Global Studies and Languages

Global Studies, B.A. Political and Economic Development ConcentrationDegreeB.A.
Global Studies, B.A. Language, Literature, and Culture ConcentrationDegreeB.A.
Global Studies, B.A. U.S. and World Affairs ConcentrationDegreeB.A.
Spanish, B.A. DegreeB.A.
Spanish for the Health Professions, B.A.DegreeB.A.
Global Studies, MinorMinor
Spanish, MinorMinor
Japanese, MinorMinor
Japanese, Advanced CertificateCertificate
Spanish, Advanced CertifcateCertificate
Japanese, Basic CertificateCertificate
Spanish, Basic CertificateCertificate


Cultural competence and the development of critical, analytical, and composition skills are crucial for career success in our world today. Global Studies and Languages was created by the joining of the Department of Languages and Literatures and the International Studies program in order to more effectively and adequately prepare students for global leadership and employment. The goal of the Department of Global Studies and Languages is to impart skills in cross-cultural understanding, language, international diplomacy, and business abilities. The program at Idaho State University opens a world of opportunities for local and international careers in public service, health professions, entrepreneurship, and politics as students expand their talents and intellectual horizons beyond their own local experience. By enhancing their analytical and problem-solving skills, deepening their mastery of the history, politics, traditions, literature, and civilizations associated with other regions of the world, and speaking, listening, reading, and writing in languages other than English, students gain an understanding of areas as diverse as global market relations, communications and consumption, population movements, and the globalization of cultures, politics, and economies.

I: Global Studies Program

The Global Studies Program offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Global Studies. The program is interdisciplinary. Students are afforded the opportunity to explore a wide range of world cultures, languages, societies, and politics while building on a core curriculum of language, economics, international politics, international organizations, and human rights. A minor is also offered.

The Global Studies Program encourages students to develop a general understanding of language, culture, economics, and politics while simultaneously offering the opportunity to specialize in one of three areas: Political and Economic Development; Language, Literature, and Culture; and The United States and World Affairs (please consult the ISU Event Calendar for further material including information about the Frank Church Symposium on International Affairs, special seminars, and study abroad).

Our Graduates

Our graduates work in the diplomatic corps, international relations, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and broadcasting/journalism or population studies. Other potential careers include cultural affairs officer, demographer, teaching and research, international business, foreign affairs analyst, intelligence researcher, or interpreter and United Nations guide. Some of our recent graduates have secured opportunities to teach English in other countries, work for the Peace Corps, Immigration/Homeland Security, educational administration, embassies, financial marketplaces, and also interpret for Foreign Consulates. In today's interdependent world an internationally sensitive background is valued highly by employers even when hiring for positions that do not involve explicit international work.

II: Languages Program

The Languages program offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Spanish, a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Spanish for the Health Professions, minors and certificates in Spanish and Japanese, and courses in French, German, Japanese, Spanish, and Russian. These courses prepare students for careers in the health professions, interpreting, translation, business, marketing, government, teaching, research, and public service. Language majors are expected to achieve satisfactory levels of proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing and to acquire knowledge of the literature, history, and culture of a language. In addition, majors in languages can pursue interdisciplinary studies in related fields or add to more professional fields a foundational linguistic component advantageous for employment opportunities.

The Certificate in Advanced Language, offered in Japanese and Spanish, provides students with a recognized credential for completion of a coherent program of study consisting of 21-24 credits. Both credentials give students more flexibility in how they demonstrate language proficiency to enhance marketability and career choice options. Two years (or equivalent) of a foreign language are prerequisites to all upper-division courses. However, the department reserves the right to place students at a level commensurate with their knowledge of a specific language.

The Certificate in Basic Language, offered in Japanese and Spanish provides students with a recognized, basic credential for completion of a coherent program of study consisting of 18 credits.  

Minors in Japanese and Spanish, and introductory courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, and Russian provide an important component of the students’ general education in the Humanities and complement a wide variety of majors in other disciplines, increasing the ability to compete for jobs where a knowledge of one or more foreign languages is desired. The Department of Global Studies and Languages also teaches courses in comparative literature, literature in translation, film, and cultural studies designed for a broad audience, in particular for those who lack the language competency to read major works in their original language.

Language Placement Testing

It is strongly recommended that all students with previous experience in French, German, or Spanish who have not yet taken a course in the language at Idaho State University take the free placement test to determine the appropriate course in which to enroll. Placement tests are free to ISU students and are offered in the Counseling and Testing Center on the Second Floor (South Wing) of Graveley Hall. Results are available immediately upon completion of the exam. Students who have questions about how to determine an appropriate course after taking a placement exam should contact the Department of Global Studies and Languages at (208) 282-3043. Students who have no experience in a language should enroll in the first course in the language (i.e., FREN 1101).

Language Placement Exam Results

Exam Score:--------------Student takes:

Exam Score:--------------Student takes:

Exam Score:--------------Student takes:
356-439--------------------2201 (or 2265)
440+------------------------3000 (or 2265)

Credit through C.L.E.P. and Other Approved Examinations

Students may receive up to 12 credits by examination (C.L.E.P., BYU Language Exams, or other exams approved by the Department) to be applied to their ISU transcripts with an "S" grade. Students who are proficient in a language other than English may satisfy one component of Objective 4 of the General Education Requirements by successfully earning four credits on one of these exams.

Language Requirement for International Students

International students cannot apply their native languages to partial fulfillment of Objective 4 of the General Education Requirements. Instead, their passing ENGL 1101 and ENGL 1102 with at least a C- average will serve the dual purpose of fulfilling Objective 1 and partially fulfilling Objective 4

General Education Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Languages:

  1. To complete a major, students must fulfill 8 of the 9 General Education Objectives (a minimum of 36 credits--see the General Education Requirements described in the Academic Information section of this catalog).
  2. Several classes offered through Languages satisfy or partially satisfy General Education Objectives 4, 7, and 9.
  • Objective 4: One semester of Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Russian, or Spanish at the elementary level may be taken to partially satisfy General Education Objective 4.
  • Objective 7: ANTH 1107, ENGL 1107, or GLBL 1107 satisfies General Education Objective 7.
  • Objective 9: The following 3-credit courses taught in English satisfy General Education Objective 9:
    GLBL 2202 The World Today:Introduction to Global IssuesGLBL 2207 Contemporary European Culture; GLBL 2208 Cultures of the Spanish Speaking World; GLBL 2209 Cultures of East Asia.
    • Objective 9 may also be satisfied by an intermediate class (2201 or 2202) in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Russian, or Spanish.

Departmental Grade Requirement

All courses required for the majors and minors must be completed with a minimum grade of C- (C minus).

Student Learning Outcomes

All graduates with Global Studies majors and minors will be able to:
  1. Develop an understanding of global issues;
  2. Understand and appreciate global perspectives;
  3. Be sensitive to cultural differences;
  4. Be able to apply alternative perspectives to global issues.
Specifically, graduates with Global Studies major and minors will learn how to:
  1. Research, write professionally and communicate orally;
  2. Evaluate evidence;
  3. Analyze and evaluate the feasibility of a variety of coping strategies;
  4. Make appropriate decisions;
  5. Develop and maintain appropriately professional interpersonal relationships.


Global Studies Courses

Arabic Courses

Chinese Courses

Comparative Literature Courses

French Courses

German Courses

Japanese Courses

Languages and Literatures Courses

Russian Courses

Spanish Courses