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Global Cultures Flag Criteria and Interpretation


The following criterion was developed and approved by the Faculty Council.

To satisfy the Global Cultures Flag, at least one-third of the course grade* must be based on content dealing with in-depth examination of the broader cultural context and perspectives of one or more non-U.S. communities, countries, or coherent regional groupings of countries, past or present.

*For three- or four-credit courses. For two-credit hour courses, at least one-half of the course grade should be based on Flag content.


The following interpretation was developed by the faculty committee that oversees the Global Cultures Flag and was approved by the Undergraduate Studies Advisory Committee.

Courses carrying the Global Cultures Flag focus on the histories, traditions, practices, aesthetics, and/or perspectives of one or more non-U.S. communities as a way of understanding culture. Global Cultures courses may study any area of human activity and may come from any discipline. But, in every case, proposals should explain how the course will engage students in an in-depth study of non-U.S. cultural perspectives with the goal of expanding their knowledge and cultural awareness. In order to highlight experiences of members of the non-U.S. cultural groups being studied, courses carrying the Global Cultures Flag should, whenever possible, include texts (broadly construed) created by members of those cultural groups. Ideally, the Global Cultures Flag will challenge students to explore the beliefs and practices of non-U.S. cultural communities in relation to their own cultural experiences so that they engage in an active process of self-reflection and self-awareness.

The committee is aware that the terms “global” and “culture” are open to a variety of disciplinary interpretations. While the committee defines culture broadly, not every course that focuses on globalization or transnational phenomena will qualify for the flag. For the purposes of this flag, the committee understands the term “global” to mean that courses should either inspire students to reflect on, or explicitly include a component on, transnational interconnectedness. Courses that apply a cultural lens to global dynamics and, in the process, teach students in depth about culturally specific perspectives are appropriate for this flag.

Students earning the Global Cultures Flag should learn about non-U.S. cultural content, experiences and/or perspectives in depth. Courses may be structured in different ways to provide an in-depth exploration, but must include at least one of the following:

  • a sustained focus on one or more non-U.S. communities, countries, or regions;
  • a coherent examination of a particular issue, theme, or phenomenon within the context of two or more non-U.S. communities, countries, or regions;
  • a close study of global phenomena through a comparative cultural framework.

To see examples of successful proposals from a variety of colleges and schools, visit Sample Proposals.