May 26, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Global Studies and World Languages

120 Minné Hall
507.457.5500, Fax: 507.457.2621
Global Studies and World Languages website
Yogesh Grover, Chairperson


Michael Bowler, Associate Professor; BA, University of Notre Dame; MA, MSc, PhD, Syracuse University; 2004 -
Linda D’Amico, Professor; BS, MA, PhD, Indiana University-Bloomington; 2000 -
Vanessa Fernandez-Greene, Associate Professor; BA, Kalamazoo College; MA, Middlebury College; PhD, Boston University; 2011 -
Juan Fernandez-Iglesias, Associate Professor; BA, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela; MA, PhD, University of Kansas; 2004 -
Armando Gonzalez, Professor; BA, MA, PhD, University of Iowa; 2004 -
Yogesh Grover, Professor; BA, MA, University of Delhi (India); PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia; 1988 -
Mary Hudgens Henderson, Assistant Professor; BA, Florida Atlantic University; MA, Colorado State University; Ph.D, University of New Mexico; 2016 -
Ronald M. Mazur, Professor; BA, University of Detroit; MA, PhD, University of Michigan; 1978 -
Miho Nagai, Assistant Professor; BA, Kobe Shoin (Women’s) University; MA, University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University; PhD, CUNY Graduate Center; 2015 -
Covadonga Sánchez-Alvarado, Assistant Professor; BA, University of Oviedo; MA, PhD, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 2018 -
Amy Hornby Uribe, Associate Professor; BS University of Wisconsin-La Crosse; MA, PhD, University of Texas; 2012 -
Weidong Zhang, Associate Professor; BA, MA, Nanjing University (China); MA, PhD, University of Iowa; 2007 -

Global Studies Program Description

Global Studies is a multidisciplinary program that enables students to understand the profound socio-cultural, political, and economic changes taking place at the global level. This program seeks to develop students’ global competence so that they can provide leadership at the global, national, and local levels in areas such as diplomacy and conflict resolution, business and economic policy making, environmental sustainability, and the growing non-profit, non-governmental/volunteer sector.

Global Studies differs from international relations in that its focus is not exclusively on relations between countries and issues of war, peace, and foreign policy making. The focus of this program is on globalization, what is causing this phenomenon, how it impacts us, and what can be done to steer it in a desirable direction. Hence, the focus of this program is also on exploring the notion of global citizenship. Courses from the humanities, social sciences, and the natural sciences are integrated to foster a more comprehensive knowledge about the forces shaping our world.

Global Studies Program Requirements

Students intending to major in Global Studies must complete all the university graduation requirements . Courses fulfilling the major requirements must be taken for credit only, except the language courses (see policy below). At least 21 of the 49 required major credits must be met with 300-400 level courses.

Pass/No Credit (P/NC) Courses

All courses for the major and the minor must be taken for credit except the language courses for which a passing grade will be acceptable if a student is testing out of a certain language.

General Education Intensive Requirements

Students may use intensive courses to satisfy both General Education Program (GEP)  and major requirements. Intensive courses will usually be in the student’s major or minor program. The following are offered as GEP intensive courses in the Global Studies Department:


Oral (◎)
Writing (△)
Math/ Critical Analysis (◆)

Intensive courses that can be used to satisfy major/minor requirements are identified in the lists of required courses and electives.

World Languages

World Languages Program Description

Aside from the obvious enhancement of one’s marketability in the workforce as a speaker of more than one language, knowledge of foreign languages leads to a more widely open and empathetic mind. Once we get past the initial embarrassment of speaking another language–the fear of making mistakes intimidates almost everyone–most of us find a most peculiar phenomenon occurs: we begin to develop a kind of “alter-ego” for ourselves, someone who is still us, but a slightly different version of us. We develop (and are conscious of) the ability to think from both versions of ourselves, and most important, to see problems and questions from a variety of points of view. It would be difficult to deny that much of the conflict in our world occurs because people simply cannot see beyond their own cultural perspective; the study and use of foreign languages is the fastest, most effective path to cultural and global understanding.

World Languages Program Requirements


World language classes are designed to develop proficiency in the three modes of communication: interpersonal speaking and writing; interpretive reading, listening and viewing; and presentational writing and speaking. Through authentic cultural contexts, learners will develop insight into the nature of language and culture in order to interact with cultural competence. The following offerings are available (see Global Studies - World Languages   for course descriptions):

  • 100-300 level language and content courses in French
  • 101-202 level language courses in German
  • Complete minor in Chinese Studies
  • Complete minor in Japanese Studies
  • Complete BA major/minor in Spanish
  • Complete BT (teaching) major in Spanish

The Global Studies and World Languages Department (GSWL) is authorized to recommend graduates for licensure in Spanish majors. (Minnesota does not grant teaching licenses for world language minors.) All coursework for the degrees is available on campus. Language courses 101, 102, 201, 202 are offered each semester. Most other courses are offered either once a year or once every two years, depending on student demand and/or faculty availability.

Arranged classes are discouraged and will be offered only under the most exceptional circumstances and require approval of the entire GSWL Department faculty.


All students with prior study of a world language are strongly encouraged to take a placement examination to determine the correct level of coursework at WSU. The free online placement exam is available on Global Studies & World Languages website.

Credits For Previous Language Study

The department recommends that students who meet the prerequisites for Chinese, French, German, Japanese or Spanish 101, 102, or 201 enroll in the next higher elementary or intermediate course. By earning an A or B grade in WSU’s language courses 102, 201, 202, or 301, students may obtain retroactive credit for course 101 and any sequel courses below the course in which they earned the A or B. Qualifying students may initiate the process for retroactive credit by meeting with the faculty member offering the course in order to receive a P (passing) grade in the appropriate course(s). The world language faculty reserves the right to depart from these guidelines when warranted by exceptional circumstances.

To be eligible, the student must have completed the original WSU course and have received an official grade. The student must be fully matriculated with a minimum 2.0 GPA at WSU and be enrolled at the university during the semester in which the credits are requested. The cost to buy back the credits is $50 per credit.

Study Away

GSWL language students are strongly encouraged to study abroad in order to acquire language proficiency. WSU students who wish to immerse themselves in a foreign culture and language have several options available to them. Students may study abroad for an academic year, full semester, or summer term. Additionally, students may participate in a WSU faculty-led study program. For specific offerings, please contact the Study Abroad Office. Students who wish to receive University credit for participation in a study abroad program must have prior approval from the Global Studies and World Languages Department.

Pass/No Credit (P/NC) Courses

Elementary and intermediate language courses (101,102, 201 and 202) may be taken for pass/no credit by non-GSWL majors/minors. Except for internships and practica, students must take all courses in their major, minor, options, concentrations, and licensures on a grade-only basis. If a student gets retroactive credit for CHIN/JAPN/SPAN 201 and/or CHIN/JAPN/SPAN 202 (with a Pass grade), the course(s) will count towards the corresponding major/minor.

Note: The GSWL language faculty reserve the right to depart from these guidelines when warranted by exceptional circumstances.

GPA Requirements

  • A cumulative GPA of 2.00 to graduate with a major or minor in Spanish.
  • A cumulative 2.75 GPA to be admitted to teacher education and for courses taken for the BS teaching major. 

General Education Intensive Requirements

Students may use intensive courses to satisfy both General Education and major requirements. Intensive courses will usually be in the student’s major or minor program. The Department of Global Studies and World Languages offers the following intensive courses:

Spanish Intensives

Oral (◎)
Math/Critical Analysis (◆)
Writing (△)

Intensive courses that can be used to satisfy Spanish major/minor requirements are identified in the lists of required courses and electives in this section.


    Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of Science - TeachingMinorNon-Degree