Master’s Degree Requirements

We offer an interdisciplinary MA degree in Global Studies for students who contemplate careers in international affairs, international development, diplomacy, international organizations, or domestic organizations with an international focus. Our two-year program is on the quarter system. Three terms (1 year) is equivalent to two semesters. 

The degree program can be tailored to meet the unique professional needs of each student. In close consultation with a faculty adviser, the student develops a program that combines expertise in a specific professional area with interdisciplinary training in Global Studies. Areas of professional concentration include comparative development, cross-cultural training, cultural arts, environment, food and food systems, gender and development, health, international community development, international education, international tourism, journalism, migration, non-profit management, and public policy and planning. Concentrations in other professional areas can be arranged. 

International Students: International students are encouraged to apply. Study programs are designed to meet students’ professional needs and those of their home countries. As many as half the program’s graduate students are international students. 

Apply to our Graduate Program

Ready to apply? Start your application on Slate, the centralized application portal for graduate admissions at the University of Oregon. 

Graduate Curriculum

Of the 56 course credits needed to complete the degree, students must take a minimum of 24 graded credits primarily in the professional concentration area. A maximum of 24 credits may be taken in any one department (other than Global Studies) in order to allow an appropriate degree of specialization. 

We offer four areas of focus: 

Proseminar Courses: Students take 4-8 credits of required proseminar courses. The core is composed of GLBL 655 Global Studies Graduate Core Seminar, and one additional 4-credit seminar course. 

Professional Concentration Area: Students take a minimum of 24 credits in their area of professional concentration. In consultation with an adviser, students choose courses from relevant departments or professional schools. Concentration areas are tailored to individual student interests. Students interested in agricultural extension, forestry, and public health may take courses at Oregon State University. (For information about concurrent enrollment, click here to learn about the Joint Campus Program.) 

Language Study and Competence: Students must demonstrate a third-year level of proficiency in a second language relevant to their professional or geographic focus before completing the program. At the start of their first term, students must confirm with their advisor how they plan to meet the requirement.

Competence may be shown by one of these methods:  

  1. Passing three 300-level language courses or one 4th year language course. 

  1. Passing two ears of commonly taught language (Fr, Sp, Ger, Ital), AND 2 years of less common language. Language may be taken Pass/No Pass.  

  1. If a student is making a concerted effort to learn the language, clearly trying to achieve 3rd year competency, and receives approval from an advisor, a graduate director and the department head, 2nd year proficiency may be deemed sufficient. International students whose high school or university instruction was not in English demonstrate proficiency in English as a second language through completion of the master’s degree requirements. It is recommended that international students study a language from their region of concentration. 

Field Experience: Up to 12-credits. The faculty advisor assists students in locating internships/research opportunities and securing funding. The internship or research experience should be related to the student’s career plans to enhance future job opportunities. International students may do their internship or research in the United States. Students must pay all or most of the costs of most internships and research experiences. Many graduate students in the program have competed successfully for funding to support internship and research experiences. 

The Global Studies faculty expects students to gain the following from the internship or research experience:  

  • Reasonably in-depth experience in a culture other than the student’s own 
  • Greater fluency in the language of the culture in which the internship or research takes place 
  • Knowledge and experience useful to the career goals of the intern. 

MA Project: Each student must prepare an MA project, usually in the form of a thesis, policy paper, or a capstone project. Other types of exit projects may be approved on a case-by-case basis by a student’s MA advisor. Nine credits are required for either a thesis or capstone project. 


Global (International) Studies is able to offer many of its graduate admits two years (6 academic terms) of funding, which provides full tuition, health benefits, and a .40 FTE salary, in exchange for GE (Graduate Employee) teaching assistance. We also regularly inform students of other GE opportunities on campus. You can find out more about the university’s system of GE awards, jobs, and funding at the University of Oregon’s Division of Graduate Studies’ website

The total tuition and fee waiver, GE salary, and associated insurance benefits can be found on the UO Division of Graduate Studies website


Our Faculty

Faculty and students in the Department of Global Studies integrate theory and praxis, drawing pragmatically from a variety of fields and perspectives to find the best mix of approaches to address rapidly changing and complex global issues. Through interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary teaching and scholarship, we interrogate the continuities, disjunctures, articulations, and contradictions of ongoing, transformative processes around the world and in specific geographical and cultural contexts. Our work emphasizes power, inequality, and identity in scholarship from many disciplines and using many tools, sharing a common focus on the impact of global social change on communities and individuals. We are committed to understanding social change and promoting cross-cultural understanding, social justice, environmental justice, sustainable development, gender and racial equity, Indigenous rights, and access to education.  

In our work, faculty and students explore four closely connected issues that, combined, comprise the main program themes in our program:  

  •  Development – Actors, agendas, ideologies  
  • Global Political Economy – Historical and contemporary socio-economic patterns and processes 
  • Culture and Values – Beliefs, meanings, identities  
  • Wellbeing – Environment, food, health  

Important cross-cutting themes and concerns include alternative perspectives and agendas, gender dynamics, inequality, and the human experience of broad processes.