Master’s Degree Requirements

Faculty and students in the Department of Global Studies integrate theory and praxis, drawing pragmatically from a variety of fields and perspectives in order 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, sharing a common focus on the impact of global social change on particular 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.

We offer an interdisciplinary MA degree in Global Studies for students who contemplate careers in global sustainable development, international education, global health, human rights, and related fields. Our graduates successfully secure careers in non-profit organizations, INGOs, policy organizations, study abroad offices, public service, and higher education settings. Our program is on the quarter system. Three quarters (1 year) is equivalent to two semesters. The majority of our students complete their MA degree within two academic years. Many are able to secure funding for their research or thesis projects from internal and external sources.

The MA degree program is tailored to meet the unique professional and academic interests of each student. In close consultation with a faculty advisor, the student develops a program that combines expertise in a specific professional concentration area with interdisciplinary training in Global Studies. Areas of professional concentration are curated by students based on their interests and include: education and development, cross-cultural communication, environment, indigenous rights and sovereignty, food and food systems, gender and development, global health, international community development, international education, human rights and conflict resolution, 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.

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Graduate Curriculum

A total of 56 course credits are needed to complete the MA degree.

Proseminar Courses: Students take 10 credits of required proseminar courses. The core is composed of GLBL 655 Global Studies Graduate Core Seminar, GLBL 607 Graduate Methods and research design, and one additional 2-credit professional development course.

Professional Concentration Area: Students take a minimum of 24 credits in their area of professional concentration. In consultation with their advisor, students choose courses from relevant departments or professional schools. Concentration areas are tailored to individual student interests.

Language Study and Competence: Students must demonstrate a third-year level of proficiency in a language relevant to their professional interests.

Experiential Learning: Students take 1-12 units of individualized credit hours related to their professional interests. This may be fulfilled through a professional internship, study abroad experience, or individual research. The aim of the experiential learning is to enhance the student’s professional networks, skills, and experiences. Many graduate students compete successfully for funding to support internship and research experiences.

MA Thesis Project: Each student must prepare an MA thesis or other professional or research project. While most students complete an academic thesis based on primary or secondary research, many students elect to develop other types of MA projects, such as policy analyses, grant proposals, or documentary films. Students develop their thesis project in consultation with their primary GLBL faculty advisor and their MA committee.  Nine credits are required for either a thesis or project.

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Satisfactory Graduate Progress

Criteria used in assessing satisfactory progress toward a graduate degree in Global Studies is as follows:

  • Coursework: Student shall complete 9 degree satisfying credit-hours per term.
  • Grades: Student shall maintain a 3.0 GPA for each term of appointment.
  • Incompletes: Student shall not accumulate more than 4 credit hours of incompletes for non-individualized study courses.
  • Given the highly individualized nature of the Global Studies master’s program, progress toward degree will be determined on a case-by-case basis using the currently filed MA Planner as agreed upon by the graduate student and advisor; and following the general guidelines defined by the department and Division of Graduate Studies.
  • Students shall regularly consult with their academic advisor to a) ensure satisfactory progress toward degree and b) to update their MA Planner.

The MA Planner is kept on file by the student, the advisor, and the Global Studies Graduate Coordinator. In exceptional circumstances of ambiguity with regard to satisfactory progress, the Head of Global Studies or the Global Studies Director of Graduate Studies can consult with the student and faculty advisor (if available) to review the MA Planner, determine progress, and develop a degree completion plan.

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Global Studies is able to offer most of our MA students a full academic year (3 academic terms) of support as a tuition and fee waiver, health benefits, and a .40 FTE GE (Graduate Employee) salary for teaching assistance or other on-campus employment.

Many GLBL MA students are able to secure a second year of GE funding as well. GE funding is contingent on making satisfactory academic progress.

You can find out more about the university’s system of GE awards, tuition and fee waivers, employment opportunities, insurance benefits, and other support 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 Division of Graduate Studies’ website.


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Our Faculty

Our faculty are engaged scholars trained in a variety of social science disciplines committed to transdisciplinary, global perspectives and approaches to contemporary global issues. Core themes covered by Global Studies faculty include:

  • Development – Actors, agendas, ideologies
  • Global Political Economy – Historical and contemporary socio-economic patterns and processes
  • Power and inequality—displacement, disaster, migration
  • Culture and Values – Beliefs, meanings, identities, power
  • Wellbeing – Environment, food, health, sustainability
  • Human Rights—indigenous rights, land, water, gender equity

Students should consider how their academic and professional interests align with current faculty interests and can peruse faculty research publications and other scholarship at the link below.


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