Global Affairs

How does game theory apply to international relations? Can we use economic policies to solve environmental issues? What are the best ways to influence behavior using social networks? Do social policies affect aging populations around the world? If these are the types of questions you're interested in, then come find the answers—and much more—as a global affairs major. This program is designed for students who are interested in the intersections among politics, economics, communications and sociology—all on an international scale.

What will I learn?

Political science. Economics. Communications. Sociology. As a global affairs major, you’ll typically take courses in all of these areas (and more!) as you gain a broad understanding of international politics and the many factors that influence them. You’ll learn how to think critically, analyze arguments, and understand strengths and weaknesses of international policies. This is a very flexible major, with only a few required courses, which means you’ll usually get to choose the classes that are most interesting to you.

What can I do outside of class?

You can't learn about the world just by sitting in a classroom—which is why we want you get out there and see what it has to offer.

  • Internships. Get real-world experience and build your network; UB students typically intern for a government office, elected official or political organization in Washington, D.C., the New York State legislature or Western New York.
  • Study abroad. Experience politics, culture and life in a different country.
  • Clubs and events. Make friends, meet speakers and explore your interests; UB has hundreds of clubs, including groups for political science and global affairs students
Study Abroad
Student Clubs

What can I do with a global affairs degree?

The real question isn’t what can you do, but what do you want to do with a global affairs degree—and where do you want to do it?

Because this program gives you an understanding of politics, economics, sociology and communications—all with a global perspective—you might find yourself working for a private company, nonprofit organization, government agency or non-governmental organization (NGO) anywhere in the world.

Some of your career options may include:

  • City manager.
  • Communications specialist.
  • Community relations manager.
  • Diplomat.
  • Economic consultant.
  • Foreign correspondent.
  • Foreign service officer.
  • Government analyst.
  • Journalist.
  • Importer/exporter.
  • Legislative assistant.
  • Librarian.
  • Lobbyist.
  • Management analyst.
  • Market research analyst.
  • Politician.
  • Public relations director.
  • Research assistant.
  • Writer.

Many students also use this degree as a foundation for graduate school or law school.

Who will I learn from?

This major is part of the Department of Political Science, which means many of your teachers will be experts in comparative politics, international relations and other relevant areas. Our faculty members have published their research in leading journals, served on editorial boards and been active in professional organizations. Many of them have also been recognized for their teaching, including the student-nominated Milton Plesur Excellence in Teaching Award, among others.

As a global affairs student, you will likely take classes from professors in other departments too, including communication, economics and sociology. These teachers are also award-winning experts in their respective fields, who are here to help you figure out exactly what you want to do so that you can achieve your goals.