About Us

Global Studies at The New School is about social transformation and justice: we want students to not only improve existing systems but to gain the knowledge and experience to change them! We seek students who are willing to step outside of their comfort zone—to grasp power structures that are not obvious to those deeply inside the system. We want students to understand their own implication in how things came to be, to act upon new-found knowledge and to pursue innovative responses to seemingly intractable problems. Global Studies majors learn to think across disciplines, to move between the scales of the local and the global, and to not lose sight of the realities of human lives at the center of our investigations.

Global Studies is an interdisciplinary major that focuses on contemporary challenges that by definition cannot be solved at the nation-state or market level alone, be these climate change or nuclear proliferation, human trafficking or rules for international trade, poverty or hunger, the implications of new technologies or unprecedented migration. Globalization has changed how states, societies, communities and individuals respond to existing challenges and creates new ones. The consequences of these challenges are fundamentally changing our world. How can we understand them?

The Global Studies major offers unique opportunities for sharing experiences and coursework with existing programs in urban studies, media studies, and environmental studies, foreign languages, and five-year Bachelors/Masters options leading to graduate degrees in International Affairs, Media Studies and related disciplines. Global Studies majors can also combine their degree with one of a number of planned and existing minors (such as Middle East Studies, Religious Studies and Gender Studies), or pursue a double major with permission. Experience on the ground is an important part of Global Studies, and the major will promote opportunities for students to apply their knowledge through real-world internship and fieldwork experiences in New York and abroad.

The Global Studies major takes seriously the university’s founding promise to prepare new generations of citizens and leaders in the service of a more just and equitable world.
In learning to transform ideals into action at the global level students will prepare for careers in public service, international organizations, global media, development, and the non-governmental/non-profit sector as well as graduate study in the social sciences, media, and law, and more!

Current course clusters for elective study include

  • The Ground Beneath our Feet: Places, Peoples, and Encounters [PPE]  
     Courses in this cluster explore the lenses and identities through which we experience the world and how the global and local are linked in ways not always obvious to the casual observer or embedded participant. Courses cluster around experiences and accounts of the global—everyday life under globalization, personal and national narratives, and the construction of hybrid, cosmopolitan or transnational identities.  
  • Rules of (Dis)Order: Markets and States, Networks and Hierarchies [MS]
     This cluster concerns how the global is “ordered”—how the world we live in today is designed and arranged, constrained and enabled. The most influential forms of ordering include the global economy and the nation‐state system with its international institutions and interactions. Within these forms we encounter tensions between hierarchies and networks, state and non‐state actors, flows and borders, rules and exceptions. This cluster aims to critically evaluate the assumptions, interests, and values behind the orders and alternatives that structure our field of action.
  • Co-Existence or Non-Existence: Rights, Justice, and Governance [RJG]
     The success of development, the legitimacy of national policies, and the thin line between peace and war all rest on the question of justice: what is right, what is just, and for whom? This cluster examines the challenge of achieving global justice and the attendant attempts to justly govern global flows of people, goods, money, and information. Courses deal with questions such as: How are laws and norms changing under globalization? What contradictions and tensions are produced by human rights today? Is humanitarian intervention a moral imperative or an imperialist fantasy? Can wars be just? Can past injustice ever be adequately dealt with? Is there a global civil society that can provide a legitimate counter to corporate or state power?
  • Global Spaces: Urban, Media, Environment [UME]
     This cluster focuses on three global spaces where The New School has special analytical strengths. Cities are indelibly local yet inescapably inscribed by global flows of money, people, and trade. Contemporary media confounds the scale between local and global while transforming our identities, perceptions, and reactions, as well as power relations. The environment knows no borders: global flows can result in very local challenges, and local problems reverberate at global scales. All of these spaces are linked by the challenge of how we design our cities, our forms of information, and our relationship to the environment.

Experience on the ground is an important aspect of Global Studies, and the major gives students the chance to apply their knowledge in real-world internships and fieldwork related to the global community in NYC or abroad.

The Global Studies major offers unique opportunities for sharing experiences and coursework with existing programs in The Urban Program, and Environmental Studies. Global Studies majors can combine their degree with one of a number of minors or, with their advisor’s permission, pursue a double major. Interested students should inquire about the plans for a five-year, combined bachelor’s and master’s program leading to a graduate degree in International Affairs, Media Studies, Economics, and other disciplines.

Bachelor’s Program and Eugene Lang students can declare Global Studies as their major.  For more information about Global Studies at The New School, including updates on events and courses contact globalstudies@newschool.edu.

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