Frequently Asked Questions:

How is an interdisciplinary program different from a traditional major?

Traditional (not interdisciplinary) majors offer curriculum and training within one specific field of study. By contrast, interdisciplinary programs exist across academic fields or departments. The faculty for Global Studies comes from across multiple disciplines at Lehigh, including political science, history, literature, sociology, and anthropology. As such, GS students have access to many different people, resources, and perspectives on campus. One of the best aspects of an interdisciplinary major is that students receive a well-rounded education. 

Students at the EES department's weekly lunch.

Experience Other Cultures Firsthand: All Global Studies majors are required to have an international experience, like study abroad.  Students journey to France, Ghana, South Africa, India, Brazil and many other countries

What is the difference between Global Studies and International Relations?

Global Studies is about globalization in all its aspects, economic, cultural, political, historical, and social. GS recognizes globalization’s diversity as a phenomenon which requires a diversity of approaches to begin to understand this complex process. GS is thus an interdisciplinary major – the faculty are professors who study comparative issues from different departments across the university, including history, political science, modern languages and literatures, sociology, anthropology, journalism and communication, etc. Also, the Global Studies curriculum focuses on a diversity of actors, from individuals and small communities to non-governmental organizations, corporations, and nation-states.

International Relations (IR) is one field of study, which traditionally highlights the nation-state as the key actor. Professors of IR are trained as scholars of Political Science. Students of IR traditionally study international politics and institutions, focusing especially on principles of diplomacy and foreign policy. 

Is study abroad required?

Yes, a study abroad experience is required for all GS majors at Lehigh. The GS program provides scholarships and other forms of assistance in making study abroad feasible for all GS majors. Students preferably engage in a semester-long study abroad program (during the academic year). Students may also substitute an international internship for study abroad; the internship must include at least 100 hours over at least six weeks (presumably during the summer) and must be at an organization concerned with global issues. If extended time abroad is a hardship, GS students may also petition the program director to undertake a U.S.-based internship directly involved in international and global issues. 

What types of careers does a Global Studies degree prepare me for?

The opportunities and possibilities for different careers in global studies is vast. Many of our graduates are working for international organizations, on issues such as health and human rights, migration, and the environment. Others pursue careers in international law, international communications and journalism, international business, education, global health, social research, and diplomacy. Here at Lehigh, the GS program takes a very active role in preparing students for opportunities after graduation, including facilitating career counseling, formal mentorship on career and professional development, and job placement opportunities. For more information, please click on our “Careers” tab.