Master’s in Global Studies Launches Fall 2014

April 24, 2013
Students at the Great Wall of China

The new master’s program in global studies will combine academic studies with practical global experience. Photo courtesy of Wyatt Bruton.

The College of Arts and Sciences will offer a new graduate program in global studies, with the first class of students admitted in fall 2014.

The new Master of Arts in global studies will combine academic studies with practical global experience, making it attractive to students interested in acquiring knowledge and skills that are relevant to today’s global economy.

The two-year program, which will admit about 10 students each year, will cut across geographic regions and countries. Students will choose from three thematic concentrations:

  • Global Politics, Institutions and Societies: democracy, constitutional design, conflict, states and societies, human rights and citizenship.
  • Global Economy: development aid and investment, global trade and finance.
  • Global Migration and Labor Rights: labor rights, work in developed and developing nations, patterns of trade and investment, and the impact of migration on home economies and communities.

As student demand and teaching capacity allows, additional concentrations in such areas as global arts and culture or international social entrepreneurship might be added.

Jonathan Hartlyn, senior associate dean of social sciences and global programs in the College, said the new M.A. program takes an “applied research” approach.

“Students will be strongly encouraged in their second year to do study abroad or field research or an internship to supplement their coursework, and in their final semester they will do a capstone policy brief or research paper,” Hartlyn said. “Global studies provides a framework within which students can examine how economic forces, societies, cultures, international and domestic political institutions, and states interact.”

Andrew Reynolds, chair of the curriculum in global studies and a professor of political science, said the College has seen tremendous growth in its undergraduate global studies major, as well as in study abroad programs and international partnerships with universities around the world.

“The new global M.A. draws on the global strengths of UNC,” he said. “The degree will bolster our ever-increasing presence on the world policy stage.”

Many of the applicants for the graduate program will have some experience in international work, whether based in the United States or overseas, Reynolds said.

“They will all come with a passion to think deeply about specific challenges within our increasingly interconnected world,” he said.

Erica Johnson is the director of the global studies program and a lecturer in the curriculum in global studies. Elizabeth Olson, a professor of geography, will teach core courses in the new M.A. program.

For questions about the program, contact Johnson at or (919) 962-0063.