Sample Syllabi

The following syllabi excerpts exhibit the key course requirements for the Global Scholar Course designation. Additionally, each of the courses, through their content, activities and assessments, fully integrates global course criteria.

Geography of Europe

Course Description
Contemporary Europe is a diverse region in terms of natural landscapes, political and economic systems, and languages and cultures. It is also a region undergoing far-reaching transformations, most prominently the increasing integration and cooperation of European countries in the European Union. The diversity and the rapid changes make studying Europe both interesting and challenging for geographers.

In this class we will explore five broad topic areas. We will start off by looking at the current social setting, such as demographic characteristics of the population, languages and religions, ethnic conflicts and migration. Next we will study the physiographic regions of Europe, natural resources and environmental challenges. We will then explore Europe’s urban history from ancient times to today. We will then focus on the most important political developments after 1945, from the Cold War to the opening of the Berlin Wall. In the final part of the class we will examine the challenges and chances of European integration. Taken together, these topics will provide you with thorough knowledge about European countries and its people, make you aware of and appreciate the great diversity within Europe and beyond, and help you understand how local and global events are interconnected.

Global Scholar Designation
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is committed to providing students with the knowledge of nations, cultures, and societies beyond the United States. In today’s globalized world, it is important that we understand how people and countries in different parts of the world interact with one another and how the different political, economic and social systems that have developed over time continue to shape responses to global challenges. This course is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to be a responsible citizen of this globalized world and counts toward the classes you need to complete to earn the Global Scholar designation on your university transcript.

Student Learning Outcomes
After successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain how geographers study and understand complex issues in European countries
  • Recognize and appreciate the diversity in landscapes, climates, languages, religions, cultures and living conditions across Europe
  • Understand the basic differences in political, economic, and social systems across Europe and compared to the United States
  • Understand how Europe as a region is connected to the rest of the world
  • Critically evaluate how European countries respond to global problems such as climate change, conflict and poverty

East Asian Politics 

Course Description
This course is an introduction to the politics of Southeast Asia. We will examine regional and global forces including colonialism, nationalism, and religious and ethnic conflict and evaluate their influence on Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. Our broader goal throughout this process is to understand the impact of these forces and political and economic events have had both across and within Southeast Asian states. Along the way we will gain both a historical and theoretical background for understanding the complexity of modern Southeast Asian politics, particularly as they relate to the structure of government, political and economic privilege, and persistent communal crises such as: environmental degradation, sex trafficking and genocide. The final section of our course will evaluate the success of organizations and initiatives spanning the local to the transnational in addressing social, political and economic crises.

Global Scholar Designation
Global scholar courses build on knowledge, skills and perspectives that you gained in your USP Global Citizenship course. As you may remember, Global Citizenship is defined as “the knowledge of nations, cultures or societies beyond the U.S.; the recognition of how interaction, interdependence and inequity among diverse geographical, social, political, or economic systems have shaped historical and contemporary global challenges and opportunities; and the skills to engage with the responsibilities of informed citizenship in a complex, interdependent and changing world.”

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will gain knowledge of, institutions of political and economic cooperation among and beyond Southeast Asian countries.
  • Students will acquire knowledge of and appreciation for diverse beliefs, ideas, traditions, and understand their impact on local, state and regional political systems.
  • Students will recognize diverse methodological lenses used to examine colonialism and its legacies within and among Southeast Asian states.

Environmental Conservation

Course Description
Whether one is talking about protecting the Amazonian rainforest, endangered species or climate change, these topics are often discussed in scientific and managerial terms. Yet our understanding of changing environments and the efforts to control their use are intimately tied to social and cultural processes that are often highly political. Moreover, humans worldwide have been managing their environments for centuries; yet our current crises in environmental conservation seem to be particularly modern problems that are deemed worse in certain parts of the world than in others. We will examine these imbalances in how we perceive and practice environmental conservation by comparing and contrasting conservation in the United States with a series of case studies from cultures and societies beyond the U.S., including Guinea (West Africa), northern Canada, and the island of Sardinia (southern Europe). Because of this international focus on environmental conservation, this course counts as a Global Scholar course. …

…we will examine the historical and political-economic contexts within which particular ideas about the environment and its management have arisen (part 1 of the course). Through this process we trouble our own ideas about what nature is and how certain definitions have become dominant. In part 2 of the course we explore the four themes of political ecology in-depth (power, knowledge, governance and justice), with special attention to diverse human ideas and traditions of environmental knowledge and their differential power in conservation discourse. In part 3 we bring all four themes back together with reflections and case studies. In the process, we will explore different social and political institutions at different geographic scales (from the local to the global) and their relationship to the development and management of a broadly defined environment.

Global Scholar Designation
Global Scholar courses build upon the knowledge, skills and perspectives that students gain in their (required) USP Global Citizenship (GC) course. Together, GC and GS courses aim to provide students with the knowledge of nations, cultures or societies beyond the U.S.; the recognition of how interaction, interdependence and inequity among diverse geographical, social, political, or economic systems have shaped historical and contemporary global challenges and opportunities; and the skills needed to engage with the responsibilities of informed citizenship in a complex, interdependent and changing world.

Course Goals
This course is designed to broaden your understanding of environmental conservation by helping you:

  • Develop a critical perspective on historical and scientific explanations of environmental degradation in different parts of the world, by comparing and contrasting how diverse cultures and societies in different parts of the world practice environmental management.
  • Develop your capacity to understand the interactions, interdependencies, and processes that produce environmental problems and particular management solutions and different scales.

Student Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Synthesize and apply principles from political ecology to current events and research topics, thus extending their disciplinary and methodological lenses on how to examine the global challenges, past and present, inherent in environmental conservation.
  • Critically discuss a range of environmental issues in both Minority and Majority World settings, highlighting the political economic and ecological complexity of these issues to understand how they have shaped past and contemporary global challenges and opportunities in conservation.
  • Critically evaluate social drivers, including diverse beliefs; ideas and traditions related to environmental change and conflict, assessing who benefits and who does not from specific understandings of social-environmental interaction.

Global Scholar Course Development

Course Development


Course Review and Approval

Student Advising Step By Step