Regional Selection

We tailor each student's academic program to cover his or her chosen geographical area of study from a variety of academic disciplinary viewpoints.

Choice of region is the first and most important step in structuring the student's program of study. Rather than majoring in a traditional academic discipline such as anthropology, history, or politics, GRS majors focus on the culture and society of a particular world region through a variety of academic lenses. 

Students select a region of the world in which they have a particular interest and will concentrate their studies.  Four choices are available: East Asia, Europe, Latin America, or a student-defined region such as Africa or the Middle East that is selected by the student with the approval of the Director of Global & Regional Studies.

While lower division courses are the same for all GRS majors, interdisciplinary upper division coursework includes courses that focus in depth on the student's region of study. For example, if the student's region is Latin America, the student will take courses on Latin American anthropology, Latin American history, and Latin American politics. The list of approved upper-division courses is available in the course catalog and from the Program Director.

Global and Regional Studies
Regional Studies Track (click Here to download PDF)
Check list

Select one Region:
Europe ____  Latin America ____  East Asia ____
Student Defined ________
Majors who select a student-defined region (e.g., Asia-Pacific, Middle-East, Africa) must first secure the
approval of the Global and Regional Studies Faculty Advisory Board.

Lower Division Requirements:
All the following five courses are required:

1. GRS 1 Intro to Global and Regional Studies (1)  ____
2. Anthro 1 Intro to Social and Cultural Anthro (2) ____
3. Economics 4 Principles of Macro Economics ____
4. History 1 or 2 World History (3) ____
5. Politics 1 Intro to Comparative Politics (4) ____

Upper Division Requirements:
1. GRS 100: Cultural Geography and Global Societies _____
2. GRS 130: Interdisplinary Issues in Global Studies______
3. GRS 196: Senior Thesis (5) _____
4. POL 121: International Political Economy _____
***GRS 100 must be completed at Saint Mary’s College***
In addition to this core course, you must take five upper division courses dealing with the region selected, one from each of the following interdisciplinary areas: History, Anthropology, Politics, Literature and Art, and Economics. Courses must be selected from the approved list below. Some courses not listed below may satisfy the requirement with the approval of the Director of International Area Studies. Also, it is strongly encouraged that you satisfy as many of these upper division requirements during your semester abroad.

1. History – Select one of the following history courses, depending upon your region:
HIST 110 Problems and Issues in European History _____
HIST 115 Enlightenment and Revolution _____
HIST 116 19th Century Europe _____
HIST 117 20th Century Europe _____
HIST 118 The Victorian Empire _____
HIST 119 German History _____
        Latin America
HIST 150 Problems & Issues in Latin Amer. History _____
HIST 151 Contemporary Latin American History (6) _____
HIST 152 Latin American Revolutions (7) _____
HIST 153 Latin America: Race and Society (8) _____
HIST 154 Latin America and the United States _____
HIST 155 Latin American Environmental History _____
        East Asia
HIST 160 Problems and Issues in Asian History _____
HIST 161 Modern Japan _____
HIST 162 Modern China _____
HIST 163 Ethnic Identity and Conflict in China (9)_____

2. Anthropology – Take one of the following courses, depending upon your region:
        East Asia
ANTH 121 World Cultures: China _____
ANTH 121 World Cultures: Europe _____
        Latin America
ANTH 121 World Cultures: Central America _____
ANTH 121 World Cultures: Latin America _____

3. Politics – Take one of the following Politics courses, depending upon your region*:
        East Asia
POL 144 Asian Politics _____
POL 146 Comparative Politics – Western Europe _____
        Latin America
POL 145 Government and Politics in Latin America _____

4. Literature and Art – Take one of the following courses, corresponding with your country of
        East Asia
Please check with the Director for appropriate courses.
ENG 103 British Literature I ____
ENG 104 British Literature II ____
ENG 144 Studies in 19th Century Literature ____
ENG 160-161 Development of English Fiction ____
FREN 121 French Lit: Middle Ages to Renaissance ____
FREN 122 French Literature: 17th and 18th Centuries ____
FREN 123 French Literature: 19th and 20th Centuries ____
FREN 130 Thematic Study of Single Author/Genre
FREN 150 or MODL 185:  French Culture & Civilization ____
SPAN 120 Span Lit: Middle Ages to 18th Century (10) ____
SPAN 121 Span Lit: 18th Century- Mid 20th Century (11) ____
SPAN 122 Literature of the Golden Age ____
SPAN 127 Contemporary Peninsular Literature ____
SPAN 160 or MODL 187:Culture & Civilization of Spain ____
MODL 186 Culture and Civilization of Italy ____

        Latin America
SPAN 140 Latin American Literature I (12) ____
SPAN 141 Latin American Literature II (13) ____
SPAN 143 Contemporary Latin American Literature ____
SPAN 145 20th Century Mexican Literature ____
MODL 188 Culture and Civilization of Latin America ____
MODL 189 Culture and Civilization of Mexico ____

Language Proficiency Requirement
Language: __________________________
Students must complete the equivalent of level four (4) semesters in a foreign language (appropriate to the region). Language study should correspond with the country where students wish to spend their study abroad. The interdisciplinary and language courses taken by students will prepare them for critically engaged learning experiences.

Minor Requirement
Discipline : _________________________
Regional Studies track students must complete the requirements of a minor area of study chosen from
anthropology, economics, history, modern languages or politics. The choice of minor provides a key focus for the student and aids in their preparation for the senior thesis, which generally is written in that field. In addition, students may pursue a graduate degree in their minor field. The choice of Minor will define two separate directions:
            a) One, with a Minor in Politics or Economics for
                those students who are interested in pursuing a 
                graduate degree in International Relations
            b) A Minor in Anthropology, History, or Modern
                Languages for those who want to either pursue a
                graduate degree in their Minor discipline or who  
                are interested in working in an international

Study Abroad
Semester: _______ Country: ___________________
Students are expected to spend at least one semester studying abroad. This is usually done during your junior year. Saint Mary’s has programs in Madrid, Spain; Rome, Italy; Capetown, South Africa; and Cuernavaca, Mexico. Others are in development.

Saint Mary’s students may participate in the study abroad of other institutions as well. While abroad, you must either continue your language study or take courses in the language of the host country. If the language of the host country is English, you must study another language from that region (i.e., another European language).

GPA Requirement
Students must be mindful of meeting the minimum GPA requirement of the study abroad program of
their choice, which range from 2.8 to 3.5.
* These courses are offered every other year. If they are not available when you are in residence at Saint Mary’s there are several options. First, you may be able to satisfy this requirement while studying abroad.

(1) Meets Common Good Core requirement
(2) Meets both Global Perspectives and Social, Historical, Cultural Core requirement
(3) Meets both Global Perspectives and Social, Historical, Cultural Core requirement
(4) Meets both Common Good and Social, Historical Core requirement
(5) Meets WID UD requirement
(6) Meets both Common Good and Social, Historical Core requirement
(7) Meets Social, Historical, Cultural Core requirement
(8) Meets Social, Historical, Cultural Core requirement
(9) Meets both Global Perspectives and Social, Historical Core requirement
(10) Meets both Global Perspectives and Social, Historical Core requirement
(11) Meets both Global Perspectives and Social, Historical Core requirement
(12) Meets Global Perspectives Core requirement
(13) Meets Global Perspectives Core requirement

Program Director
Maria Luisa Ruiz, Ph.D., Department of World Languages and Cultures (Spanish)
(925) 631-4568

Ronald Ahnen, Ph.D., Department of Politics
Zeynep Ataly, Ph.D. Department of Sociology
Jennifer Heung, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology
Helga Lénárt-Cheng, Ph.D., Department of World Languages and Cultures (French)
Manisha Anantharaman, Ph.D. Justice, Community and Leadership
Aeleah Soine, Ph.D., Department of History
Elena Songster, Ph.D., Department of History

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