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. 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. Do students who are applying to transfer into Communication or Journalism have to choose a Global Education Option?
A. No, but when they are officially accepted into Communication or Journalism, they must declare their option. However, it is wise to understand the Global Education Requirement, consider an option and begin completing appropriate courses that can be used to satisfy the requirement before being accepted into the programs. Students should read the SBS Advising Handbook and talk to an advisor in the Pre-major Advising Office for more information.

Q. What is the best way to get started on the Global Education Requirement?
A. First, decide what option you will choose when you declare your major in SBS. Think about what foreign language you have studied in high school, what language you would like to study, or what area of the world interests you. Look at the different options and decide which one is best suited for you. After that you can start taking some coursework to complete your option.

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 Advising 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. 6 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 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. There are only two options that allows "double-dipping:" the Certificate Option and also the Diversity "G" requirement for the General Education requirements. Students who complete an approved Certificate Program may use that program to meet their Global Education Requirement, and courses used for the Certificate may also be used for General Education or Major requirements. For all other options, courses taken to satisfy the Global Education Requirement must be in addition to courses that meet General Education or Major requirements. Courses taken to satisfy the Global Education Requirement may also be used toward a student's minor (if the department approves the list of courses). The Diversity "G" 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.

Q. What happens if a student does not complete a Global Education Option Declaration Form?
A. The College and the University cannot track a student's progress in completing the requirement, or clear the student for graduation.

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. However, you can "double-dip" the Diversity G requirement along with a Global Education class, but that is the only available option to do so.

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 Global Education coordinator to make sure that they would satisfy the requirement. 

Other questions regarding the Global Education Requirement should be directed to the SBS Pathways Center.