Global Studies

Get Involved

A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

  • Events: Global Justice Film Series, visiting speakers, political debates and voter registration.
  • Internships: Students intern with political candidates, elected officials, nonprofit organizations and legal professionals.
  • Mock Trial: Introduces students to real criminal or civil cases to prepare for trial after graduation.
  • Model United Nations: Competes in the National Model United Nations event in New York City.
  • Politics Clubs: A student-led club that tackles political topics, provides professional development opportunities and works to bring dynamic debate to campus.


Hannah White


Headshot of Hannah White with flowers in the background
Headshot of Hannah White with flowers in the background

Hannah White

“Being so involved in so many different things you get to know all kinds of people. You get to make connections with people that just aren’t at Western.”

Hannah White is a junior from Kansas City studying Politics & Government with an emphasis in Global Studies and minors in Philosophy and Environment & Sustainability (ENVS).

When Hannah was researching different colleges, she wanted a school with a good ENVS program that was somewhat close to home. Western was a school that stood out to her most, and the rest is history.

On campus, Hannah has her toes dipped into everything she is passionate about.

“I am a Senator on Western’s Student Government Association (SGA) and an Orientation Leader for the 2019-20 school year,” said Hannah, but it does not stop there. “I am also a member of Women at Western, Vice President of the Politics Club, a member of the Women’s Student Lounge, participated in Model United Nations (UN) and a Geiman Fellow starting 2019-20 school year.”

Hannah always knew she wanted to work to protect the environment and write policies.

“When I was taking the Intro to ENVS course, I was really passionate about it. I still am, and then I took American Foreign Policy with Dr. [Maria] Struble,” said Hannah. “It made me realize that what I want to do with the environment is to write protection policies for it and to do that on the global scale. My majors and minors are how I think I can do the most with the environment.”

Because of how involved Hannah is on campus, she has a lot to choose from as her favorite part of attending Western.

“The friendships I have made here are one of my favorite things about coming to Western,” said Hannah. “Being so involved in so many different things, you get to know all kinds of people. You get to make connections with people that just aren’t at Western, because of conferences like the Model UN. The opportunities that Western has given me through these different groups and clubs have been an amazing thing.”

When Hannah gets time away from school, she likes to spend time relaxing. Her favorite spot to be is the Women’s Student Lounge in the library.

Her advice to incoming freshmen: “Get involved. Freshman year, I did not do anything besides class and hanging out in my room. What would have made that year better for me was to be involved with clubs on campus. Doing the extracurriculars really makes the college experience that much more enjoyable.”

Profile by Western junior Taya Olson.

Faculty & Staff


Brian Bernhardt, Ph.D. headshot
Associate Professor of Politics & Government
Phone: 970.943.3025
Office Location: Kelley Hall 205
Maria Boikova Struble, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Politics & Government, Model UN Faculty Advisor
Phone: 970.943.3024
Office Location: Kelley Hall 204


FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a sample of courses offered by Western Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the university course search.

 ECON 201 - Macroeconomics (3 credits)

An introduction to the methods, models, and approaches used by economists to analyze and interpret events and policies related to the overall operation of the economy. The course endeavors to make sense of unemployment, inflation, recessions, debt and deficits, economic growth, the expanding role of the Federal Reserve, and policies to provide stability to the economy. Additional attention is given to the making of economic policy in an era of globalization. Finally, students are exposed to multiple schools of thought regarding macroeconomic reasoning. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above; SAT math score of 500 or above; pass MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 85 or higher, or university-level math requirement with a minimum grade of C-. Prerequisite or corequisite: ENG 102.

 ECON 202 - Microeconomics (3 credits)

The theory of microeconomics makes use of the tools of marginal cost-benefit analysis to provide a framework for the economic analysis of decision-making. The focus is on the choices of individual firms and consumers, and the resultant outcomes in individual markets. The social implications of the functioning of competitive markets are examined, as well as the causes of market failure and the potential roles of government in correcting them. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above; SAT math score of 500 or above; pass MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 85 or higher, or college-level math requirement with a minimum grade of "C-."

 ECON 303 - International Economics and Globalization (3 credits)

An exploration of economic, political, and social effects of globalization. This is examined from the perspectives of trade, development, finance, and the environment. The first half of the course focuses on the impacts of international trade. This includes preferential trading relations, protectionism, global trade agreements, competitiveness, and possible conflicts between trade and social objectives. The second half of the course focuses on international monetary relations and regimes. This includes understanding the balance of payments, exchange rate determination, currency crises, and international debt. Prerequisites: MATH 140, MATH 141, or MATH 151with a minimum grade of ÒC-Ó; ECON 201; ECON 202 recommended.

 GEOG 110 - World Regional Geography (3 credits)

A survey of the major regions of the contemporary world-defined according to a combination of biophysical, cartographic, cultural, religious, linguistic, political, and economic criteria. Emphasis is given to understanding regional characteristics and processes, and to relationships between events and processes occurring in different regions. Current events of major importance are incorporated where appropriate.

 GEOG 120 - Introduction of Human Geography (3 credits)

A thematic study of cultural landscapes and the processes by which people create and modify them. Topics of discussion range from ancient to modern, rural to urban, local to international, and include themes as diverse as the origins and spread of agriculture, migration and immigration, urban morphologies and social interactions, ethnicity, development and underdevelopment, and environmental concerns.

 GEOG 351 - Geography of Latin America and the Caribbean (3 credits)

A thematic study of the physiographic and cultural regions of Latin America and the major historical and contemporary geographic processes that characterize the region. Major topics of discussion include climate and physiography, environmental concerns and human rights, the nature of Latin American cities, pre-Hispanic and modern agriculture, and the nature of contemporary economic processes in the region. Prerequisite: GEOG 120 or sophomore standing.

 HIST 250 - History of the Middle East (3 credits)

Students are introduced to some of the major historical events and patterns of the region which are then related to the politics of the modern Middle East (mainly the 20th and 21st centuries). Specific topics include the rise and nature of Islam, the achievements of Medieval Islamic civilization, the significance of the Ottoman Empire, rivalries with the West, the establishment of Israel and the nature of the Modern Middle East crisis.

 HIST 254 - History of Africa (3 credits)

A survey of sub-Saharan African history from earliest times to the present, with particular emphasis on social, cultural, economic, and political responses to imperialist or other outside influences.

 HIST 260 - History of Latin America (3 credits)

A survey of the major events and themes of Latin American History from pre-Columbian times through the modern era with special emphasis on the interaction of New and Old World cultures and the impact of colonization and the construction of national identity after independence into the modern era. GT-HI1

 POLS 117 - Introduction to Political Ideas (3 credits)

An introduction to political analysis through a study of important political concepts and theories, as well as their historical development. Students study the ideas and practices of the public and philosophical development of concepts such as citizenship, democracy, equality, justice, liberty, or power.

 POLS 180 - Introduction to American Politics (3 credits)

Introduces institutions and processes of American politics, including themes such as constitutionalism, representation, participation, political development, political economy, civil liberties and rights, public policy, and the ideas and values of American democracy.

 POLS 250 - Politics of the Environment (3 credits)

A survey of key issues of national and international environmental politics, the course introduces students to the historical foundations and ongoing debates concerning the environment. A specific political lens informs our discussions while students analyze theoretical, cultural and political domains of various political systems and the ways in which they have gained importance on the international scene. Some of the main issues discussed in class involve a survey of international environmental treaties, government responses to environmental disasters and crises, environmental justice movements, environmental causes of war and displacement, democratic participation as a tool for environmental change, indigenous modalities of treating the environment, and the politics of environmental agreements and developments in the United States. Students learn to examine the connections between the environment and politics in a critical, engaged and broadly-informed way. Prerequisite: POLS 117 recommended.

 POLS 255 - Introduction Comparative Politics (3 credits)

An introduction to the challenges and problems encountered in the study of comparative politics. Students examine various issues of local and national governance through a comparative lens. By looking at similar political phenomena in several contexts, students explore the question of why some countries have successfully developed their political, economic and social systems while others are lagging behind. Some of the issues examined in the class deal with women's rights, poverty, underdevelopment, the environment, and democracy. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a grade of C- or above.

 POLS 260 - Introduction to World Politics (3 credits)

An introduction to some of the more important concepts and approaches to understanding world politics. Students examine the politics between different countries and seek to answer questions about the promise and peril of the global future. Quest- ions contemplated include: What are the sources of political conflict and how can they be minimized? Under what conditions will nation states cooperate with each other to accomplish common goals? Should tyranny and human rights violations justify humanitarian intervention? Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a grade of C- or above.

 POLS 309 - Political Theory I- Ancient to Early Modern (3 credits)

A survey of the historical development of western political theories from their origins in ancient Greece to the development of early modern political theories such as liberalism and republicanism. Students study thinkers such as Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, William Shakespeare, Niccolo Machiavelli, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Prerequisite: POLS 117 recommended.

 POLS 310 - Political Theory II- Late Modern and Contemporary (3 credits)

A survey of the historical development of modern and contemporary political theories since the French Revolution. Issues investigated might include the rise of liberal democracy and its critics, the impact of the industrial revolution on modern politics, and how technological change and environmental limitations have affected contemporary political thought. Students study thinkers such as Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Hannah Arendt, and Michel Foucault.POLS 117 recommended

 POLS 340 - Politics of Social Movements (3 credits)

A study of social movements, past and present, in both domestic and international contexts. Students examine theories on why social movements develop, spread, and decline, while considering the factors that lead to their successes and failures. Through an examination of transnational movements, students consider the roles of social networks and participatory democracy in a globalized world. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

 POLS 350 - Human Rights (3 credits)

An engagement with the history and current developments in international human rights practices, offering a justification and critique of universal human rights through the lens of various schools of thought, discussing pre and post-WWII developments with attention to specific cases, and examining the relationship between culture, globalization and human rights violations in the 21st century. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

 POLS 355 - Politics of Development (3 credits)

A historical and case-specific examination of development and underdevelopment debates waged about, against and by countries in the Global South, examining assumptions about poverty, sustainability, liberal democratic regimes and free-market economy. The class engages students in a critical examination of what our assumptions about development are and how we can work toward broadening and refining them with the end goal of greater equity, political agency, and empowerment for populations within and outside the Global South. Particular focus on political regimes, their role in promoting development, and the scope of their relationship to economic, cultural, and social processes informs class objectives. Specific topics include malnutrition, food security, rights of indigenous populations, international aid and donors, disease, democratization processes, human rights, and the environment. Prerequisites: POLS 255 and/or POLS 260 recommended.

 POLS 360 - American Foreign Policy (3 credits)

Not since the Roman Empire has any nation had as much economic, cultural and military power as the United States does today. Yet, as has become all too evident through the problems of terrorism, environmental degradation and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, that power is not enough to solve many global issues. This course examines the way in which U.S. foreign policy is made and the variety of ongoing and emerging foreign policy problems the U.S. faces in the context of their evolution. Prerequisites: POLS 255 and/or POLS 260 recommended.

 POLS 370 - Political Economy (3 credits)

A study of economic systems that focuses on the structure and uses of economic power and the relationship between economic and political power. Students think about questions such as: What is capitalism? What varieties of capitalism exist around the world? How has capitalism changed over time? Ultimately, students consider the relationship between capitalism, freedom, and democracy. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

 POLS 380 - The United Nations (3 credits)

A study of the United Nations, focusing on the relationship between the UN, the proliferation of human rights regimes and international human development. Students think about the importance of creating international norms, working toward a sustainable world peace, political efficacy, and human rights in the world. A Model UN simulation is part of the course requirements. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

 POLS 485 - Studies in Political Theory: (3 credits)

Senior seminar in political theory with varying topics. This course meets the Capstone requirement. Prerequisite: senior standing or instructor permission.

 POLS 487 - Studies in International Relations: (3 credits)

Senior seminar in International Relations with varying topics. This course meets the Capstone requirement. Prerequisite: senior standing or instructor permission.

 POLS 499 - Internship in Politics and Government (1 to 12 credits)

Credit earned in an internship may be applied to the Major or Minor with adviser approval.

  • Bachelor of Arts
    • Emphasis


    Global Studies students explore the world beyond our borders, help find solutions to global problems and become inspired to make a difference in the world. The program develops student engagement with and knowledge of foreign policy, human rights, social movements, political economy, world politics and international organizations.

    The Program

    The Global Studies emphasis is built on a core or Politics & Government courses in constitutional law, environmental politics and state and local government. Throughout the emphasis, students will delve into a host of advanced political science courses in addition to regional studies within the History and Geography programs and international development courses in the Economics program. The normative and theoretical focus throughout the program challenges students how to think and write critically and engage in civil discourse.

    Careers & Opportunities

    Global Studies graduates are prepared to enter careers with international nonprofits, various non-governmental organizations, the U.S. government and law school with interdisciplinary perspectives that combine political science, economics, history and geography. Career fields include:

    • Diplomacy
    • International human rights law
    • National security
    • Non-governmental work
    • Peace Corps
    • State and regional organizations
    • Teaching
    • U.S. government work

    Learn More

    Reach out to Brian Bernhardt, Ph.D. or Maria Boikova Struble, Ph.D. for more information.