Degree Requirements

2018 - 2019

Departmental Guidelines and Goals

The Global Commerce major explores the globalized nature of modern commerce—the exchange of goods, services, information, and currency, both for-profit and non-profit. The major provides an interdisciplinary examination of globalization and its relationship to markets, exchange, and organizational cultures.

Language study at least to the intermediate level is fundamental to the Global Commerce major.  When students declare the GC major, they must identify their language of study to ensure that they will be in a position to use their developing language skills as they progress through the major.  In addition to this language facility, throughout their GC major experience, students develop sophisticated analytical skills in assessing and engaging in a globalized society.

To that end, the major is built around 5 “Commerce Core” courses (in addition to ECON 101 - Introductory Macroeconomics and ECON 102 - Introductory Microeconomics, and MATH 120 - Elements of Statistics).  In the introductory GC 101 - Commerce and Society, students explore the relationships between commerce and society in different times and places, through a variety of humanities and social science lenses.  In GC 200 - Global Focus Proposal for Global Commerce, sophomore majors design a “Global Focus” that will allow them to develop a deep understanding of a particular geographic area by studying its culture, history, social and political context, and language(s).  The goal of this global focus is not to make the GC major a specialist in one region of the world but, rather, to develop their capacity to adapt to working in any global region by knowing what kinds of information is required to operate effectively in an unfamiliar society. 

GC 200 - Global Focus Proposal for Global Commerce is paired with GC 201 - Elements of Commerce, which exposes students to a core of applied skills related to the areas of commerce, business, global organizations, and entrepreneurship (i.e., skills related to multiple workplace environments) and fosters students’ understanding of how the liberal arts underpin and support these skills.  Junior majors take GC 301 - Global Financial Markets, in which they examine the global dynamics of markets, market regulation, and financial institutions.  GC 401 - Global Commerce Senior Seminar, the senior capstone seminar, requires students to articulate and apply their accumulated knowledge from their Global Commerce major experiences, inside and outside the classroom, in part by producing a final semester-long, team-based assignment in which they create a team plan, collect and analyze data, and craft a proposal for a global commerce-related initiative.  In addition to working with experienced and dedicated Denison faculty, these courses offer GC majors opportunities to interact with visiting speakers, including alumni and Columbus-area professionals, in conversations about the dynamics and challenges of globalized commerce.

In addition to these required courses, the GC program offers majors a robust co-curricular program that enriches student engagement with one another and with faculty teaching courses in both the Commerce Core, and courses related to the global areas of study.  (Learn more about Global Commerce Outside the Classroom.)

Learning goals for the Global Commerce major include the development of an advanced understanding of the complex ways in which the economy and trade are connected to culture, social movements, and other global factors; immersion in the study of a particular geographic area—or the connections between multiple regions for the transregional option—emphasizing the study of culture, history, social context, and language; building well-developed cultural fluency skills, including intermediate-level facility with at least one foreign language; the development of student creativity and autonomy in creating a meaningful and coherent global focus or transregional option; the integration of a significant off-campus experience with the curricular study of commerce and cultural context; the development of a sound understanding of the elements of commerce, including familiarity with basic aspects of financial accounting, spreadsheet proficiency, business language and etiquette, and business ethics; and the development of a supportive and engaged student cohort in the major.

Global Commerce Major

Required Components (16 courses - 60.5 credits total)

  • 8-course Commerce Core (28.5 credits)
  • 2 intermediate language courses (i.e., two courses beyond the 112 level) (8 credits)
  • 6-course Global Focus (24 credits)
  • 1 Off Campus Experience

Commerce Core

The Commerce Core is required of all majors.  The Core consists of eight courses:

ECON 101Introductory Macroeconomics
ECON 102Introductory Microeconomics
MATH 120Elements of Statistics
GC 101Commerce and Society
GC 200Global Focus Proposal for Global Commerce (prerequisite GC 101)
GC 201Elements of Commerce (prerequisite GC 101, co-requisite GC 200)
GC 301Global Financial Markets (prerequisites ECON 101, ECON 102, GC 101, & GC 201)
GC 401Global Commerce Senior Seminar (prerequisites GC 101, GC 201, GC 301)

Language Courses

Significant language study is essential to understanding the dynamics of a global society, to competing with international candidates for jobs, and to operating to full effect in global businesses and organizations. All Global Commerce majors are required to attain depth in a language other than English, typically by taking at least two language courses beyond the 112 level. Additional language study is strongly encouraged, and any additional language courses can apply toward the Global Focus. If students are already native speakers of a language other than English, they will still be expected to fulfill the language requirement of the Global Commerce major by studying at least two semesters of a language other than English.

Global Focus

The Global Commerce major seeks to integrate the study of commerce with a deep understanding of the cultures and societies of a geographical region beyond North America. Courses in the Global Focus are drawn from the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Majors choose one of the following geographic areas as a Global Focus:

  • Africa/Middle East
  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Latin America/Caribbean

The Global Focus consists of six courses (see lists of qualifying courses available from the Global Commerce office each semester), at least four of which must address the particular region of study. Two of the courses can be cognates that relate to global commerce and/or international issues generally but do not necessarily focus on the student’s selected region. Up to three of the Global Focus courses may be taken off-campus. Any exceptions must be approved by the Global Commerce Director in consultation with the Global Commerce committee. Students will develop a cohesive curricular plan for their Global Focus in GC 200 - Global Focus Proposal for Global Commerce.

Transregional Option

The Global Focus component of the major also can be fulfilled through a “transregional option.” In this option, students focus on the flow and exchange of a variety of elements—such as information, goods, services, or labor—between two or more geographic regions. The sophomore seminar proposal must make a clear case for the pursuit of the transregional option and for the coherence of their six proposed courses. Students electing to pursue the transregional option must still meet the Global Commerce language requirement.

Off-Campus Study

An off-campus experience is required of Global Commerce majors. Ideally, the off-campus experience occurs in the geographical region of the Global Focus or is tied to the Global Focus in terms of topics of study. In the GC 200 - Global Focus Proposal for Global Commerce proposal assignment, students are required to indicate and explain the rationale supporting their choice of an off-campus experience. The types of experiences that would fulfill the Global Commerce off-campus requirement include:

  • Semester (or summer) of participation in a Denison-approved Off-Campus Study program.
  • A Denison Seminar or other academic course with a travel component.
  • An off-campus internship.  This may be an international internship or a domestic internship where the student learns about the global connections of a U.S. business or organization.

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