The Department of Global and International Studies has been established in the School of Social Sciences. Previously the Program in International Studies, the new status allows the department to pursue development of a graduate program and hire its own faculty members who teach more than 500 international studies undergraduate majors and many more students in high enrollment campus elective courses. 

“Although a highly popular major, international studies - in its more than 20 year existence - has relied heavily on the interdisciplinary cooperation, goodwill and time-sharing of faculty from other departments to thrive,” says Bill Maurer, social sciences dean and professor of anthropology and law. “Now, the newly minted department – with seven new faculty hired within the last two years, an ambitious director, and the backing of the school and campus – will be a full partner among social sciences’ eight other departments and a cross campus research and teaching powerhouse for our increasingly global and interconnected world.”

The major in international studies – which was established at UCI in 1996 and annually ranks among the top 20 most popular on campus in terms of student enrollment – will continue to be administered by the Department of Global and International Studies. The same applies for the department’s administration of the international studies honors and minor programs; the conflict resolution minor program; and a certificate program in conflict analysis and resolution. In the coming months, the department will be announcing its graduate program plans – which include both a doctoral degree and graduate emphasis in global studies – along with an annual international conference drawing top names in the field of global studies, says Eve Darian-Smith, global and international studies professor and department chair.

“Our interdisciplinary program engages with complex global issues such as climate change, mass migrations, regional wars, global inequalities, global health, and global governance. By situating contemporary issues in historical context, we ask new kinds of questions that take as our primary object of study the local-global continuum rather than the relations between nation-states. This presents an important shift in training students to think about interconnected global issues as they manifest at trans-national and trans-local levels. Our primary goal is to enable students to better understand and contribute to shaping the rapidly evolving global community,” she says.

The status update for global and international studies brings the department count in the School of Social Sciences to nine. Between its 12 undergraduate (B.A./B.S.) and 12 graduate programs (M.A./M.S. and Ph.D.), the school enrolls 6,474 students, making it the largest academic unit on the UCI campus in terms of student body. The school is home to 164 faculty members - which include 19 fellows of prestigious academies, 2 National Medal recipients, 18 Distinguished Professors, 2 Chancellor’s Professors, and 4 UCI endowed chairs – who are experts in their fields consistently sought by international academics and press for insight on issues ranging from our global economy to the inner workings of the human brain. The school annually awards more than one-quarter of all UCI bachelor's degrees, and with the graduating class of 2018, the social sciences alumni base grew to 50,963 Anteaters.

Learn more about the Department of Global and International Studies at UCI and stay tuned for more exciting things to come.


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