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About Global Commerce

A commerce core exposes students to economics, statistics, financial accounting, business language and ethics, and global financial markets. A global focus allows students to concentrate in a geographical area to understand how culture, history and language shape commercial activity. An off-campus study experience gives students the opportunity to experience how global markets work in different cultural and political contexts. All of this comes together through a capstone seminar, where students explore a component of global commerce through either a research project or internship in the Columbus region.

The global commerce major will give students an opportunity to explore how markets and commerce operate from a liberal arts perspective. In addition to gaining exposure to core concepts of business and commerce, students also learn how to think, read cultures, understand historical patterns, problem solve and communicate clearly. The major has five main components:

  • The commerce core consists of six courses that span the study of macro- and micro-economics, statistics, and global financial markets. This core will provide a sound understanding of the elements of commerce and business, including basic aspects of financial accounting, spreadsheet proficiency, business language and ethics.
  • Global commerce majors select a global focus and concentrate in one of five geographical areas: Africa/Middle East, Asia, Europe, or Latin America/Caribbean or, a “transnational” option. Majors will attain a deep understanding of how economic activity is shaped by the cultures and societies of each region through courses in humanities, arts and social sciences.
  • Language proficiency allows students to deepen their understanding of the region while also operating effectively within it.
  • An off-campus study experience provides the global commerce major with hands- on experience in their region, providing opportunities for further language development, deep immersion in the region, and networking.
  • A capstone senior seminar gives students an opportunity to explore a component of global commerce through either an extensive research project or internship in the Columbus region.

Throughout these courses, students will develop sophisticated analytical skills as they explore the ways in which the economy and trade are connected to culture, social movements, and other global factors.

Students also will be exposed throughout their courses to a wide range of both faculty and Denison alumni who approach commerce from a variety of interests, perspectives and professions.

This exciting new major has its roots in the depth and breadth of the liberal arts,” says Associate Provost Catherine Dollard. “By engaging topics across academic disciplines, our students learn how commerce is shaped by the interconnectedness of the world. This goes so far beyond what most business, entrepreneurship or international development undergraduate programs have to offer students.”

Denison is uniquely poised to create this program because of its strengths across the disciplines, long history of global programs, and close proximity to Columbus, with its burgeoning global businesses. For example, global commerce students have access to faculty across a dozen academic disciplines, Denison’s sister colleges in 14 countries, and our extensive networks in the city of Columbus.

Our students are very interested in being out in the world, working both in for-profit and nonprofit organizations, and making a real difference,” said Karen Spierling, associate professor of history and director for the major. “The global commerce major will equip them with applied skills and the knowledge base to make informed, creative decisions and present positive, workable solutions to thorny problems. Global commerce students will leave Denison ready to be the kinds of leaders needed across the professions.”