Global Studies

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Program and Courses

Global Studies is a degree-granting program within the School of Politics and Global Studies, located on the sixth floor of COOR Hall. It offers a Global Studies Bachelor of Arts degree and a Global Studies Minor. To learn more about the program and degrees, visit our website and

The field of global studies seeks to understand the economic, political, social, cultural, environmental, and technological changes that the world as a whole is currently undergoing. While these changes have been developing for centuries, they have recently increased their rate, extension, and penetration to a degree that merits formal, focused, and dedicated study. Several issues that once were, or at least considered to be, only local, national, or regional now reside at the global scale. Current specialties within the school include human rights; violence, trauma and global justice; war, oral histories; political geography and place studies; religion and religious rights; global governance and civil society.

Global Studies offers courses of a size that allows for individualized attention by its instructors. As such, it does not offer seminars or break out sections that are dedicated to honors students although many of its upper division courses resemble the honors courses of larger programs in size and method of instruction.

All School of Politics and Global Studies faculty are open to working with honors students. It is important that you get to know your instructors, however, so that they will be familiar with you and your work as a student. Make a point to introduce yourself after class and visit them during their office hours to discuss your academic and career goals. This will make approaching them as potential advisors much easier. They are all dedicated to your success and you should do everything you can to take advantage of their expertise while in the program.

Graduates of the Global Studies Program have gone on to the finest graduate and professional schools (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California, University of Washington, among others) in fields as diverse as law, international relations, urban planning, and public health. They have also entered professional careers in the public, private, and voluntary service sectors ranging from investment banking to foreign aid and development.

Honors Enrichment Contracts

Nearly all Global Studies courses offer honors enrichment contracts, pending instructor approval. You should ask your instructor about honors credit during the first week of class, and meet with the instructor soon after to jointly agree upon a plan for the special project or enhanced work required to fulfill the contract. For more information on Barrett’s enrichment contracts, including a discussion of the procedures required to get a contract approved, please see

International Experience

One of the strongest and most attractive components of the Global Studies Program is its international experience component, which range from a study abroad to an international internship. This is usually an activity that a student undertakes in their junior year and it is tailored to the specific intellectual and career interests of the student. The purpose of the international experience is to give the student both formal and informal experience in an international setting. Global Studies has an international experience coordinator who is dedicated to making sure that you find the right international program. For more information and internship contact information please see
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Faculty Honors Advisors

George M. Thomas

Henry Sivak

Thesis/Creative Projects: 

The honors thesis is the culmination of an honors student’s undergraduate education experience in Global Studies. All Global Studies honors students must complete an honors thesis or creative project that addresses a global theme. This is typically a paper but students are encouraged to pursue alternative methods of scholarly as long as it supports their future plans. Students wanting to pursue post-graduate education should be sure to include a strong written component in their thesis or creative project design.

Completing the thesis successfully and on-time is a tremendously rewarding experience, but also requires careful planning and preparation. Barrett Honors College now requires all students to complete a thesis-preparation workshop. Barrett provides information on the thesis requirement, procedures, and deadlines: (; click on “Getting Started” for information about thesis-prep workshops.

Students work with the Global Studies faculty honors advisors to identify the faculty who can best support their path to completion. They also work with the program’s academic advisor to ensure that they meet all of the requirements of the major in a timely and efficient fashion. Students typically take SGS 492 in the fall semester of their senior year and SGS 493 in the spring. The first provides a block of time to conduct research and begin the writing process while the second is dedicated to completing and defending the thesis. Students should start thinking about possible thesis ideas as soon as possible and should meet with the faculty honors advisor in their sophomore year. SGS 492 is worth 3 credits and can be taken multiple times. SGS 493 is also worth 3 credits and is typically taken only once.

The honors thesis committee consists of an advisor and a second reader. A third reader may be added if the student so desires. The advisor must be ASU faculty. The second can be from another university or from a field outside of academia provided it is related to the student’s thesis topic. A third reader is optional.

Prior to enrolling in SGS 492 or 493, all students must complete a thesis/creative project information session. Students may complete this requirement by completing one of the following:

  1. HON 498 “Thesis Prep Course,” a one-­­credit course offered on the downtown campus
  2. One of the Thesis Workshop Sessions periodically offered by Barrett.
  3. The online workshop offered through Barrett
Academic Preparation: 

There is no special academic preparation needed beyond the Global Studies curriculum. This includes foundational methods (SGS 305: Empirical Political Inquiry) and statistics (SGS 401: Political Statistics) courses. It is recommended that the student complete these courses their junior year, in advance of the working on the thesis. Note, although statistics is required, it is not required that the thesis use statistical analysis.