Loyola University Chicago

Global and International Studies

BA in Global and International Studies


The BA in Global and International Studies gives students the opportunity to examine international issues from the perspective of a number of academic disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. The program allows students the flexibility to pursue a general curriculum or to emphasize cultural and literary perspectives, or political, historical and economic perspectives. While developing an individual program, an international studies student may choose from a wide range of courses examining both global issues and major regions of the world.

The College of Arts and Sciences requires that a minimum of 21 credit hours (7 courses) of any major, including the GIST major, be unique to that major and hence may not count toward any other major or minor.  GIST allows up to 9 credit hours (3 courses) to fulfill the requirements of the GIST major and any other individual major or minor, but at least 21 credit hours must remain unique to the GIST major.  Therefore, students can count no more than FOUR classes total toward the GIST BA and all other declared majors/minors.

Upon completion of the program, Global and International Studies majors will be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate an ability to analyze, interpret, or describe at a sophisticated level various dimensions of international or global issues, such as international political economy, culture, nationalism, religion, and colonialism
  2. Interpret, analyze, and describe important contemporary global concerns (e.g., the environment, violence, human trafficking, poverty, child labor)
  3. Demonstrate geographical and historical knowledge of different world regions (Asia, Africa, South America, Europe, and the Middle East)
  4. Interpret, analyze, or describe important elements of some non-US cultures
  5. Interpret, analyze, or describe the modern political system of countries outside of North America
  6. Demonstrate an  ability to analyze or describe the significance and activities of various international organizations

How do I declare a Global and International Studies major?

If a student entered Loyola as a Global and International Studies major, he or she need not formally declare.

Utilize LOCUS to declare a major. It is also encouraged that you meet with the Global and International Studies program assistant, director, or assistant director during the first semester at Loyola to fill out basic paperwork and discuss program requirements, career goals, and internship options. If a student entered Loyola as "undeclared" or wishes to change majors, he or she must formally declare the International Studies major. All minors must also formally declare.

Degree Requirements

The curriculum leading to a BA in Global and International Studies degree consists of 33 semester hours of coursework (11 courses) and the fulfillment of a language proficiency requirement. Courses completed to satisfy the language requirement do not count toward the 33 semester hours of coursework.

The major in Global and International Studies requires students to complete the following Global and International Studies core courses in addition to seven (7) elective courses:

  • GIST 101 Introduction to International Studies
  • ANTH 100 Globalization and Local Cultures
  • PLSC 102 International Relations in an Age of Globalization (Note: you can take PLSC 102 AND 3 PLSC Electives)
  • GIST 301 (Capstone) OR GIST 370 (Internship: note that only 3 credits of GIST 370 can count towards the GIST major)

The seven electives must include at least two courses that focus on specific world areas (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East). However, students may not take all seven electives in the same world area. In addition, for students who declare the major starting Fall 2015, elective coursework must be from at least three departments. No more than three courses taken from any single department can count for the GIST major.

If a student wishes to concentrate on a particular region (e.g., Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, or the Middle East) within the Global and International Studies major, he or she may choose to take up to six GIST electives that focus on the chosen world area. It is not required, however, that students do this.

Language Requirement

The language requirement for the major in Global and International Studies may be satisfied in any of the following ways:

  • Successful completion with a grade of "C" or better of a 104-level or higher course in one of the languages offered by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.
  • Completion of a language proficiency examination or the equivalent, administered by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, demonstrating proficiency at the 104 level or higher.
  • Determination by the director of the International Studies Program, in consultation with appropriate specialists, that a student has at least a 104-level reading and writing proficiency in a language that is not taught or tested at Loyola.