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College of Letters & Science

Global Cultures Program

Effective spring 2015, admission to the undergraduate-level Certificate in Global Cultures has been suspended. Students currently enrolled in the program will be supported to continue in the certificate but no new students will be allowed to enroll as of spring 2015. For advising assistance, please consult the undergraduate advisor for the certificate.

Certificate in Global Cultures
Study Abroad Courses
Global Cultures Program Courses

Program website: globalcultures.wisc.edu

Undergraduate advisor for the certificate: Kirsten R. Brown, 301 C Ingraham Hall, 608-262-8431; krbrown7@wisc.edu

The Global Cultures Program is an interdisciplinary certificate program in the College of Letters & Science. The program draws on the rich array of area studies courses and comparative studies courses offered at the UW–Madison, providing a framework for linkages between cross-cultural academic work and study abroad programs. The goals of the program are several: to better integrate campus course work or individual Majors with study abroad, to stress cross-cultural learning experiences; and to help students find an international pathway toward satisfying the college breadth requirements.

The program is affiliated with the International Institute and the Integrated Liberal Studies Program (ILS). Whereas ILS focuses on Western culture and offers its own set curriculum, the Global Cultures program focuses on comparisons between cultures, both Western and non-Western, and offers courses drawn from more than 30 departments.

Certificate in Global Cultures

There are four components to the certificate: the foundations course, language requirement, global cultures electives, and the capstone seminar.

The foundations course initiates students into themes of cross-cultural contact as a result of globalization. Students may then choose from introductory courses about a specific culture or about cultures that transcend traditional boundaries and  upper-level courses focusing on comparative cultures to fulfill 12 credits of electives. In lieu of these introductory and upper-level courses, students may count up to 12 credits from UW study abroad course work toward these areas. See below for specific guidelines. The capstone senior seminar helps integrate the knowledge gained by students during their comparative course work and/or overseas study.

Students who complete 21 credits in the program are eligible for the certificate.

Note that the foundations course may not be taken concurrently with the capstone seminar.

Requirements for the certificate include:

1. Foundations course, 3 cr; choose one:

ILS 209 Introduction to Global Cultures
Geog 101 Introduction to Human Geography

2. Fifth-semester college-level foreign language course, 3 cr

For students whose native language is not English, this requirement may be waived.

3. Global Cultures electives, 12 cr, or study abroad courses (see specifics below about study abroad courses):

Choose from introductory courses (online list) or upper-level (300 level or above) comparative courses (online list). A minimum of 6 cr of the electives must be upper-level (300 level or above).

4. Cross-Cultural Capstone Senior Seminar, 3 cr; choose one:

LCA 615 Writing Travels (fall)
ILS 401 Global Cultures Capstone (spring)
Approved substitution (see advisor)

Total Credits: 21

Study Abroad Courses

Study abroad courses will count toward the certificate. The length of stay will determine how many credits may be counted toward the certificate. Students should keep in mind that at least 6 of the 12 global cultures elective credits must be at the 300 level or above.

Length of stay / maximum credits
Academic year / 12 credits
Semester / 6 credits
Summer / 3 credits

Global Cultures Program Courses

For the list of program courses, see online list. Students who require an exception should contact the advisor or program director.