Resources for Global Studies Advisors

Global Studies, as an interdisciplinary program, provides some special challenges for advising.  In order to make things easier, here are answers to some of the most frequent questions and concerns that arise when advising potential or declared GS majors, as well as some procedural detail. Procedures discussed below apply to majors declaring under the present system.

Procedures:
Declaring
  • A student may declare a major once s/he has earned 39 credits, but no later than the second semester of the junior year.  There may be some significant advantage to the student once s/he declares as it provides early access to certain desirable courses during preregistration.
  • The student should select an advisor from those participating in the IR program (a list is available in the faculty directory on this site).  The student should bring his/her Banner "What If" Analysis and the declaration of major form to the advising meeting.  All forms are available in the "Forms" section of this site.
  • Once the forms have been completed they (and the "What-If" printout) should be submitted to the IR/GS office in Morton Hall.  These will be checked and forwarded to the Registrar's Office.  The student will be notified by e-mail.
Details of the Major
  • Requirements for a major in Global Studies are spelled out in a menu format in the Course Catalog and also on this website under each of the 5 concentration areas. These include core classes, choices and electives, language co-requisites, the major writing requirement and the computer proficiency. Please note that courses taken on a Pass/Fail basis at the College cannot be used to satisfy any proficiency, required course, or elective. Please also note the MWR has to be satisfied by taking a "required" course for the major, and in the case of a double major, the same coursecannot be used to satisfy the MWR for both majors.

  • Because students have such a range of possibilities for fulfilling their Major Writing and the Computer Proficiency requirements, they must indicate their plans by filing a Major Writing Requirement form (pdf)  and Computer Proficiency requirements form (pdf). Each form indicates the range of available possibilities. A student must submit each of these forms before the senior year, and in no case later than the final semester before graduation.

  • Exception: Students may, over the course of their studies, find classes not on the list(s) of options but which are appropriate for their chosen course of study.  An example might be a seminar offered by a visiting faculty which will only be offered once.  More importantly, certain required courses may not be offered with a reasonable frequency.  Under these circumstances, and especially for electives, the student can request an exception to the standard requirements and substitute the seminar in place of another listed class.  Please note that Pass-Fail is not an acceptable option for any class used to fulfill a major requirement. 

     The student should fill out the Request for Exception to Major Requirements form (pdf) as completely as possible.  The relevant faculty member should also include the necessary information and sign the form.  Once completed, the form should be handed in to the IR office in Morton Hall.  Approval will be based on the judgment of the IR Director in consultation with the relevant faculty members if necessary.  

  • Independent study may be used to fulfill elective requirements as well as MWR or Computer Proficiency for GS.  The necessary form (pdf) must be filled out by the student with the help of the supervising faculty member.  For transfer credits from abroad with no William and Mary course counterpart, students may choose an INRL designation or an appropriate departmental numbers.  Once completed, the form should be submitted to the IR Office for approval.

  • Internships provide productive and beneficial learning experiences for GS students.  A bona fide internship is expected to include an analytical or research component accompanied by a written final report. In order to ensure appropriate academic content as well as a productive experiental learning experience, the student must formulate the mandatory internship agreement with the help of a faculty supervisor.  As per Catalog requirements, students must file the application form, Internship for Academic Credit (pdf), before they begin the internship.  

  • Study Abroad: Although study abroad is not currently required for GS  majors  it is strongly recommended. The first stop for students interested in pursuing this option is the Reves Center's Study Abroad website. There they will find information about the range of study abroad options (summer, semester, academic year) available as well as all the relevant forms. The Study Abroad Handbook, available from the GEO, provides both basic information to students and the necessary forms.

    According to the Undergraduate Catalog, pre-approval of transfer credits by an appropriate department chair, program director, or designee is required for all study abroad programs except the William and Mary faculty-led programs. The first point of contact in the process is the GEO at Reves where students can find assistance for pre-approval of courses for transfer credit. Upon return, that office will also assist students in managing transfer credit and other post-approval issues.

  • Honors: We encourage student research.  Honors is the ultimate capstone experience in this regard. Eligible applicants must carry a 3.2 GPA and must also meet the College-wide standard of 3.0 overall in their junior year. Students are expected to identify a faculty member who is willing to serve as an advisor. The guidelines for the prospectus and the form can be downloaded from the Charles Center's website.