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University of Pittsburgh    
2020-2021 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 20, 2024
2020-2021 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Global Studies Certificate

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University of Pittsburgh
University Center for International Studies
Global Studies Center
Elaine Linn, Assistant Director for Academic Affairs
4100 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: 412-648-2113

Global Studies is an exciting - and evolving - interdisciplinary field. It is concerned with transnational structures, processes, and interactions, and how these affect social, economic, cultural, political, and ecological environments. Scholars of Global Studies understand and analyze how these structures, processes, and interactions both connect people and places and disrupt established norms, communities, institutions, and relationships. That is, they think globally about these processes.

Within the Global Studies Certificate, graduate students from the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences can tailor a unique plan of interdisciplinary study within their field of interest drawn from more than 200 courses across 6 global concentrations. The certificate allows students to adopt a transnational lens that can inform their research projects, and to conduct research in one of 35 languages offered at Pitt.

Global Concentrations: To complete the certificate, student choose one of five global concentration/themes:

  • Cultural Dynamics
  • Peace, Conflict, and Security
  • Ecology and Sustainability
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Politics and Economy

In addition to the certificate, the Global Studies Center offer numerous complementary programs and opportunities that support students’ intellectual and personal development: research skills, career exploration and career readiness, experiential education and civic engagement, and a critical understanding of current events. The center offers tuition remission for students studying less commonly taught languages and internship positions.

Certificate Requirements

Six Global Thematic Courses (18 credits): After students select a global concentration, they choose from a comprehensive and dynamic list of courses ensuring three disciplines are represented to provide an interdisciplinary perspective on their chosen global concentration.

  • Graduate students should complete a minimum of 6 unique credits of coursework. In other words, at least 6 credits of the course work used to complete the requirements of any graduate level certificate in UCIS must be in addition to the credits used to complete the student’s primary degree program. In consultation with the academic advisor, students may fulfill these standards through one of the following options:
    • Students may contextualize non-credit bearing internships that are required in various graduate degree programs as credit bearing experiences for UCIS certificate programs. Prior approval must be received from the academic advisor to pursue this option.
    • Students who can add content courses without affecting their tuition bill will be encouraged to do so.  
    • Students who are exempt from the language requirement because of previous coursework or heritage language skills may use language course credits towards the requirement for “additional work beyond the graduate degree.
  • The 6 credits may be comprised of the following combinations:
    • Two language courses (* see notes below)
    • A language course (* see notes below) and a content course
    • Two content courses

* Language courses may be used in the following circumstances: 

For certificate programs that require three years of language proficiency, students may count language courses in the third year (i.e. grammar, conversation, courses taught in target language) that are above the intermediate level.

For students in any certificate program who are exempt from the language requirement due to previous coursework or as a heritage speaker, the introductory courses in a second language (either LCTLs, or a commonly taught language with a clear and stated relevance to their research or professional goals) will count.

For students completing two graduate level UCIS certificates, at least nine (9) credits of the course work used to complete the certificate requirements must be in addition to the credits used to complete the student’s primary degree program. At least 3 of these credits must be in content coursework. All 9 cannot be language course credits.

Language Proficiency: Building on Pitt’s vast offering of over 30 languages, a minimum of three years of college-level study (six semesters) in a foreign language is required. Students can fulfill this requirement by passing a proficiency exam at the Intermediate mid proficiency level.

Global Studies Capstone Research Paper: This research paper is the culmination of a student’s learning experience related to their global concentration. It demonstrates analytical skills within a transnational context. It must be written as part of a course and graded by a faculty member.

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