Global studies builds upon the long tradition of area studies, and offers a pathway to study different world regions—and their intersecting cultures, languages, histories, politics, art, technologies, and societies—within a larger global context. The global studies minor is open to students from any major, and is comprised of six subplans (African, Europe, Iranian, Islamic, Latin American, and South Asian studies) that enable students to develop an in-depth understanding of a particular region, and to do so as part of a cohort developing language skills and area expertise in a comparative global context. While departments such as history, political science, and religious studies offer students an opportunity to explore regional interests, the global studies minor gives students a unique opportunity to deeply engage with a world area, as well as to put their studies in a larger global context through a common core course.

All students are required to complete 28 units, including a 3 unit gateway course course Critical Issues in Global Affairs. The remaining 25 units are unique to each specialization. Students participating in the Bing Overseas Studies Program are especially encouraged to enroll.

Each student chooses one of the six specializations. The specialization appears on the transcript but it does not appear on the diploma.


Students from any major interested in applying for admission to the Global Studies minor program should consult the relevant center adviser, or Executive Director of Stanford Global Studies,  Kate Kuhns. To declare the Global Studies minor with one of six specializations, students must:

  1. Set up an appointment with the appropriate specialization adviser (see appropriate specialization page for contact information).  

  2. Declare the Global Studies minor and subplan in Axess.