Certificate in Global Competency

The certificate in global competency is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program housed in Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The objective of the certificate program is to give students a multidisciplinary education that will augment their major fields of study with the introductory background knowledge:

  • To be a contributing member of globally diversified teams, and
  • To understand the global diversity and the cultural, social, historical and international context of their professional activities.

Employers of WSU graduates, particularly those of engineering, business and other professional disciplines, and WSU's corporate partners have often stated the need for employees who can work in global teams, where teams are made up of members from different cultures, speaking different languages, following different religions and living in different countries. These teams develop, design, produce, deploy and maintain products and services for all consumers and customers.

Completion of this undergraduate certificate program allows WSU students to acquire a basic understanding of global perspectives and cultures for augmenting their disciplinary education.

Expected Learning Outcomes of the Global Competency Certificate Program

  • Demonstrate understanding of the complexity of another culture in relation to its history, values, politics, communication styles, economy, gender, or beliefs and practices.
  • Analyze connections between the world views, power structures and experiences of multiple cultures to address a global problem.
  • Examine the historical and contemporary roles, interconnections and differential effects of human organizations and actions on global systems within the human and natural worlds.
  • Plan and evaluate more complex solutions to global challenges that are appropriate to their contexts using multiple disciplinary perspectives (such as cultural, historical and scientific).
  • Initiate and develop interactions with people from different cultures. Recognize personal bias when interacting with culturally different others.


Students seeking the interdisciplinary global competency certificate must be admitted to WSU

  • In a degree program, or
  • In a nondegree status.

International students will not be issued an I-20 for certificate programs alone. They may obtain a certificate only while concurrently pursuing a WSU degree.

Area professionals may be admitted as nondegree bound as long as they meet all WSU admission requirements.

Current WSU graduate students may also complete this certificate program but will not receive graduate credit for the courses taken as part of the certificate requirements.

Transfer hours are usually not acceptable for certificate programs. Students interested in the certificate program are encouraged to meet with their respective college/department advisors and/or visit the WSU certificates webpage1.


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Program Requirements

The certificate consists of completing courses totaling 15 credit hours meeting the following disciplinary distributions and from the given list of approved courses:

Course Title Hours
Select one course, 3 credit hours, from the following3
The Human Adventure: World Civilization Since 1500
Topics in World History
Select any preapproved history course of any world region, such as HIST 320
Political Science
Select one course, 3 credit hours, from the following3
Introduction to International Relations
Comparative Politics
Global Challenges
Select one course, 3 credit hours, from the following3
Nature of Language
Linguistics and World Languages
International and Intercultural Communication
Select one course, 3 credit hours, from the following3
Intercultural Relations
World Cultures
Issues and Perspectives on African Women and Globalism
Global Issues
Select one course, 3 credit hours, from the following3
Introduction to World Geography
World Geography
Geography of Latin America
Geography of Europe
Total Credit Hours15

To be counted toward the certificate, courses must meet the above distribution requirements. One or more of these courses may be used to satisfy the general education requirements of the student's major as well (that is, double counting is allowed when possible).

Any substitution of the listed course must be approved by the certificate coordinator and must meet the subject domain distribution requirement as well as promote the student's understanding of world/regional culture, history, geography, language/communication and international issues.

Students are encouraged to contact the certificate coordinator to discuss interest and potential course selection prior to completing the certificate requirements. Any grade below 2.000 in any of the certificate courses will not be acceptable and the student will have to either retake that course or take an approved substitute course.