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The College of St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica’s Global, Cultural and Language Studies major will help you broaden your horizons and experience different perspectives. You’ll be exposed to a variety of cultures and academic disciplines grounded in the liberal arts.

Sharpen your critical thinking skills while learning about citizenship through our Catholic Benedictine values. Explore concepts that are critical to building understanding in today’s world: power dynamics, identity, globalization, development, environmental concerns, public policy, diplomacy and much more. Learn about the principles of social justice.

We’re already living in a diverse global society, and cross-cultural communication is only going to become more important. Expand your worldview through the GCL major. GCL students must complete at least two years of language study in one world language (American Sign Language, German, French, Latin, Ojibwe, Russian or Spanish).

Program graduates will be well-prepared for careers in many diverse fields, including community health, law, human rights, community-based organizations, international healthcare organizations, political groups, human services, public policy or private business.

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Benedictine Scholarship

All new first-year applicants to St. Scholastica will be awarded either the Benedictine Scholarship or the Access Award, upon admission to the College.

Financial Aid

100% of traditional incoming undergraduates receive some type of financial aid. The average for scholarships, grants and/or loans is $31,841.

Degree Details


Are You Looking for a Face-to-Face (on-campus) Experience?

St. Scholastica’s longstanding commitment to inclusivity and generous financial aid packages make our world-class educational programs accessible to students from any background.


Program Requirements

Major: 44 credits
Minor: 24 credits

Here are some classes you could take as part of this major or minor. Be sure to create your course plan in consultation with your advisor.


GCL 1101 – Introduction to Global, Cultural and Language Studies

Introduces the study of intercultural and global relations, this course examines what binds us to, and separates us from, other peoples and other places. Students utilize an interdisciplinary approach to investigate cultural and political processes which shape and transform social, economic, and personal identities in global contexts, and to engage with concerns of equality and social justice in their local communities and in the world. Required for a major or minor in GCL.

GCL 2050 – Introduction to Mexico

Focuses on understanding the social and cultural differences between the United States and Mexico. Particular attention is given to the social goals of the Mexican Revolution and how Mexico has attempted to address or ignore these goals while striving to develop its economy and society in the shadow of the world’s remaining superpower. Learning activities include readings, guest lectures by Mexican social activists and academics, excursions to sites of historical and cultural importance, reflection papers, and group discussion. The course is a required component of the Semestre en México program and is taught in English.

GCL 2111 – Migration, Diaspora, Identity

Investigates interrelated questions of migration, diaspora, and identity in general theoretical terms and subsequently with regard to a particular area of the world. Emphasis, utilizing an interdisciplinary approach, on the processes of migration and the subsequent transnationalism and transculturation which migration effects.

GCL 2201 – Peaceful Resolution of International Conflicts

Examines international armed conflict as an historical and cultural phenomenon. An emphasis is placed on causes of international armed conflict. Conventional (and unconventional) approaches to international conflict resolution are covered. Discussion of contemporary issues is included.

GCL 2220 – Dance, Gender and Culture

Studies the body as an expressive instrument, a site of social conditioning, and a means of shaping and conveying identity. The course is organized thematically, with a specific dance culture to illustrate a set of issues ranging from sexuality, desire, and exoticism to empowerment and assertion of identity through dance. Through readings and analysis of performance, our study of dance as a cultural phenomenon leads us to investigations of history, politics, social dynamics and the shifting categories of race, class and gender, belief and cultural identity.

GCL 2231 – Cultural Anthropology

Addresses concepts, methods, and theories exploring social and cultural life across time and space, including the changing concept of culture itself. The course is an introduction to ethnographic fieldwork methods and to the practice of anthropology, with attention to the impact of contemporary social forces on the diverse societies that make up the modern world.

GCL 3001 – Politics of Globalization

Explores divergent points of views and forms of analysis that surround the debate over globalization. The course stresses the fact that globalization is not only about economics and politics but also includes wide-ranging cultural, social and moral issues confronting the world community.

GCL 3101 – Advanced Social and Cultural Theory

Focuses specifically on the investigation of culture at a level of depth suited to juniors and seniors. Participants investigate language, culture, media, representation, and power through a variety of disciplinary and theoretical lenses. Frameworks to be analyzed include subaltern, transcultural, and dependency theory alongside Western theories and tools such as postcolonial, poststructuralist, Marxist, and feminist theory.

GCL 3200 – Popular Music and Political Movements

Political and social movements are peoples’ collective efforts to transform history. This course examines political movements from the unique perspective of popular music performers who, throughout history and across cultures, have used song and dance as liberating and mobilizing forces for political action. Throughout the course, we will examine social and political movements from an interdisciplinary perspective, applying social change theory, literary theory, liberation theology and feminist theory to popular music. Tracing these movements through their particular historical and cultural contexts, we will explore the impact of popular music on social transformation and political change.

GCL 3202 – Culture Through Film

Explores film as cultural expression and as a medium through which the viewer may explore cross cultural issues. Section 001 French Culture Section 002 German Culture Section 003 Native American Culture Section 004 Russian Culture Section 005 Hispanic Culture.

GCL 3250 – Voices of the Earth: Ecology and Indigenous Philosophy

Guides students in their search for a deeper understanding of relevant aspects that affect their relationship with nature, land and local environments. Students will review philosophical concepts that relate individual behavior and attitudes with key elements of nature and its laws. This relationship is deeply influenced by the way we listen and transmit through generations those voices that call for a life with peace, love and justice.

GCL 3301 – Human Rights

Inquires into the nature and role of human rights in the context of current international relations. Issues to be addressed range from the relationship between individual and collective rights to the problems of implementation of these rights. Among topics to be considered are torture, political repression, rights of women and indigenous peoples and cultural diversity.

GCL 3302 – Europe Today

Examines contemporary trends that are pushing toward increasing political and economic cooperation among European states. In addition, the course will explore forces at work that are resisting tendencies toward European unity. The course includes geographical, cultural, social, political and economic elements.

GCL 3303 – The Other Americas

Introduces the student to the complex issues concerning contemporary Latin America. Students will explore current topics and events from a multidisciplinary point of view. Taught in English.

GCL 3304 – Russia Since 1900

Surveys 20th century Russia against the background of its rich history. Focuses on the political, cultural and intellectual history of this giant country with an emphasis on comparisons with its European neighbors.

GCL 3401 – Healthcare Across Cultures

A course in Health Humanities and cultural competency. It proceeds from the premise that since a person’s experience of health and illness is highly dependent on his or her culture, cultural understanding is essential for humane health care in today’s multicultural societies. The course aims to help students achieve cultural competency, with particular attention to the development of culturally competent communication skills. It analyzes the influence of culture on human experiences of health and illness, and on health beliefs, values, and healthcare practices. Through interactive exercises, case studies, interviews, role plays, guest speakers, reflection papers, research and literature, the course investigates the increasingly complex intersection between healthcare delivery and culture. Students also examine the value assumptions of their own health beliefs in an effort to increase their effectiveness in intercultural healthcare settings

GCL 4402 – Environmental Politics

An examination of what kinds of international institutions are best suited to deal with global environmental problems; the role of nongovernmental organizations; and the relationship between varying models of development and the environment. Particular attention is given to a series of case studies that focus on indigenous peoples and environmental issues as well as the nature of environmental racism.

GCL 4411 –

GCL 4555 – GCL Internship

Done in an international setting appropriate to the student’s field of interest. Student is supervised by a site supervisor. Evaluation of performance will be completed by the site supervisor, internship advisor and student. Students may obtain additional information about internships from appropriate language faculty. Prerequisite: approval of instructor.

HIS 3301 – Russia Since 1900

Introduces Russian history from late tsarism to the post-communist era. The first half of the course treats the last years of the tsarist autocracy, the Russian Revolution, Lenin and Stalin, the nature of Soviet communism, and the concept of totalitarianism. The second half of the course considers the Khrushchev and Brezhnev eras, Gorbachev and perestroika, the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia under Yeltsin and Putin, and the Chechen wars. Cultural and intellectual history is an integral part of the course.

HUM 2101 –


Global, cultural & language studies majors are required to participate in an experiential learning placement and have several off-campus options from which to choose. Off-campus programs that provide global, cultural & language majors with internships or service-learning experiences include HECUA (Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs), and the Washington Semester at American University.

Career Outlook

Students with a major in global, cultural and language studies are well prepared to work at governmental and non-governmental organizations in the fields of community health, law, human rights, community based organizations, international healthcare organizations, political groups, human services, public policy or private business. Graduates have found employment in these fields at historical societies, non-profit organizations, and in educational institutions

Pair with a Language

Boost your brainpower and give yourself a competitive edge in our global economy by pairing your major with a language. St. Scholastica offers programs and courses in American Sign Language, French, German, Latin, Ojibwe, Russian and Spanish.

Meet Our Faculty

Experienced, Dedicated and Distinguished Educators

Expect to be heard, to be challenged and to be involved. St. Scholastica faculty are world-class scholars and experts in their field who bring their deep experience to online and on-campus classrooms. Our values of community, respect, stewardship and love of learning reflect our faculty’s commitment to lifting up others and celebrating our common humanity.