Skip to main content

Degree Requirements


Global Commerce


Karen Spierling, Director

Gary Baker (Modern Languages), Theodore Burczak (Economics), Katy Crossley-Frolick (Political Science), Veerendra Lele (Anthropology/Sociology), Mariana Saavedra Espinosa (Global Commerce), Karen Spierling (History). Program Administrator: Jane Palmer

Departmental Guidelines and Goals

The Global Commerce major explores the nature of commerce in a globalized society. The major provides an interdisciplinary examination of globalization and its relationship to markets and exchange. Majors will be obliged to take charge of their liberal arts experience as they design a "Global Focus" (in GC 200) that is intended to foster a deep understanding of a particular geographic area by studying its culture, history, social context, and language(s). The immersion in a self-crafted "Global Focus" is paired with intermediate language study and the development of a core of applied skills (GC 201) related to the areas of commerce, business, and entrepreneurship - i.e., skills related to multiple workplace environments. These elements are brought together in a sequence of courses (GC 101, 301, and 401) that aims to provide progressive enhancement of student understanding of the ways in which the economy and trade are connected to culture, social movements, and other global factors. Through sustained initiatives to develop cohort identity, the GC major also seeks to enrich student engagement with one another and with faculty teaching courses in both the Commerce Core, and courses related to the global areas of study. Throughout their major experience, students will develop sophisticated analytical skills in assessing and engaging in a globalized society.

Learning goals for Global Commerce major include the development of an advanced understanding of the complex interrelationship between commerce and cultural context; immersion in the study of a particular geographic area, emphasizing the study of culture, history, social context, and language, or, for those students pursuing the "transnational option," the development of an advanced understanding of the flows and exchanges of information and commodities; the development of student creativity and autonomy in creating a meaningful and coherent global focus or transnational option; the development of intermediate-level language acquisition in conjunction with an area study; 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 basic aspects of financial accounting, spreadsheet proficiency, business language and etiquette, and business ethics; the development of progressive student understanding of the ways in which the economy and trade are connected to culture, social movements, and other global factors; and the development of a student cohort of supportive engagement via progressive seminars 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 101: Introductory Macroeconomics

  • ECON 102: Introductory Microeconomics

  • MATH 102: Elements of Statistics

  • GC 101: Commerce & Society

  • GC 200: Global Focus Proposal (prerequisite GC 101)

  • GC 201: Elements of Commerce (prerequisite GC 101, co-requisite GC 200)

  • GC 301: Global Financial Markets (prerequisites ECON 101 & 102)

  • GC 401: Global Commerce Senior Seminar (prerequisites GC 101, 201, 301)

Language Courses: Significant language study is essential to understanding the ramifications of a global society. 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 be expected to fulfill the language requirement of the Global Commerce major by studying at least two semesters of a language other than English or by making alternate arrangements with the approval of the Global Commerce Director.

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 are required to 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 Program Director), at least four of which must address the particular field. Two of the courses can be cognates. No more than three of the Global Focus courses can be taken off-campus. Any exceptions must be approved by the Global Commerce Program Director in consultation with the Global Commerce committee. Students will develop a cohesive curricular plan for their Global Focus in GC 200.

Transnational Option: The Global Focus component of the major also can be fulfilled through a "transnational option." In this option, students focus on the flow and exchange of information. The sophomore seminar proposal would need to make a clear case for the pursuit of the transnational option and identify specific courses toward this end. Students electing the transnational option would still be obliged to meet the language requirement.

Off-Campus Study: An off-campus experience is required of Global Commerce majors. When possible, the off-campus experience will occur in the geographical region of the Global Focus or will be tied to the Global Focus in terms of topics of study. In the GC 200 proposal assignment, students will be required to indicate the form and rationale supporting their choice of an off-campus experience. The types of experiences that would fulfill the Global Commerce off-campus requirement include:

  • Semester of participation in a Denison approved Off-Campus Study program.

  • A Denison Seminar or other academic course with a travel component.

  • Independently designed off-campus experiences, such as internship and "volun-tourism" opportunities, per approval of the Global Commerce committee.

Contact Us

Global Commerce
100 West College Street
Granville, OH 43023

Karen Spierling

Associate Professor
Director of Global Commerce

Jane Palmer

Assistant Director for Global Commerce Programs

What's Happening

Advice & Tips

A WISR Whits Wednesday

The Global Commerce Program will be hosting the Knowlton Center's Director of Networks & Communities, Liz Morrison, for April's Whits Wednesday event.

More From Denison
Denison Seminars
Denison Seminars
Denison Seminars
Study Abroad
Study Abroad
Living at Denison
Living at Denison
Living at Denison
Career Exploration
Career Exploration