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Oklahoma State University
School of Global Studies and Partnerships

Educating a New Generation of Global Leaders

Master of Science in Global Studies

The Master of Science degree in Global Studies is designed to prepare candidates to cope with the international responsibilities and solve world problems that confront individuals working in the public and private sectors around the world. The program is focused on developing global perspectives and leadership skills for a variety of professional contexts.  The curriculum is designed to educate students in the challenges and issues facing local and global communities, with an emphasis on understanding the economic, political, environmental, social, and cultural contexts that drive contemporary society.  This interdisciplinary structure allows our students to draw from the best that Oklahoma State University has to offer as well as to develop the globalized, multi-skilled talents that will influence the world in a variety of career paths. 

Our graduate program in global studies is designed to prepare students for internationally oriented degrees in a number of professional contexts, including business, economic development, cultural industries, media, and public and international policy.  The program at OSU emphasis the real-challenges that face developing and developed nations alike, and seeks to bring a global problem-solving perspective to address those challenges.  Graduates of our program might have careers as professional diplomats, but are just as likely to go into global journalism, non-governmental organizations, agriculture, emergency management, or business. 

With the 33-hour interdisciplinary program, students will take five core courses and choose from one of four areas in which to concentrate their studies:

Core Course Information

All students will take the introductory course GS 5013 – Contemporary Issues and a graduate-level research course, unless otherwise approved by the Director of Academic Programs. Additionally, each focus area is anchored by an introductory course, which all students will take as a part of their core courses, giving them an overview of each focus area .  Candidates for the master’s degree must also demonstrate foreign language proficiency, and complete an international experience (preferably a minimum of 3-weeks in a non-Western country).

The core is made up of a foundation course in each of the four focus areas. The core courses provide students with a broader understanding of theory, history, world politics and culture. The program allows for international experiences through internships, work on global research projects, and interaction with a diverse mix of students and faculty.

Graduate-Level Research Course Requirement 

All students are normally required to complete a course in research design and method. This requirement may be adjusted or waived at the discretion of the Director of Academic Programs depending upon the background of an individual student. Appropriate courses include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:

Research Design/Methods (one of the following; appropriate substitutions are subject to approval by program director):

Prefix Course Name
  ENGL 4893    Research Writing for International Graduate Students  
  REMS 5013    Research Design & Methodology
  SOC 5273   Qualitative Research Methods
  STAT 5013   Statistics for Experimenters I
  POLS 5103   Research Design
  SCFD 5913   Introduction to Qualitative Inquiry

English Proficiency Requirement

The School of Global Studies does not have English proficiency requirements beyond those required by the OSU Graduate College.

Foreign Language Requirement

The Foreign Language Requirement was designed to ensure that all students who graduate from the School of Global Studies Graduate Programs have been exposed to an international culture other than their own through the language of that culture. 

To fulfill the foreign language requirement, native speakers of English must have accomplished one of the following:

  1. Complete 9 semester hours of a second language or 3 semester hours of intermediate or advanced modern foreign language courses with a minimum grade of C.
  2. Obtain an Intermediate level rating on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI). For more information on the OPI, see the website at 
  3. Complete an approved Language Immersion Program.

This requirement must be completed prior to graduation from the School of Global Studies Graduate Program. Language courses may be completed at OSU or outside institutions during your time in the program. We also accept previous coursework in foreign language but may ask for proof of completion.

No waivers of foreign language requirement will be permitted, and the 9 hours of language courses cannot be counted toward the 33 hours necessary to complete the master’s degree.

International Experience Requirement

Students from the U.S. must have an international experience to qualify for the master's in Global Studies. The time outside the U.S. must be a minimum of 3 weeks, involve a structured program of coursework or internship and have occurred during the student’s undergraduate or graduate programs. Due to the great variety of opportunities, the experience must be approved by the SGSP Director of Academic Programs.

Capstone Experience Requirement

All students must complete a Capstone Experience. There are two routes: thesis or non-thesis.  Depending on which route the student selects, the number of focus area courses will vary from 9-12 hours chosen from a list that are offered by departments across campus. A thesis option will require students to abide by criteria set by the Graduate College and work closely with committee members to produce a scholarly body of research. A non-thesis option can take two forms, an internship or a creative component. All non-thesis options must be approved by the SGSP Coordinator of Academic Programs.

Required Responsible Conduct of Research Training

In addition, the Graduate College requires all graduate students complete the Responsible Conduct of Research training their first semester at OSU. Training materials encourage students to think critically and to engage in discussions about what it means to be an ethical researcher. Conducting research ethically requires an understanding and appreciation of the ethical imperatives behind the rules. To complete the required CITI training course or for more information, visit