The Institute for Global Studies (IGS) was founded in 1998 as one of the first global studies programs in the country. It was created to provide students and scholars with a place to explore pressing global issues—issues that cross borders, disciplines, and cultures. Programs in IGS are grounded in a commitment to social justice and to linking exploration to action. This commitment can be seen in our faculty research, our curriculum, and our engagement with the community.
Since the creation of IGS, our faculty have tackled critical global issues. Human rights, challenges of rapid large scale urbanization, global access to health care, and the new ‘green revolution’ are but a few of the ever evolving research topics that our faculty address collaboratively.
Innovation has also been a hallmark of the curriculum offered to students. The global studies major was created in 2000 and replaced an older international relations major as well as a series of area studies majors. IGS faculty designed the new major to couple broad understanding of transnational processes with in-depth knowledge of a particular region. Unlike global studies programs at many other universities, at the University of Minnesota we incorporate the social sciences and humanities. Students complete unique core course work that provides a foundation for broader course work. IGS believes that this core creates a more rigorous and coherent curriculum than is found elsewhere.
Research and teaching in global studies is not confined to campus. Since its inception IGS has been dedicated to active engagement with communities, K-12 educators, NGOs, and other non-profit organizations.