The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Global Education FAQs

The Global Education Requirement pertains only to SBS Bachelor of Arts majors who entered UMass prior to the Fall 2018 semester.

Q. Can I take a Global Education course at another school? 
A. Yes. You will need to get the course approved by SBS Pathways Center AND the university via a Prior Approval of Transfer Work or Senior Year in Absentia form.

Criteria for Global Education course: In order for a class to qualify as a Global Ed course it must be, contemporary (1500-present), and international or global in focus AND/OR specific to your chosen region. For example – Latin American music, French cooking, Chinese film, Middle Eastern religions, Japanese literature, Spanish poets . Key Words – Global, World, International – some examples – World Politics, International Business, Global Technology and impacts on people. 

Q. When should I officially declare my Global Education Option (i.e complete the GER option declaration form)?
A. You must declare your GER option at the same time you officially declare a major in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Q. Can a student change their Global Education option as their academic interests change?
A. Yes, they can change it at any time by completing a new Option Declaration Form in the SBS Pathways Center, 128 Thompson Hall.

Q. If a student is a double-major, do all College requirements in each College have to be completed?
A. All students must complete the College requirements for their primary major. If the secondary major is in SBS, the Global Education Requirement will not need to be fulfilled; HOWEVER, if a student is in the dual-degree program, meaning that s/he is working toward two different degrees resulting in at least a total of 150 credits, the College requirements for each College must be completed. Additionally, students with a primary or secondary major in Humanities and Fine Arts must complete all of the HFA College requirements.

Q. If the student has taken 2 semesters of foreign language elsewhere, can those semesters be counted toward the Global Education Requirement?
A. Yes, if those courses were taken for college-level credit and are accepted by the University (it is the student's responsibility to have grades transferred from other schools to the University). Students who have taken 4 or more years of language in high school or are native speakers of certain languages may take a language exemption test at UMass to see if they can be awarded credit for the 230 and 240 level language courses.

Q. Can a student take more than 6 credits of foreign language under the Regional Studies Option?
A. Yes, under the Regional Studies Option a student can take either 6, 9, 12 or 15 credits of foreign language. Six credits must be in one language, but the remaining 9 credits can be taken in any combination of additional courses in the same language, courses in a different foreign language within the regional area, or cultural courses from the regional course list.

Q. Can upper-level (300 or above) literature or cultural courses that are taught in a foreign language count towards fulfilling a Regional Studies Option, even though they are not on the Approved Course List?
A. Yes, any course taught in a foreign language that is part of your chosen regional area can be used, even though they are not explicitly listed on the Approved Course List.


Spanish 320 - Literature of Spain I can be used for either the Latin American Region OR the Southern European Region.

Hebrew 361 - Modern Hebrew Literature I can be used for the Middle Eastern Region.

French 388- Francophone Civilization Outside of France can be used for the Southern European Region OR the African Region

Q. Can a student "double-dip" by fulfilling Global Education requirements along with major or General Education requirements?
A. No. The diversity (DG) option is allowed to be used for both Global Education and General Education requirements.   

Q. Can Global Education courses be taken pass/fail?
A. No. All courses used to satisfy the Global Education Requirement must be taken for a letter grade. The only exception to this rule would be for remote COVID semesters: Spring 2020, Fall 2020 & Spring 2021.

Q. Is the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Global Education requirement the same or related to the University's General Education Global Diversity requirement?
A.  No, the College requirement and University General Education requirement are completely different. 

Q. Can the Global Education requirement, whether partially or fully, be completed while studying abroad? 
A. Yes, SBS is one of the most accessible Colleges on campus for students wanting to study abroad. Students can also complete part of or the entire option for Global Education while abroad. However, classes taken abroad must first be approved by the SBS Pathways Center to make sure that they would satisfy the requirement. 

Any questions regarding the Global Education Requirement please contact the SBS Pathways Center, (413) 577-1057 or stop by 128 Thompson Hall.