24 credits may be taken in any department other than international studies in order to allow an appropriate degree of specialization.

Language Study and Competence

Students must demonstrate a third-year level of proficiency in a second language relevant to their professional or geographic focus before completing the program. The University of Oregon offers formal courses in a number of European and non-European languages. Students also may study languages through self-instruction at the Yamada Language Center. International students whose high school or university instruction was not in English demonstrate proficiency in English as a second language through completion of the master’s degree requirements. It is recommended that international students study a language from their geographic focus.

Supervised Field Internship or Field Research

The program assists students in locating internships or research opportunities and securing funding. International students may do their internship or research in the United States. Students are responsible for obtaining funding for the costs or for otherwise paying the costs in their entirety. Many graduate students in the program have competed successfully for funding to support internship and research experiences.

The international studies faculty expects students to gain the following from the internship or research experience:

  1. a reasonably in-depth experience in a culture other than the student’s own
  2. greater fluency in the language of the culture in which the internship or research takes place
  3. knowledge and experience useful to the career goals of the intern

Master of Arts Project

Each student must prepare an MA thesis or other professional or research project. While most students complete an academic thesis based on primary or secondary research, many students elect to develop other types of MA projects, such as policy analyses, grant proposals, or documentary films. Students develop their thesis project in consultation with their primary GLBL faculty advisor and their MA committee.  Nine credits are required for either a thesis or project.