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UCSB Offers First Global Studies Ph.D.



The Global and International Studies Program will offer its first class in a newly approved Ph.D. program starting in Fall Quarter of 2015.

The program will be the first global studies Ph.D. program to be established in the UC system and the only one at a Tier-1 research institution in the United States. The field of global studies draws from several different academic disciplines including global political economy, culture and government.

The process of instituting the program began with extensive planning and outreach to other campuses as well as programs in other countries including China, Germany and several countries in Latin America. According to the Director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies Mark Juergensmeyer, since UCSB established annual meetings with international graduate programs seven years ago, there has been sustained growth and an increase in support for graduate programs worldwide.

According to Juergensmeyer, the collaboration with the Ph.D. programs in Moscow, Japan and Germany — as well as other global studies graduate programs abroad — has aided the department of global studies in forming the structure of the new Ph.D. program. The global studies department, with around 900 members, was established in 1999 and includes both undergraduate and graduate students.

Department Chair of Global International Studies, Eve Darian-Smith, said Dean Melvin L. Oliver has also been integral to the success of establishing the program. According to Darian-Smith, the global studies program combines humanistic and social science approaches.

“We are truly interdisciplinary,” Darian-Smith said.

According to Darian-Smith, UCSB’s global studies department has been the most prestigious in the nation and is recognized internationally.
“This department of global studies has always been the leader in the U.S. and internationally with its M.A. and undergraduate curriculum,” Darian-Smith said. “And so now with the Ph.D. we are right at the forefront — cutting edge.”

Associate Professor of Global Studies Paul Amar said the university’s global studies program has innovatively provided a wide range of opportunities for students seeking to expand and enrich their global and international studies repertoire.

“Our program at UC Santa Barbara is really one of the first in the world to develop a full spectrum of offerings for the undergrads and now for Ph.D. students,” Amar said.

Amar said the global studies Ph.D. program has become an integral part of the university and provides a structural example for the rest of the academic world.

“It’s really a global model, and it’s exciting that we now have all degrees that we can produce,” Amar said. “It’s really become a landmark and part of UCSB’s identity.”

According to Amar, attempting a doctorate program is an undertaking that requires determination and fortitude from participants.

“Once you commit to a Ph.D. program, you are saying this is a serious academic and intellectual endeavor,” Amar said.

Amar also said the Ph.D. program has appealed to students both nationally and internationally.

“We’ve gotten a lot of interest expressed by students from all over the country and from all over the world,” Amar said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition on page 5 of the Daily Nexus on Thursday, June 5, 2014

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