Concentration in Development

The Major in Global Studies —
Concentration in Development

All societies change over time, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. In this concentration, students explore different conceptions of development and consider why some societies develop while others languish. What accounts for disparities in longevity, wealth, and access to food and health care? How can we explain differences in extreme poverty, malnutrition, and treatable disease? Students consider how societies move from being heavily rural to having higher levels of urbanization. What explains differences in political, civil, and economic liberties? What accounts for differences in gender rights and opportunities? What are the implications of climate change and environmental distress?

Concentration objectives: The Global Studies concentration in development offers an interdisciplinary approach to examine why some societies develop politically, socially, and economically while others languish. Students can explore disparities in wealth, political freedoms, gender rights, urbanization, access to basic resources like food and health care, environmental conditions, and social justice.

General Requirements

One semester of language must be completed before declaring the major.

  • Students must complete a minimum of 36 units in Global Studies, including at least three courses focused on a world area.
  • Students must complete at least 24 units at the 300 level or above, including courses across a minimum of three academic disciplines.
  • Students must complete at least 6 units at the 400 level, no more than 3 of which may be directed research or independent study.
  • In addition to the 36 units, students must complete a four-semester sequence of courses in one modern language appropriate to their concentration.

These requirements may be fulfilled only with college-level course work undertaken during a student's undergraduate enrollment. Courses must be taken for a grade, and a student must receive a grade of C+ or higher in all courses.

This concentration requires 36 units of course work:

  • 3 units of Research Methods course work (any level)
  • 6 units of introductory course work (100-200 level) from two different academic disciplines
  • 9 units of advanced course work from the Core Courses list (300-400 level)
  • 15 units of advanced course work (300-400 level)
  • 3 units of additional course work (any level)

Africa, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia and North America are considered world areas for the development concentration. A student must complete two courses in one of these world areas and one course in another world area.

Note: A single course may satisfy more than one of the distribution requirements (i.e., disciplinary or world area). Some of these requirements may be completed while abroad.

Introductory courses (choose two from this list, for a total of 6 units):

AFAS 178First-Year Seminar: Imagining and Creating Africa: Youth, Culture, and Change3
AFAS 255Introduction to Africana Studies3
AMCS 250Topics in Asian American Studies: Intro to Asian American & Pacific Islander Studies3
Anthro 132First-Year Seminar: Past Tense, Future Imperfect: The Rise and Fall of Societies & Global Civilization3
Anthro 160BIntroduction to Cultural Anthropology3
BEYOND 160Gender, Youth, and Global Health3
Biol 2950Introduction to Environmental Biology3
Chinese 227CChinese Civilization3
Chinese 270Sophomore Seminar: U.S.-China Relations: Perceptions and Realities3
EPSc 111Introduction to Global Climate Change in the 21st Century3
EPSc 116AResources of the Earth3
EPSc 201Earth and the Environment4
EPSc 219Energy and the Environment3
EPSc 221AHuman Uses of the Earth3
Econ 1011Introduction to Microeconomics3
Econ 1021Introduction to Macroeconomics3
Econ 208First-Year Seminar: Economics and Society3
EnSt 110Environmental Issues3
EnSt 290Sophomore Seminar in Sustainability and the Environment3
FYP 116Ampersand: Geographies of Globalization and Development3
FYP 117Ampersand: Global Population on the Move: Refugees, Resettlement, Education, and Advocacy3
GIS 200Introduction to GIS (U90)3
GS (IAS) 103BFirst-Year Seminar: International Public Affairs3
GS (IAS) 111First-Year Seminar: The Vietnam Wars3
GS (IAS) 127Migration in the Global World: Stories3
GS (IAS) 135First Year Seminar: Chinatown: Migration, Identity, and Space3
GS (IAS) 140East Asia in the World3
GS (IAS) 155First-Year Seminar: Mapping the World: Introduction to Human Geography3
GS (IAS) 160World Politics and the Global Economy3
GS (IAS) 207Crossing Borders: An Introduction to Institutions and Concepts in Global Studies3
GS (IAS) 229Modern European History: Migrations, Nation States, Identities3
GS (IAS) 244Introduction to European Studies3
History 102CWestern Civilization II3
History 102DIntroduction to Modern European History3
History 1500Silver, Slaves and the State: Globalization in the 18th Century3
History 164Introduction to World History: The Second World War in World History3
History 1640Health and Disease in World History3
History 2093Mobilizing Shame: Violence, the Media and International Intervention3
History 2119First-Year Seminar: Race and Ethnicity in Latin America: Myths, Realities and Identities3
History 2157First-Year Seminar: The Meaning of Pakistan: History, Culture, Art3
History 2171Who Died and Made Them Kings? People, Politics and Power in the Atlantic World3
History 2356From St. Louis to Shanghai: Cities and Citizens in Global Urban History3
History 270Globalization and its Discontents3
IPH 207CAmpersand: Modern Political Thought: Text and Traditions3
IS 210Bugs, Drugs and Global Society: Topics in Global Health (U43)3
Japan 226CJapanese Civilization3
JIMES 210CIntroduction to Islamic Civilization3
Korean 223CKorean Civilization3
LatAm 165DLatin America: Nation, Ethnicity and Social Conflict3
Math 1011Introduction to Statistics3
Math 2200Elementary Probability and Statistics3
MEC 290Microeconomics3
MEC 292Global Economy3
Phil 100GLogic and Critical Analysis3
Phil 131FPresent Moral Problems3
Phil 233FBiomedical Ethics3
Phil 235FIntroduction to Environmental Ethics3
Physics 171APhysics and Society3
Pol Sci 102BIntroduction to Comparative Politics3
Pol Sci 103BInternational Politics3
Pol Sci 106Introduction to Political Theory3
Pol Sci 2010Introduction to Environmental Policy3
RelPol 290Islamophobia & U.S. Politics3
SOC 106Social Problems and Social Issues3
SOC 2010The Roots of Ferguson: Understanding Racial Inequality in the Contemporary U.S.3
SOC 2030Social Movements3
SOC 2110Social Inequality in America3
URST 101First-Year Seminar: Introduction to Urban Studies3
WGSS 100BIntroduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies3
WGSS 206Sexuality and the State: Introduction to Sexuality Studies3

Core courses (choose three from this list, for a total of 9 units):

Anthro 3206Global Gender Issues3
Anthro 3283Introduction to Global Health3
Anthro 3391Economies as Cultural Systems3
Anthro 3612Population and Society3
Anthro 3874International Public Health3
Anthro 4022Transnational Reproductive Health Issues: Meanings, Technologies, Practices3
Econ 451Environmental Policy3
GS (IAS) 3040International Law and Politics3
GS (IAS) 314BInternational Politics3
GS (IAS) 328BGateway to Development3
GS (IAS) 3575US Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice3
GS (IAS) 376International Economics3
GS (IAS) 402The Meaning of National Security in the 21st Century3
GS (IAS) 4141International Relations3
GS (IAS) 4246State Failure, State Success and Development3
GS (IAS) 4622Labor and Labor Movements in Global History3
GS (IAS) 4761Politics of Global Finance3
History 3593The Wheels of Commerce: From the Industrial Revolution to Global Capitalism3
History 3741History of United States: Foreign Relations: 1920-19893
History 3743History of U.S. Foreign Relations Since 19203
IA 511International Law and Human Rights (U85)3
IA 519International Growth and Development (U85)3
IA 535American Foreign Policy3
IA 5571Politics of Global Finance (U85)3
IA 574International Relations3
IA 5772State Failure, State Success and Development (U85)3
Pol Sci 3171Topics in Politics3
Pol Sci 332BEnvironmental and Energy Issues3
Pol Sci 339Topics in Politics3
Pol Sci 373International Political Economy3
Pol Sci 4070Global Justice3
Pol Sci 4731Global Political Economy3
Pol Sci 4791Political Economy of Development3
Pol Sci 4792Globalization and National Politics3
SOC 3001Social Theory3
SOC 4810Global Structures and Problems3

Research methods courses (choose one from this list, for a total of 3 units):

Anthro 3284Public Health Research and Practice3
Anthro 4123Argumentation Through Ethnography3
Anthro 4253Researching Fertility, Mortality and Migration3
Anthro 4455Ethnographic Fieldwork: The Politics of Schooling3
Anthro 4481Writing Culture3
Anthro 4803Advanced GIS Modeling and Landscape Analysis3
APL 4111Linguistics and Language Learning3
ARCH 307XCommunity Building3
CFH 400WMerle Kling Undergraduate Honors Fellowship Seminar3
Comp Lit 394Worldwide Translation: Language, Culture, Technology3
DAT 120Managerial Statistics I3
DAT 121Managerial Statistics II3
Econ 413Introduction to Econometrics3
Econ 414Econometric Techniques (U07)3
EnSt 380Applications in GIS3
GIS 200Introduction to GIS (U90)3
GIS 300Advanced GIS (U90)3
GIS 303Digital Cartography (U90)3
GIS 421Spatial Data Modeling and Design (U90)3
GS (IAS) 318Learning to Use GIS in Development, Area Studies and International Affairs3
GS (IAS) 3248Intercultural Communication3
GS (IAS) 4005Directed Research in Global Studies3
GS (IAS) 4414Gender Analysis for International Affairs3
History 301THistorical Methods — Transregional History3
IA 524Methods and Research Design in International Studies (U85)3
IA 5410Alternative Analytic Techniques for International Affairs (U85)3
Math 1011Introduction to Statistics3
Math 2200Elementary Probability and Statistics3
Math 3200Elementary to Intermediate Statistics and Data Analysis3
Math 475Statistical Computation3
NPM 450Social Entrepreneurship3
Phil 321GPhilosophy of Science3
Pol Sci 3011Computational Modeling in the Social Sciences3
Pol Sci 362Politics and the Theory of Games3
Pol Sci 363Quantitative Political Methodology3
Pol Sci 4043Public Policy Analysis, Assessment and Practical Wisdom3
Pol Sci 495Research Design and Methods3
Psych 300Introduction to Psychological Statistics3
SOC 3050Statistics for Sociology3

Advanced courses: Choose five courses from current, relevant, internationally focused course offerings in the following departments.* All courses must be approved by the student's Global Studies adviser in order to count for the major. Visit the concentration webpage and master course list for the full list of options.

  • African and African-American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Applied Linguistics
  • Arabic
  • Architecture
  • Art History
  • Biology and Biomedical Sciences
  • Chinese
  • Classics
  • Comparative Literature
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Environmental Studies
  • Film and Media Studies
  • Finance (Business School)
  • Global Studies
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Italian
  • Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Korean
  • Latin American Studies
  • Management (Business School)
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychological and Brain Sciences
  • Religion and Politics
  • Religious Studies
  • Russian
  • Social Administration (Social Work)
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • University College — International Affairs; International Studies; Nonprofit Management; Sustainability
  • Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Additional Requirements and Information

Study Abroad

  • We strongly encourage students to study abroad. For those who do not study abroad and receive credit toward the Global Studies General Requirements, an additional 3-unit course at the 300 or 400 level is required.
  • We strongly prefer students to select a study abroad location and regional specialization consistent with their chosen language of study (e.g., if a student wishes to study in Latin America, they must satisfy their language requirement with either Portuguese or Spanish).
  • Students may receive a maximum of 6 credits from a single semester, 12 credits from a year, or 3 credits from a summer term of study abroad.
  • Students may apply no more than 12 total credits to the Global Studies major from study abroad, University College, summer school at other U.S. universities, or any combination thereof.
  • To receive credit for a summer course completed at another institution, a student should fill out the Approval for Non-WashU Course Credit form with Arts & Sciences to take the course for "general credit" and then petition to have the course count toward their Global Studies major.

Latin Honors

  • Students must confidently expect to graduate with an overall grade-point average of 3.65 or higher to qualify for Latin Honors.
  • Students should enroll in GS (IAS) 485 Preparation for Global Studies Honors Thesis during the fall of senior year and in GS (IAS) 486 Global Studies Senior Honors Thesis during the spring of senior year (under the corresponding section number of the faculty member overseeing the student's thesis).

Language Requirement

  • All Global Studies majors must satisfy a language requirement that entails the successful completion of four semesters of one modern language appropriate to their concentration. For some students, this may mean the first four semesters of a language; for others who place into advanced language classes — and with approval from Global Studies language faculty — this may include literature, culture, oral communication, and linguistic courses in the target language, once such students complete the basic language sequence.
  • Students are encouraged to study more than one language at Washington University, but they must satisfy their Global Studies language requirement by demonstrating competence in at least one language through the fourth semester. Available modern languages include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swahili. Students should consult the course listings for details about the language sequences. (On the "A&S IQ" tab, click on "Courses," and then toggle "Area Requirement" to "LS Language & Cultural Diversity-Language" and click "Search" to see a list of available language courses.)

With the permission of the major adviser, advanced literature and culture courses taught in the native language may be used to satisfy the Global Studies language requirement and may count as advanced elective credit as long as these courses are cross-listed with or approved for study abroad credit for the student's Global Studies concentration and provided the courses are not being counted toward any other degree.

Special note for Spanish learners: The following Spanish courses are not part of the regular sequence that are permitted to count toward the four semesters of language: Span 223 Intermediate Spanish Conversation and Culture, Span 351 Business Spanish, Span 353 Medical Spanish, and Span 355 Spanish for the Social Sciences. Some students might find these courses valuable for other reasons. For questions about this, students should consult with their major adviser.

Students With Prior Language Experience

Native speakers of a modern language: Students must satisfy the four-semester Global Studies language requirement in another language appropriate to their concentration.

Heritage speakers who do not have a native level of fluency: Students must seek appropriate placement by the coordinator of the language program and complete the four-semester Global Studies language requirement.

Transfer students who have taken language courses: A transfer student may receive credit for the courses as part of the four-semester Global Studies language requirement only if a placement exam is taken upon arrival at Washington University in the given language and the department/program determines that the student may progress to the next highest level of language instruction.

Students who take a language course at another institution (whether in the United States or abroad): A student may receive credit for the course as part of the four-semester Global Studies language requirement only if (1) the credit is transferred back as Washington University credit; and (2) the student takes a placement exam upon their return to Washington University in the given language and the department/program determines that the student may progress to the next highest level of language instruction.