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Program Director:
Jonathan Becker
Phone: 845-758-7378

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Students majoring in Global and International Studies are required to take a total of 10 courses from the areas outlined below and two semesters of senior project.  A single course may not fulfill more than one of the requirements.  Two of these courses, excluding the senior project, should be at the 300-level.  Additionally, all students must complete a study away experience at one of Bard’s international partner institutions, the Bard Globalization and International Affairs (BGIA) program in New York City or in another approved study away program.

1   GISP Core Course (either one 4-credit course or two 2-credit courses)
5   Courses in the GISP Subfields

  • at least one course from each subfield
  • one course must be at the 300-level
3   Area Studies Courses
  • two courses in one area/geographic region
  • one course in a different area/region or comparative study of two or more regions
  • may substitute a methodology course for the third area studies course (with advisor approval)

1   Approved Language Course
2   Senior Project  

The requirements are described in greater detail below.  A description of the moderation requirements can be found at:  Students can track their progress in completing the GISP requirements with the Requirements Worksheet.

Core Courses

GISP core courses introduce students to the interdisciplinary study of global affairs.  Each course adopts a problem-based approach to issues of contemporary global importance and draws from an interdisciplinary set of course readings and approaches to international affairs.  

GISP core courses include: 

•   Global Citizenship

•   Global Inequality and Development

•   Gender and the Politics of National Security

•   Diplomacy and International Politics

•   Humanitarian Military Intervention

•   Human Rights in Global Politics

•   Non-State Actors in International Affairs (open only to BGIA students)


Global and International Studies Subfields

GISP has three subfields (described below): Transnationalism, Global Economics, and International Relations.  Students choose one of these subfields as the primary focus of their major and take at least one course in the remaining two subfields.  Subfield courses should come from at least three different disciplines.  At least one course should be at the 300-level.

Subfield 1:  Transnationalism
Courses in this subfield take up issues and activities that operate across the borders of states.  Covered themes include political and cultural globalization, transnational social movements, immigration, nongovernmental organizations, global media, human rights, the environment and infectious diseases.

Subfield 2:  Global Economics
Courses in this subfield focus on the global economy.  Covered themes include microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics, political economy, economic development, trade and international economic institutions. 

Subfield 3:  International Relations
Courses in this subfield take up issues related to the theory and practice of interstate relations.  Covered themes include international history, international relations theory, security studies, nations and nationalism, state sovereignty, and international institutions.

Area Studies Courses

Students must ground the thematic study of global and international studies in coursework that focuses on a particular geographic area by taking tthree area studies courses.  Two of these courses must focus on the same geographic region and a third focuses on a different region/area.  Appropriate courses focus on the history, politics and/or culture of a geographic area, or the comparative study of two geographic areas.  A course in research methodology may be substituted for the third area studies course with advisor approval.  It is recommended that the geographic focus correspond to the language used to fulfill the language requirement.

Featured Area Studies Courses: 

•   Contemporary RussiaProf. Sean McMeekin

•   From Shtetl to Socialism: East European Jewry in the Modern EraProf. Cecile Kuznitz

•   Socialist Musical ImaginariesProf. Maria Sonevytsky

Language Study

Global and International Studies students are expected to demonstrate competency in a language other than English.   Students can meet the language requirement in one of two ways:
  1. Completion of an intensive language course at Bard (offered in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish), along with the summer immersion session.  The summer immersion will also fulfill the study away requirement.
  2. Placement into and completion of an appropriate 200-level language course.

Students who come to Bard with basic proficiency in a language other than English are not required to complete additional language study.

Study Abroad/BGIA

Global and International Studies majors are required to gain experiential knowledge of the areas and/or themes covered in their coursework through participation in a study abroad program or semester at the Bard Globalization and International Affairs (BGIA) Program.  Students who have completed high school education outside the United States may waive the study away requirement.  GISP may offer study tours during intersession and vacations.

For more information on study away opportunities, see

Senior Project

The two-semester senior project must address global and international themes by incorporating the interdisciplinary lessons students have learned in their GISP coursework.  Rising seniors must submit a senior project proposal not less than two weeks before advising day during the second semester of their junior year, which outlines the proposed topic of the senior project, project methodology and potential project advisors.  An academic advisor with the appropriate methodological background must endorse all senior project proposals.