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Michelle Schmitt, global and international studies alumna

As a global and international studies major at Western Michigan University, you will work with the academic advisor to customize a set of courses most appropriate to your interests and career aspirations. This page features specialized course lists for GIST majors and minors updated each semester, special topics courses, study abroad courses and specialty courses.

Course Lists

These lists are updated prior to the beginning of each semester. Depending on student needs and departmental resources, actual course offerings may change throughout the registration period. Contact the global and international studies academic advisor if you would like to apply a course toward the major or minor that is not listed here.

For GIST majors:

fall 2020 focus field course List

For GIST and area studies minors:

Please note that in the attached list, Asian Studies minor courses are highlighted in orange, Latin American Studies minor courses are highlighted in green, and Modern European Studies courses are highlighted in purple.

Fall 2020 minor electives Summer 2020 minor electives

Check the WMU course offerings for more detailed class information, such as times, days, professors and locations.

Special Topics courses

Fall 2020

GIST 1100–Special Topics in Global Studies (1 credit)

War and Propaganda

Dr. Joyce Busch (Online Course)

Canceled due to coronavirus impact.

How has the media been used to influence public opinion? How has propaganda altered the worldview of a society in times of war? This course looks at the ways the media has been used to gain support before and during conflict in Europe, Asia, and Africa through the examples of World Wars I, II and the Vietnam War.

How Maps Lie

Dr. Matt Nielsen (Hybrid course, in-person meetings on Wednesdays, 10 to 10:50 a.m. Ends 10/16/2020)

Maps are efficient technologies of power that have been and continue to be used as manipulative political tools. How have colonial maps served imperial interests during colonization? How have they helped political parties shape elections through gerrymandering? In this course, we will find answers to these questions and more as we learn to read maps more critically and think about the relationship between cartography and power.

Multiculturalism Debates in Europe

Dr. James Palmitessa (Hybrid course, in-person meetings on select Thursdays, 9 to 10:40 a.m. Ends 10/16/2020)

Students will explore recent European views, attitudes and debates about multiculturalism following the murder of a Dutch director of the provocative film Submission, caricatures of the prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper, mass migrations that peaked in 2015, and domestic and foreign terrorist attacks in France, Germany, England, Spain and Norway. 

Pandemics Now and Then

Dr. Susan Pozo (Wednesdays 1 to 1:50; synchronous online)

How can different disciplines contribute to an understanding of the sources and impacts of pandemics such as COVID-19? In this 1-credit class, some of WMU's star professors will provide insights about the current pandemic, ranging from how the virus infects the human body to how the plague impacted medieval society.

Study Abroad Courses

GIST study abroad courses have temporarily been canceled or suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check back for future trips. 

Specialty Courses

GIST 4980-Internship & Service Learning (2-4 credits)

Offered fall and spring semesters. Students participate in one-credit's worth of class time activities and 1-3 credits' worth completing an internship, volunteer work or other service learning activities. Involvement with GIST 4980-Internship & Service Learning is dependent upon an approved application, which can be found on internships webpage.