University of California at Santa Barbara Masters Program 2017, USA

Publish Date: Aug 15, 2017

Deadline: Dec 15, 2017

About the Masters Program

The University of California at Santa Barbara offers a Master of Arts in Global Studies. The two-year degree program, launched in the fall of 2006, currently admits approximately 12-15 students each year.  Fellowships are offered each year to incoming students on a competitive basis and are intended to support a student in his or her first year of studies. It is especially well suited for students who wish to engage in or study the dimensions of global civil society that affect our contemporary world in significant ways.

Why do a Masters in Global Studies?

This degree is intended to prepare students for international careers in non-governmental organizations (NGOs), businesses, and government, or for a Ph.D. in a related social science or humanities field.  This M.A. degree is designed to provide an understanding of the economic, political, social, and cultural forces that are shaping global organizations. Through internships and/or study abroad opportunities, policy and training seminars, and a variety of “hands-on” activities,  graduates are prepared to meet the intellectual and practical challenges facing those who serve the growing “third sector” of non-profit, non-governmental civil society organizations.

In recent years the number of officially registered international NGOs has increased dramatically. Governments are increasingly channeling assistance through these organizations, which in many countries are among the fastest growing employment sectors. Whether it is tsunami relief in Southeast Asia, earthquake relief in Haiti, or medical assistance in African communities ravaged by AIDS, NGOs now play a critical role in responding to global crises. During a time of political polarization, this vital sector of civil society is playing an ever-more important role in world affairs and global governance. At the same time, the degree to which this is a desirable and effective solution to challenges of governance in an increasingly globalized world is much debated.  A critical understanding of these issues is a central concern of the Masters program.

Program Specializations

The Masters curriculum is sectioned into three areas of specialization: 1) global culture, ideology, and religion; 2) global governance, human rights, and civil society; 3) political economy, sustainable development and the environment.  Students complete gateway coursework in all three areas before focusing on a specific area to research. The program completion typically involves an internship and/or study abroad component, graduate elective coursework in an area of specialization, mastery of a second language, and a thesis to earn the degree.

Fellowship Opportunities

The Masters program is made possible in a large part through the generosity of Paul Orfalea and the Orfalea Family Foundation. This gift, as well as individual and corporate donors enhance the M.A. program through graduate student fellowships and internships, and visiting professorships.

Up to six Orfalea Fellowships are offered each year to incoming students on a competitive basis. These fellowships are typically worth $15,000 each, and are intended to support a student in his or her first year of studies.

For prospective students: the online application for the upcoming academic year will be available in early September. Please use the Admissions link for detailed information and useful application links.

Graduate Placement

Graduates have found rewarding career placement in a variety of educational settings as well as nonprofit, private, and public sectors:

  • Academic and Educational Institutions include law schools (Harvard University, University of California Berkeley, University of California San Diego), Ph.D. programs (Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, Religious Studies at UCSB, the New School for Social Research, and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas Austin), and MA programs in public health (University of Minnesota).
  • Nongovernmental organizations include the Clinton Foundation (Associate Director of Commitments, Haiti Project), Direct Relief International, Free2Work, the Institute of Palestine Studies, the Eleos Foundation, the World Justice Project, Catholic Charities, the Goodman Family Foundation, Global Glimpse-Nicaragua, Educación Plus de Nicaragua, and the Somalia Education Program.
  • Private sector firms include Google, BMW of North America, The Gap (CSR department), Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Harrington (Socially Responsible) Investments, RBC SRI Wealth Management, Springer Science+Business Media (Pune, India), Trujillo Caston Solutions, Rothman Healthcare, Deckers Outdoor Corporation, Cage Free Productions, and MANU KAI Educational Services. 
  • Public Sector agencies include the State Department, Defense Department, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations), and the Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara.

Important Dates Calendar

  • Early September - December 15th — Online Application available (admission for the following academic year)
  • December 15th (by 11:59 PM PST) — Application deadline / all materials must be received (except scores)
  • December 30th — GRE / TOEFL / IELTS scores must be received
  • February — Admission decisions will be sent out
  • March 2nd — FASFA priority deadline (U.S. citizens only)
  • April 15th — Date to accept with fellowship offers intact
  • June 15th — Final date to submit Statement of Intent to Register (SIR)
  • September 23, 2018 — Fall quarter begins

Application Requirements

Applicants must demonstrate strong oral and written communication skills, a capacity for excellence in research and critical thinking, and an interest in problem-solving.  Ideal candidates will also have experience with foreign countries or cultures, completed volunteer work or internships, and demonstrated an interest in global affairs.

Grade Point Average: GPAs are given considerable weight in admissions decisions. Aminimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 is required. Exceptions may be made only in rare circumstances.  

Second Language: Students are required to have the equivalent of at least two years of proficiency in a second language with a "B" or better in the final course, or be proficient in a second language upon admission to earn the global M.A. degree. If a student lacks the required proficiency upon admission, this can be acquired through language classes on campus, although it is strongly recommended that this requirement be completed in advance.

Exam Scores: GRE scores are one important indicator, among others, of academic potential, and receive substantial weight in admissions deliberations. All applicants are required to submit GRE General Test scores and there are no minimum score requirements. Applicants who are required to submit TOEFL scores must receive a minimum of 600 on the paper-based test (PBT) or 94 on the internet-based test (IBT), or an Overall Band Score of 7 on the IELTS exam.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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