Program in Globalization Studies

Globalization Studies Faculty Advisory Committee

Distinguished Professor
Kajal Lahiri, Ph.D., University of Rochester (Economics)

Walter Little, Ph.D., University of Illinois (Anthropology)

Associate Professors
Bret Benjamin, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin (English)
Alexander Dawson, Ph.D., Stony Brook University (History)
Anthony DeBlasi, Ph.D., Harvard University (East Asian Studies)
Joanna Dreby, Ph.D., City University of New York (Sociology)
Kristen Hessler, Ph.D., University of Arizona (Philosophy)
Gregory P. Nowell, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Political Science)
Barbara Sutton, Ph.D., University of Oregon (Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies)

Assistant Professors
Kate S. Coddington, Ph.D., Syracuse University (Geography and Planning)
Thomas P. Narins, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles (Geography and Planning)

David Banks, Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Geography and Planning)

The Globalization Studies Program offers a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a faculty-initiated concentration in Globalization Studies, designed for students seeking a liberal arts education that focuses on major global issues. Students will gain a systematic awareness of the global forces and processes that shape our lives, and they will study and discuss major global issues and problems. A minor in Globalization Studies is also available.

“Globalization” is a relatively new term to describe economic, social, political, cultural, and environmental processes and interactions among peoples and nations around the world. These interactions have been occurring for thousands of years. What is different in the 21st century is the degree, scope, and intensity of interdependence and interconnectedness that the human community is experiencing globally. These interactions are facilitated by dramatic changes in information technologies, the integration of the world economy, and the reconfiguration of many regions and nations.

From upstate New York to the highlands of Ethiopia, from the flourishing urban centers of China to the endangered habitat of the Amazonian rain forest, globalization processes interconnect livelihoods and communities and are restructuring power and social interactions in a myriad of unforeseen and unexpected ways. Through migration, trade, new technologies, global environmental and health problems, the flow of capital, music, viruses, and cultures across borders, human communities are facing new types of challenges, opportunities, and perils.

In order to explore the many ways in which our lives and our future are becoming increasingly interconnected, the major promotes interdisciplinary active learning and introduces innovative forms of teaching, scholarship, and service that focus on transnational links. Concepts of diversity and multiculturalism are examined and applied across the world.

The Interdisciplinary Studies major with a Globalization Studies concentration helps prepare students for a wide range of internationally-related careers in business, non-profits, government, education, the media, international organizations, international development agencies, and the U.S. foreign service. Intercultural skills and knowledge of global issues are crucial to success in many professions. Examples of applications include: the promotion of international trade, investment and tourism; the management of social development programs for international migrants and refugees; research on the social and environmental impacts of major transnational investment projects; and, the design and management of programs to protect local economies, cultures and ecosystems from the negative impacts of globalization.

Students pursuing Globalization Studies are encouraged, though not required, to study abroad as part of their undergraduate education at the University at Albany. Pertinent courses taken during study abroad will be evaluated to determine whether they are appropriate in level and content to be deemed equivalent to courses listed in the Globalization Studies curriculum.


The Department of Geography and Planning takes primary responsibility for advising students pursuing this major as well as the minor in Globalization Studies, and one of the Globalization Studies faculty members in that department serves as the Director. All majors must consult the Director at least once per semester. With the agreement of the Globalization Studies Director, other Globalization Studies faculty may also serve as advisors to majors.


The Globalization Studies concentration enables students to take a variety of courses focusing on the comprehensive and multidisciplinary analysis of globalization processes. It prepares students to “think globally” by providing them with an undergraduate education that responds effectively to today’s global interconnectedness and fosters a thorough knowledge and a critical understanding of the social, economic, cultural, political, and environmental forces that are reshaping the lives of peoples and nations around the world.

Degree Requirements: Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a faculty-initiated concentration in Globalization Studies

General Program B.A.: a minimum of 36 credits, distributed in the following way:

Core Requirements: 9 credits: A GLO 103 Perspectives on Globalization; A GLO/A GOG/A USP 225 World Cities: Geographies of Globalization; and A GLO 303/R POS 309 Theoretical Perspectives on Globalization (formerly A GLO 203).

Disciplinary Perspectives: 9 credits, 1 course from each of the following 3 areas:

Economic Processes
A ECO 110 Principles of Economics I: Microeconomics
A ECO 111 Principles of Economics II: Macroeconomics
A ECO 130 Developing Economies
R POS 266 International Political Economic Crises

Political, Cultural, and Social Processes
A ANT 108 Cultural Anthropology
A GOG 102 Introduction to Human Geography
A SOC 200 Political Sociology
R POS 102 Comparative and International Politics
R POS 370 International Relations: Theory
R POS 371 International Relations: Practice

Environmental Analysis
A ANT 119 The City and Human Health
A ATM 100 The Atmosphere
A ATM 107 The Oceans
A BIO 230 People and Resources in Ecological Perspective
A GOG 101 Introduction to the Physical Environment

Global Perspectives: 9 upper level credits, with no more than 2 courses from a department, from the following:

A ANT 355 Environment, Economy, and Culture
A ANT 360 Social Anthropology
A ANT 372 Urban Anthropology
A ANT 418 Culture, Environment, and Health
A BIO 401 Ecology
A ECO 330 Economics of Development
A ECO 360 International Economic Relations
A ECO 385 Environmental Economics
A ENG 372 Transnational Literature
A ENG 460 Topics in Transnational Studies
A GLO 305 Topics in Globalization Studies
A GLO 325 (= A GOG/A USP 325) Global Urbanism and Culture
A GLO 350 (= E APS 350) Leadership in the International Arena
A GLO 376 (= A ANT 376) Global Ethnography
A GLO 402 Globalization Studies Internship     
A GLO 420 (= A GOG 490) Human Dimensions of Global Change   
A GLO 447 (= A GOG 447) Development and Underdevelopment
A GOG 304 Climatology
A GOG 344 World Populations
A GOG 440 Political Geography       
A LCS 359 Globalization in the Americas
A LCS 374 International Migration and Transnationalism
A LCS 410 Tourism, Culture, and Identities
A PHI 355 Global Justice
A USP 320 (= A GLO 320) International Urban Planning
A WSS 308 Global Perspectives on Women
A WSS/A LCS 430 Environmental Justice: Racism, Classism, Sexism
H SPH 321 Global Environmental Issues and their Effect on Human Health
R POS 375 International Organization
R POS/R PUB 395 International Political Economy
R POS 474 Politics of International Migration

Regional Foci: 6 credits, 1 course from 2 of the 4 four following major world regions:

A AFS/A GOG 270 Geography of Africa
A AFS/A HIS 286 African Civilizations
A AFS/A HIS 287 Africa in the Modern World
A AFS 322 Developing African Nations
A AFS/A HIS 386 Race and Conflict in South Africa
A GLO 360 African Perspectives on Globalization
R POS 355 Government and Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa

Asia and the Middle East
A EAC/A HIS 380 History of China II
A EAJ/A HIS 385 History of Japan II
A EAJ 438 World War II: The Japanese View       
A EAS/A WSS 270 Women in East Asian Literature
A ECO/A EAS 362 Economies of Japan and Korea
A GOG/A EAC 160 China in the Post-Utopian Age
A GOG/A EAC 350 Urban Development in China
A GOG/A GLO/A USP 364Y India: Development Debates
A GOG/A GLO 366 India: Field Study of Development Issues
A GOG/A GLO 370/A EAC 360 China in the Global Arena
A GLO 361 Asian & Middle Eastern Perspectives on Globalization
A HIS 378 History of South Asian Civilization II
A HIS 382 History of the Middle East II
A HIS 383 The Arab-Israeli Conflict in Historical Perspective
R POS 367 Politics of the Middle East
R POS/A EAC 373 Government and Politics in the People’s Republic of China
R POS 377 Politics of Southeast Asia

Europe and North America
A AFS 219 Introduction to African/African American History
A AFS 311 History of Slavery in the Western Hemisphere
A ENG 355 Studies in Film
A ENG/A WSS 362 Critical Approaches to Gender and Sexuality in Literature
A ENG/A WSS 366 Critical Approaches to Ethnicity in Literature
A ENG 369 African American Literature
A ENG 374 Cultural Studies
A FRE 218 Contemporary France
A FRE/A ARH 238 Great Classics of French Cinema
A FRE 341 Introduction to Global French Studies
A GLO 362 Euro-American Perspectives on Globalization
A HIS 312 History of American Foreign Policy II
A HIS 345 Europe Since World War II
A HIS 353 History of Eastern Europe II
A ITA 316 Contemporary Italy: From Unification to the Present
A ITA 318 Italian Cinema and Literature
A LCS 201 Latino USA
A LLC 275 European Cinema and Society
A RUS 162 Contemporary Russia
A RUS 252 Masterpieces of 20th Century Russian Literature
A RUS 253 Late Soviet-Period Russian Literature
A RUS 280 Soviet and Russian Cinema
R POS 351 European Politics
R POS 356 Russian Foreign Policy

Latin America and the Caribbean
A ANT 340 Topics In Ethnology (when topic is Social Movements in Latin America)
A ANT/A LCS 341 Ethnology of Mesoamerica
A ECO/A LCS 361 Development of the Latin American Economy
A ENG 373 Literature of the Americas
A FRE 208 Haiti through Film and Literature
A GLO 363 Latin American & Caribbean Perspectives on Globalization
A HIS 367 Contemporary Latin America
A HIS/A LCS/A WSS 451 Gender & Class in Latin American Development
A LCS 203 Afro-Latin America
A LCS/A MUS 216 Music and Society in Latin America: Past and Present
A LCS/A AFS/A ANT 269 The Caribbean: Peoples, History, and Culture
A LCS 315 Film in Contemporary Latin America       
R POS/A LCS 357 Latin American & Caribbean Politics

Capstone Experience: 3 credits     
A GLO 403Z Research Projects in Globalization Studies

Language Requirement: 0-15 credits: In addition to 36 credits of coursework in Globalization Studies, majors are required to elect one of the following options to complete the language requirement:

Option 1: Complete the equivalent of three courses in foreign languages. This may include study abroad language courses. Fulfillment of the General Education Foreign Language requirement will count as one of these three courses. Normally, the three courses taken will all be in one language, but with the permission of the Director of Globalization Studies, an exception may be authorized to enable a student to take one course in one language and two courses in a different language.
Option 2: Pass a proficiency examination, usually conducted by faculty in a foreign language program, demonstrating speaking, reading, and writing proficiency equivalent to two intermediate level semesters of language instruction graded B or better, in one foreign language.