Launched in 2002, Global Cultures is an innovative undergraduate major (and minor) in
the School of Humanities with an exciting mission: to explore
the problems and processes of globalization from a humanistic perspective. The major equips our students with twenty-first-century
analytical skills and knowledge that is critical to understanding
the complexities of the diverse world in which we live. We are currently training (some) students for jobs that don’t exist … yet.
Who Should Major in Global Cultures?
Whether you are interested in one major or a second major, we trust that you'll find Global Cultures to be a perfect fit, and a great investment for your future. As detailed in career opportunities our interdisciplinary major equips you with the knowledge and tools that lead to successful careers in a wide range of professions and fields. More than ever, students need to learn how to leap across disciplines because that is how break-throughs now come about. It is interdisciplinary combinations—for instance, Art and Mathematics, Design and Technology—that produce innovations like YOUTUBE, FACEBOOK, and
MYSPACE. Global Cultures prepares you to understand, evaluate and contribute to such groundbreaking
innovations, and to thereby help shape emerging culture(s) across the globe.
Most of our students participate in UC’s stellar Education Abroad Program (EAP), either through EAP(Education Abroad Program) or IOP (International Opportunities Program), both housed in UCI's Center for International Education. Our webpage EAP Planning for Global Cultures is designed to help you fit an exciting education abroad experience into your undergraduatecurriculum.
A growing number of our students double-major
(currently over 50% of Global Cultures majors have a second major). This trend reflects a more complicated world that needs broad thinkers to solve society's problems. Double majors tend to become the most competitive and
successful candidates for top graduate schools and/or
which understanding the complexities of our culturally
is of special importance. [For more on the crucial importance of the Humanities and the study of Global Cultures, see this incisive article]
The Difference between Global Cultures and International Studies at UCI
Students interested in pursuing Global Cultures often ask how our Program differs from International Studies, an outstanding B. A. program in the School of Social Sciences. The two programs are similar, in part because many of the upper-division courses offered by either program can count to satisfy requirements in the respective two majors.
But there are also significant differences. As one of our advanced students recently put it, we like to think of our Program as “International Studies with less politics and more people”. This explains why our mission is best described as an attempt to explore globalization from a humanistic perspective [For a quantitative assessment of how satisfied Global Cultures students are with their major, see this link].
Our B.A. degree consists of a total of 14 courses (8 of these are electives). The Minor requires a totalof 8 courses. For details see our webpage Major/Minor.
Our program strives for a high(er) standard of excellence,
and our current students have earned the grades (GPA) to prove
it! An important aspect of that higher standard is the teaching
of CRITICAL THINKING.
Global Cultures: Why Now?
In the 1990s, globalization (or any variation of the word “global”) was an entirely freshterm and/orconcept.
It promised seemingly new possibilities: liberation from territorial
borders and mental boundaries; transformation of the north
south axis with trade (not aid); introduction of love and
peace to lands riven by hatred and war; healing of the sick
and curing disease. Yet, the contrast between the promise
and the reality invites us inquire into the nature of globalization.
The faculty here at UCI have devised a powerful (one might even
say "cool" or novel) way of thinking about globalization.
Their approach crucially relies on three humanistic perspectives:
(1) change across time and space (history), (2) the formation
and contestation of identity (literature and language), and (3)
theoretical and discursive practices that shape philosophical
speculation and belief (philosophy).
Now it seems self-apparent that we indeed are a part of a
global economy and culture. Our economies are very much interdependent.
Travel of all kinds connects people ranging from
workers to tourists, families (small and large), and cultures
(from Korea, Brazil,
Nigeria, to Canada). Bollywood in India
to Hollywood in the U.S. are apart of an entertainment industry
that circulates stories in film and song (some good, but most
are ok) that are consumed by a worldwide audience. The virus
that causes AIDS (HIV) is a pandemic that exploits portals of
inequality, such as poverty and bigotry, that affects people
from countries in the developing to the developed world. All
of these and other issues impact us directly and indirectly precisely
we are part of the world even as we are citizens of one
or more countries.
Today, more than ever, the rewards and responsibilities
of global citizenship
require us to
of the world, its histories, and our intersection with it. In case you (still) don't believe it, watch this inspiring (and admittedly disconcerting!) video entitled "Did you know?".
Download a brochure about Global Cultures . If you have any questions, please
contact the Humanities Undergraduate Study Office at 949 824-5132
or stop by HIB 143 (map) to make an appointment to see an academic counselor.
Once you have perused the information available on this website,
you may wish to contact the program's Director, Professor Armin
Schwegler, either via email (email@example.com), or by calling him at (949) 824-6118. We would be very happy to discuss the Global Cultures
Major with you in detail. We also encourage you to establish
contact with a student currently enrolled in the program. It
is easy to do do so: simply click on Contact
How do I declare a Global Cultures Major?
Learn how to declare or add a major in Global Cultures by visiting http://www.humanities.uci.edu/undergrad/current/changemajor.php
Global Cultures: Why pursue this major at UC Irvine?
Opened in 1965, the University of California, Irvine (UCI) ranks among the top research universities in the
nation. The UCI enrollment of almost 25,000 is large enough
to provide an active university environment, while still small
enough to preserve a friendly, personal atmosphere. It is
in the Humanities that the key skills and elements for the
formation of culture are intensively studied and perfected.
The Humanities stand at the heart and center of any university's
intellectual pursuits, defining fundamental techniques of
communication, while analyzing and critically questioning
these techniques and the cultural web of beliefs in which
they are practiced. Our top-ranked faculty bring together
humanistic disciplines (history, literature, language and
foreign language training, anthropology, etc.) that examine
how (or whether) the modern GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE invites us
to best confront the new world in which we live. This humanistic
study prepares students for the future by training them to
be incisive critical thinkers and multi-culturally skilled
professionals. Equipped with these portable intellectual skills,
our graduates thus obtain a most valuable and forward-looking