UMD: A Globally Connected University

Featured Academic Program: Global Studies Minor


The Global Studies Minor Program provides opportunities for students to study how evolving global connections affect the well-being of people throughout the world. Students in the program develop an understanding and appreciation of how and why interactions across national and ethnic borders are shaped by language, culture, politics, economic development, and conflict.

The program is interdisciplinary and provides opportunities for students from any discipline or major. It is comprised of a number of specialization tracks which address issues from the perspective of different disciplines:

Global Poverty

Global poverty is one of the primary problems facing the world. The 2010 UN Human Development Report estimates that 1.7 billion people in 104 developing countries live in multidimensional poverty, one-third of the population in these countries. Poverty alleviation is a central tenet of global development goals such as the global Millenium Campaign, supported by 189 countries. The aim of this campaign is to halve the proportion of people living on less than $1 per day by 2015.

The Minor in Global Poverty will develop in students an awareness and understanding of the dimensions of global poverty, its causes and consequences, and the scope of policies aimed at poverty alleviation. Students will discover how incentives, resources, and social and political institutions influence the incidence of poverty across and within countries. The minor will explore the relationships between poverty and determinants of human welfare such as hunger, health, education and environmental quality.

Economic growth, globalization, and changes in technology and institutions play important roles in the evolution of poverty over time. Students will learn about the mechanisms behind poverty and how our understanding of these mechanisms has changed. A cross-cultural awareness of poverty will be developed along with an appreciation of how differences in social, cultural and institutional factors impact the design of poverty alleviation programs and their success. Students will assess the effectiveness of both large and small-scale public policies including foreign aid, domestic policies, market reforms and other efforts. They will explore how our knowledge of poverty alleviation has progressed. Students will have an opportunity to become more actively involved in the study of global poverty in a practical way. The overall goal of the minor is to empower students to become more globally engaged citizens. Learn more.

Global Terrorism

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence), also known as START, has developed an undergraduate minor in Global Terrorism, a cross-disciplinary program housed in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland. The minor is designed to train the next generation of terrorism analysts, including students who plan to pursue graduate study related to terrorism as well as employment in the federal, state, local, non-profit, and/or private sectors.

The Global Terrorism program focuses on exploring the origins and motivations of terrorism based on theoretical understandings of individual and group behavior. Students also explore the impacts of the threat of terrorism on individuals and communities as well as strategies for preventing, deterring, mitigating, and responding to terrorist threats. Students have the opportunity to develop first-hand experience working in the homeland and/or national security communities and conducting research on terrorism using a range of analytical tools and research methods.

START accepts applications to the program from University of Maryland undergraduates each spring. Students from all colleges and majors are encouraged to apply. Learn more.

International Development and Conflict Management

The Minor in International Development and Conflict Management (MIDCM) prepares students with the theoretical frameworks and practical skills necessary to address critical global concerns.  The minor program provides access to highly-qualified faculty and development practitioners, and encourages the pursuit of internship, volunteer, and study abroad experiences. Students from all majors are encouraged to apply and investigate the ways in which the minor can supplement their own field of study.

MICDM prepares undergraduates aspiring toward professions in conflict resolution, international development, and humanitarian relief through the integration of classroom theory and practical experience. A deeper understanding of development and conflict management trends and practices allows our students to "hit the ground running" when they enter an organization.

Students in the International Development and Conflict Management minor say they have benefited from "the applicable assignments like writing grant proposals, and budgets," "the career preparation," "the simulation work," and the "social aspect of the minor." The classes and coursework allows for interaction among students, and professors or practitioners with insight into the field. Learn more.

International Engineering

There is a growing demand for engineering graduates with international experience. Employers are seeking applicants with an awareness of global business practices, cross-cultural communication skills, and language fluency. The A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland is committed to providing you with a quality engineering education that will prepare you to work in a global environment

Preparing to practice engineering in a global economy is important for new engineers to advance in their careers. In addition to a strong engineering background, there is a need for engineers with cross-cultural experience and foreign language abilities. Students in the A. James Clark School of Engineering may earn a Minor in International Engineering (MIE) by completing requirements that can include language, culture studies, internationally related studies, international engineering or international engineering-related courses and an engineering abroad experience (work, study or research). Students interested in completing this minor program should contact the MIE advisor in the Clark School for advisement. Students who successfully complete the requirements for a Minor will have the accomplishment noted on their transcript. Learn more.


Requirements in each track allow students to choose from among a set of approved courses from different disciplines. All students choose one course from a set of "signature" courses outside of their chosen track for exposure to major global issues addressed by the other Global Studies Minors. The minors provide an opportunity for an experiential component within a student's elective courses, including a study abroad experience. The program includes special activities that involve students across the minors, such as special speaker forums, participation in major events, and experiences in Washington, DC.

Other ways to globalize your experience on campus: