We seek to understand our interconnected world, past and present, at the local, regional, and global levels. The program draws upon scholarly approaches from across the humanities and social sciences and remains open to innovative and diverse epistemologies. We embrace the mindset of learning from the rest of the world and assessing our position in it, as we interpret and respond to the upheavals of the twenty-first century, such as climate change, forced migration, global inequalities, public health challenges, technological revolutions, and uneven development.


Our program encourages students to be responsible and reflective global citizens by enrolling in courses across disciplines, acquiring languages, studying abroad, and cultivating open-mindedness to new ideas, all while remaining conscious of opportunities to learn about the world at home. Global Studies prepares students to think critically and creatively about the world and to connect the local with the global through research, service, and civic engagement. 

Our Program

In Global Studies, you are encouraged to cross the traditional borders of academic disciplines in order to develop a broader understanding of our world. Within six concentrations, you can take classes in anthropology, economics, history, languages and literatures, political science, among other disciplines to question global processes and explore the rich diversity of other cultures. As a major in the program, you have the opportunity to study abroad, conduct research and achieve proficiency in a modern language. You learn from experts in both the humanities and social sciences who will help you learn the theory and vocabulary you need to engage in key international issues across different world regions.

Our Program History

Study abroad, offered through the Office of Overseas Programs, is an integral part of the undergraduate experience in this program, which gives you the chance to gain cultural sensitivity, language, and practical skills necessary to participate in our global society. A summer, a semester, or a year abroad can enhance your career and even change your path. In addition, program faculty and staff work to put on conferences and events that allow you to dive into critical conversation and make connections with faculty and professionals in a variety of fields. By joining Sigma Iota Rho, the program's honorary, you can play an important role in planning some of these events and helping to shape our community. If you’d like work with a faculty member on research or develop your own independent project, you can find guidance and support. In Global Studies, we hope to inspire you and equip you with tools that enable you to embark on a lifelong journey of international education.

"Studying IAS has proven to be highly beneficial for me as a Wash U student. The flexibility of the major has let me combine foreign language, culture, politics, and environmental studies courses to pursue my specific interests in Chinese development and foreign policy. This uniquely interdisciplinary academic experience is something I could not have achieved within any other major or department."

―Carl Hooks International & Area Studies major, '17
Video montage: Global Citizenship Program in Tucson, AZ with BorderLinks

Video montage: Global Citizenship Program in Tucson, AZ with BorderLinks

Walke and Ward receive Feldman Family Education Institute grant for Studiolab course

Walke and Ward receive Feldman Family Education Institute grant for Studiolab course