The University of Massachusetts Amherst

SBS Global Education Requirement

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

All six credits must be taken in the same foreign language and in sequential order. For example, French 110 followed by French 120. The Global Education requirement can not double count courses with a student’s primary major OR a General Education requirement.

If you have questions, please contact sbsadvisng@sbs.umass.edu, call 413-577-1057 or stop by 128 Thompson Hall.

Exemptions from the Global Ed Requirement

Landscape Architecture, Resource Economics, and Sustainable Community Development majors are waived from the Global Education Requirement.

Fulfilling the Requirement

Students must select one of four options for completion: the Foreign Language Option, the Regional Study Option, the Individualized Option, or the Certificate or Minor Option. All options require the completion of at least 15 credits; all require that at least 6 of these credits be in a foreign language at a level above current ability.

All credits must be graded; they cannot be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. Credits can be earned in education abroad programs with the approval of the SBS Pathways Center. 

Students with documented learning disabilities contact the SBS Pathways Center for possible exceptions.

Global Education Options

1. Foreign Language Option

15 credits of one foreign language starting at a level above current ability.

Foreign Languages offered at UMass.

Foreign Languages offered at the Five Colleges.

2. Regional Study Option

Six (6) credits of one foreign language starting at a level above current ability, plus 9 additional credits, in any combination of additional regional foreign language courses, or courses taught in English that focus on the contemporary culture of the region of the world where the foreign language being studied is used. These 9 credits may be chosen from courses in language departments, or in the departments of History, Comparative Literature, Art, Music, Economics, Anthropology, Political Science, Sociology, or a related department. The regions, and the associated languages and courses are listed here. The courses listed for this option focus on contemporary cultural understanding and are regularly offered. Five College courses are not included in this list, but may be used to fulfill this requirement with the approval of the Global Education advisor. Additionally, ALL courses offered by the foreign language departments that are conducted in the foreign language may be applied to the regional study option as long as they are within the same regional area. (Even though these language courses are not individually listed on the Approved Course List, no special approval is required.)

3. Individualized Regional Study Option

Students can create a regional or international study option different from the choices listed above. This must include 6 credits of one foreign language starting at a level above current ability, plus 9 additional credits, in any combination of additional foreign language courses, or courses that focus upon a region or country, or on international topics. The credits may be chosen from Education Abroad courses, courses in a language department or in the departments of History, Comparative Literature, Art, Music, Economics, Anthropology, Political Science, Sociology, or a related department. The 6 credits of foreign language may be earned by completing 6 credits of foreign language taught at the university, or by completing four 1.5 credit courses of one language not offered at the university, using the Five College Self Instruction Language Program. This option requires that the student create a plan of study and receive prior approval from the SBS Pathways Center.

4. Certificate Option

This option requires the successful completion of an eligible UMass Amherst or Five College Area Studies Certificate program. Please discuss requirements for this option with your Certificate Program Advisor. You can choose from the following programs:

African Studies Certificate: Contact Joye Bowman, 618 Herter Hall, 413-545-1330

Latin American Studies Certificate: Contact Israel Rivera, 310 Machmer Hall, 413-545-4868

International Relations Certificate: Contact MJ Peterson, 326 Thompson Hall, 413-545-6171

Middle Eastern Studies Certificate: Contact Anne Broadbridge, 623 Herter Hall, 413-545-6777

Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Certificate: Contact Julie Hemment, 206 Machmer Hall, 413-577-1104

After you finish the requirements for the certificate or minor, you must provide the Advising Center with a Certificate Option form that has been completed and signed by your Certificate Program Advisor.