Global Studies B.A.
College of Letters and Science
About the Major
The Global Studies major is designed to provide students with a rigorous interdisciplinary education in the major issues confronting today's globalized world, as well as its historical antecedents (most notably in the late-nineteenth century). The major features three thematic pillars that capture the principal dimensions of the unprecedented depth and breadth of interconnections among nation-states, ethnic and religious groups, and individuals. Culture and society courses concentrate on the tensions between local ways of life with deep historical, linguistic, ethnic, and religious roots and today's pressures for transnational cultures and multiple identities, fueled by the communication of ideas and the movement of people all around the world. Governance and conflict courses focus on challenges to the nation-state from forms of governance above (regional and global forms of governance) and below (autonomy and secessionist movements) and from security threats beyond interstate warfare (ethnic conflict, terrorism, civil wars). Markets courses address the interactions among global, regional, national, and subnational economic processes and market dynamics, their effects on different societies with respect to economic growth, poverty, inequality, and the interactions among market forces, political institutions, and public policy.
These themes are central to much scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, but the various disciplines study them from different theoretical starting points, use different modes of inquiry, and frequently talk past each other. It is impossible to come to grips with the multidimensional phenomenon that is globalization if one discipline or perspective is privileged over another. Instead, the Global Studies major uses a multidisciplinary base in the major humanities and social sciences disciplines, and the insights of these disciplines are integrated by a common interest in understanding the myriad and complex interconnections that characterize the contemporary world.
Global Studies IDP
Choosing Your Course of Study at UCLA
Making the Right Decision
One of the most important decisions you will make in college is your choice of major — the field of study that represents your principal interest and that will likely contribute to your career goals. Some students select their major at the time they fill out the University’s application for admission, although a far greater number are undecided about their major.
Students in the College of Letters and Science do not need to declare their major in their freshman year. In fact, you can be an “undeclared major” until the end of your sophomore year, which is particularly advantageous if you are not certain of your specific academic goals. It is wise to wait and explore the diversity of subject areas offered at UCLA through taking introductory courses in a variety of disciplines. It would not be unusual for you to become enthusiastic about disciplines previously unfamiliar to you. With careful planning, these courses may also apply toward fulfilling your university and college requirements.
To narrow your choice of study, carefully consider the general college requirements, the description of courses offered in the major, and the departmental requirements for completing the program of study. Look at the books required for each course. Sit in on a few classes and talk with professors during their office hours. Discuss interests and plans with a departmental counselor or faculty adviser, a college counselor, or advisers in the UCLA Career Center.
Certain majors, especially in the arts, engineering, the sciences, and theater, film, or television require early declaration. Some have enrollment quotas and allow application by new majors only during a specified term. Students should check with the departmental adviser for the majors that interest them.
In addition, UCLA undergraduate students are limited to between 208 and 216 quarter units, depending on the college or school, to complete the academic program and fulfill all degree requirements. So, if you wait to declare a major, you should not wait too long. In any case, you must declare your major by the beginning of your junior year (90 quarter units).
When you are ready to declare your major, you should obtain a Petition for Change of Major from your college or school office.