FAQs

General

1. What is Global Affairs?

Global Affairs is a multidisciplinary major within the Social Sciences focused on global issues and global solutions. The goal of the GA major is to help students understand how our increasingly interconnected world works and how it could work better. For more, see Why Global Affairs?

2. What Global Affairs courses are being offered in AY 2018-19?

Semester 1 Semester 2
Completed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Required Courses

  • Introduction to Global Affairs
  • Methods in the Social Sciences

Core Courses

  • International Relations
  • International Security

Elective Courses

  • US Foreign Policy
  • Empire, Country, Corporation: The Struggle for Control
  • International Organizations in World Politics
  • India as a Rising Power, 1947-Present
  • Conquest, Territorial Expansion and International Law

Cross-Listed Courses with GA

  • Global Environmental Change: Anthropological Approaches
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Anthropology of Violence
  • International Finance
  • Contemporary Political Theory
  • Youth Urbanism: Global Trends, Local Perspectives
  • Urban Singapore

3. I heard that there have been changes made to the Global Affairs major. What are they?

For the Class of 2021 onwards, there are new requirements to major in Global Affairs. The new structure for the major for the Class of 2021 onwards is as follows:

● 2 core courses: International Relations and International Development

● 1 general methods course: Methods in the Social Sciences

● 1 additional specialized methods course (with students choosing from a range of eligible courses: Ethnography, Econometrics, Qualitative Methods in Global Affairs, or Historian’s Craft)

● 3 x 2000- or 3000- level electives (Students can count one advanced or intermediate language course toward the major if it applies to their capstone research project)

● 2 x 4000-level electives

● 1 capstone project [equivalent to 2 full courses or 10 Modular Credits]

There is no change to the major requirements for the Class of 2019 or Class of 2020.

Global Affairs & PPE

1. What is the difference between Global Affairs and PPE at Yale-NUS College?

GA falls within the social sciences and focuses on global problems and solutions. (“Global” here refers to issues that are transboundary in their nature or are of relevance in many parts of the world.) It is, furthermore, multidisciplinary (which means involving more than one discipline, but not necessarily in an integrated or overlapping way). For their capstones, GA students are expected to demonstrate their mastery of the social science knowledge and research skills necessary to analyse a global issue of their choosing within a specific national, regional, or global context. Students are at liberty to choose from a range of social science methods — from ethnography to econometrics to archival research — for their capstone research. Drawing from past capstones, examples of topics squarely within the GA remit include:

  • Japan’s Post-Conflict Economic Diversion to the ASEAN Region
  • Nationalist Protests, Authoritarian Signaling, and Crisis Bargaining: Vietnamese Nationalism, China & the South China Sea Conflict
  • Migration Infrastructures behind New Migration Flows from the Philippines to Chile
  • Government and Corporate Gender Quotas: Comparing France, Italy and Spain
  • China’s Reactive Assertiveness to US Involvement in the South China Sea
  • Female Political Participation in Indonesia: Electoral Success and Incumbency
  • Measuring the Menstrual Stigma: The Correlation between Menstrual Hygiene Management and Secondary Education in Nepal

PPE, by contrast, falls within both the social sciences and the humanities and focuses on the intersections of philosophy, politics, or economics (not necessarily at the global level). At its best, PPE integrates these disciplines. Though many PPE modules will focus on just one area of study, PPE capstones (Class of 2021 and beyond) are expected to deploy methods, topics, or approaches from at least two of the major’s constituent disciplines. Drawing from past capstones, examples of topics squarely within the PPE remit include:

  • Whose ‘Shared Values’?
  • Rethinking Conscious Consumerism
  • Bringing Humanity Back to Human Rights
  • A Normative Case for Democracy in Singapore
  • Economic Crisis and the Radical Right
  • A Case for Weak Paternalism
  • Why it is Wrong to Hire Based on Physical Attractiveness

2. I’m torn between GA and PPE. Which should I major in?

Here are three factors to consider when making this decision:

What kinds of modules are you interested in taking? You can consult the GA and PPE websites for major requirements to get a feel for the kinds of modules you’d take within each major.

Which faculty would you like to work with? If you have a good working relationship with two or three faculty members within a given major (from, say, previous electives or CC modules), you may want to consider working more closely with those faculty members by majoring within their area of study. You can consult the GA and PPE websites to see which areas of study various faculty work within.

What capstone topics interest you? Here are some rules of thumb:

PPE GA
●   Political theory (political theory is the intersection of philosophy and politics)●   Political topics integrating distinctively economic or philosophical tools

●   Philosophy of the social sciences (e.g., philosophy of economics, philosophy of education)

●   Purely normative questions about human rights

●   International relations (security, international political economy, international organizations)●   International development (especially with an applied focus)

●   International migration

●   Domestic politics as a case study of global problems or solutions

 

Global Affairs Majors

1. Will you offer the required courses for students who major in Global Affairs every semester?

For AY 2018-2019, both Introduction to Global Affairs and Methods in the Social Sciences were offered each semester. Equivalent courses taken while on a summer or semester study abroad programme can count towards the requirements of the Global Affairs major, contingent on the approval of the Head of Studies.

For AY2019-2020, Introduction to Global Affairs will not be offered, but Methods in the Social Sciences will be offered each semester. Global Affairs majors from the Class of 2019 or Class of 2020 who have not taken Introduction to Global Affairs by the start of AY2019-2020 should consult with the Head of Studies about which replacement course they can taken.

For students in the Class of 2021 and beyond, the required courses for the major are International Relations and International Development. International Relations will be offered in Semester 1 of AY2019-2020 and International Development will be offered in Semester 2. GA students who plan on studying abroad during either semester should consult with the Head of Studies about potential substitute courses they can take while overseas that can count towards their GA requirements.

2. How often will you offer the core courses?

The Global Affairs core courses are offered on a regular and rotating basis. Equivalent courses taken while on a summer or semester study abroad programme can count towards the requirements of the Global Affairs major, contingent on the approval of the Head of Studies.

3. Must the required or core courses be taken before elective courses?

No. However, we generally recommend that students take the appropriate required courses before they take advanced 3000- or 4000-level elective courses, or take them simultaneously with the appropriate elective courses. Note that some of the upper-level electives have pre-requisites and/or require instructor approval.

4. What if I am interested in taking elective courses offered by another major at Yale-NUS College? Can I count this towards the requirements of the Global Affairs major?

Yes, you can, provided that the elective course is a cross-listed course. Cross-listed courses are offered by another major within Yale-NUS College but, based on their content, these modules have been pre-approved to also count towards the requirements of the Global Affairs major. 

5. What if I am interested in taking elective courses offered by a faculty outside of Yale-NUS College? Can I count this towards the requirements of the Global Affairs major?

Yes, you can, provided that the elective course is a cross-registered course. Cross-registered courses are offered by a faculty outside of Yale-NUS College, such as at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at NUS or the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy or a Study Abroad institution. For more details on the number of cross-registered courses that you can count towards your major, please consult the Global Affairs programme description.

6. What if I am interested in taking elective courses while on a study abroad programme? Can I count this towards the requirements of the Global Affairs major?

Selected courses taken while on a summer or semester study abroad programme can count towards the requirements of the Global Affairs major. However, this is contingent on the approval of the Head of Studies.

7. How do I track my progress towards completing my Global Affairs major requirements?

You should keep in regular contact with your Assistant Dean or Global Affairs Major Advisor to plan your courses in order to ensure that you complete the requirements for the major before the end of your fourth year at Yale-NUS College. Remember, it is incumbent upon you to reach out and work with your Assistant Dean or Major Advisor.

You may use the following “Progress in the Major” forms to facilitate your conversation with your Major Advisor:

Class of 2020 Junior Form

Class of 2019 Senior Form

8. What if I do not know who is my Global Affairs advisor?

If you do not know who is your Global Affairs Major advisor, then you should email the Head of Studies, Prof. Anju Mary Paul at anju.paul@yale-nus.edu.sg to find out. You should then set up a meeting to get to know your Advisor, and let them get to know you. Remember, we are here to help you.

9. I’m a sophomore and I’m taking “Introduction to Global Affairs” right now. Can I count that towards my GA requirements if I choose to major in Global Affairs?

Yes! For the Class of 2021 onwards, you can absolutely count it towards your major requirements. It can be counted as one of the three 2000/3000-level GA electives you need to take. It is no longer counted as a “core course” however.
In subsequent years, “Introduction to Global Affairs” will be renamed “Introduction to Globalization” and it will still be offered on a regular basis.

Global Affairs Capstones

1. What does a Global Affairs capstone entail?

Global Affairs majors can choose between two distinct options to fulfil their capstone requirement. The first option is for students to carry out an original and theory-driven research project that explores a global issue of their choosing within a specific national, regional, or global context. The second option is for students to complete an experiential and policy-oriented project as part of an internship. For further details regarding your options for completing a Global Affairs Capstone, please check the Capstone Details.

2. What have previous Global Affairs students written about for their capstones?

Here is a list of capstone topics from the first two cohorts of Global Affairs majors:

Class of 2017:

  1. Japan’s Post-Conflict Economic Diversion to the ASEAN Region
  2. Nationalist Protests, Authoritarian Signaling, and Crisis Bargaining: Vietnamese Nationalism, China & the South China Sea Conflict
  3. Measuring the Menstrual Stigma: The Correlation between Menstrual Hygiene Management and Secondary Education in Nepal
  4. Solving the Puzzle of Chinese Foreign Policy in Africa
  5. The Evolution of Japan’s Foreign Aid Policy in the face of a Rising China
  6. The Role of Ideology in the Processes of Political Legitimization of Armed Insurgencies: A Case Study Exploration of Columbia’s Armed Insurgent Groups
  7. Evaluating the Significance of Degrading Links in al-Qaeda
  8. Normative Transfer from the International to the Domestic: Japan’s Level of Adherence to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
  9. Japan’s Regional HA/DR Cooperation Efforts – U.S. Involvement, China’s Foreign Policy Responses, and Strategic Implications for Japan

 

Class of 2018:

  1. Female Political Participation in Indonesia: Electoral Success and Incumbency
  2. Migration Infrastructures behind New Migration Flows
  3. Right-wing Politics and Multiculturalism in the UK
  4. Upsetting the Normalcy: China’s Reactive Assertiveness to US Involvement in the South China Sea
  5. Investigating the Effectiveness of Omni-Enmeshment in Southeast Asia
  6. The Cybernetics Model and Status Seeking Strategies in China (*Winner of the Tan Ming Seng Prize for Chinese Studies)
  7. Microfinance for India’s Poorest: A Randomised Control Trial for Avanti Finance (Policy Outcome Capstone)
  8. Barriers to Access to Healthcare for FDWs in Singapore
  9. Between Altruism, Need, and Strategy
  10. Government and Corporate Gender Quotas: A European Case Study Analysis

3. What are my options for completing my Global Affairs Capstone?

Global Affairs majors can choose between two distinct options to fulfil their capstone requirement. The first option is for students to carry out an original and theory-driven research project that explores a global issue of their choosing within a specific national, regional, or global context. The second option is for students to complete an experiential and policy-oriented project as part of an internship. For further details regarding your options for completing a Global Affairs Capstone, please check the Capstone Details.

4. Where do I get an idea for my Global Affairs Capstone?

What puzzles you the most about global issues/problems? Do you have a passion for a particular topic or global issue? If you do, then this might be the best place to start to develop an idea for your capstone.

Which Global Affairs course did you enjoy the most? Which is the final research paper that you are most proud of? Was there more you wanted to explore regarding the topic of that paper? Perhaps your capstone can be an opportunity to dig deeper into that topic?

A third strategy is to book an office hours appointment with a Global Affairs faculty member whom you know and have taken a class with. Bounce around some possible capstone ideas with them. We are here to guide and shape your puzzle or passion into a research question that can serve as the basis for a successful Capstone project.

To further assist you, here are the list of capstone topics from the first two cohorts of Global Affairs majors:

Class of 2017:

  1. Japan’s Post-Conflict Economic Diversion to the ASEAN Region
  2. Nationalist Protests, Authoritarian Signaling, and Crisis Bargaining: Vietnamese Nationalism, China & the South China Sea Conflict
  3. Measuring the Menstrual Stigma: The Correlation between Menstrual Hygiene Management and Secondary Education in Nepal
  4. Solving the Puzzle of Chinese Foreign Policy in Africa
  5. The Evolution of Japan’s Foreign Aid Policy in the face of a Rising China
  6. The Role of Ideology in the Processes of Political Legitimization of Armed Insurgencies: A Case Study Exploration of Columbia’s Armed Insurgent Groups
  7. Evaluating the Significance of Degrading Links in al-Qaeda
  8. Normative Transfer from the International to the Domestic: Japan’s Level of Adherence to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
  9. Japan’s Regional HA/DR Cooperation Efforts – U.S. Involvement, China’s Foreign Policy Responses, and Strategic Implications for Japan

 

Class of 2018:

  1. Female Political Participation in Indonesia: Electoral Success and Incumbency
  2. Migration Infrastructures behind New Migration Flows
  3. Right-wing Politics and Multiculturalism in the UK
  4. Upsetting the Normalcy: China’s Reactive Assertiveness to US Involvement in the South China Sea
  5. Investigating the Effectiveness of Omni-Enmeshment in Southeast Asia
  6. The Cybernetics Model and Status Seeking Strategies in China (*Winner of the Tan Ming Seng Prize for Chinese Studies)
  7. Microfinance for India’s Poorest: A Randomised Control Trial for Avanti Finance (Policy Outcome Capstone)
  8. Barriers to Access to Healthcare for FDWs in Singapore
  9. Between Altruism, Need, and Strategy
  10. Government and Corporate Gender Quotas: A European Case Study Analysis

Global Affairs Minor

1. I am interested in Global Affairs, but I think I want to major in another subject. Can I also minor in Global Affairs?

Absolutely! We have designed a minor specifically for students who are interested in Global Affairs but are committed to another major. In order to earn a Global Affairs minor, you must complete 5 courses (25 MC) within or related to the major. For more details, please consult the Global Affairs programme description.

2. What are the requirements to earn a Global Affairs minor?

In order to earn a Global Affairs minor, you must complete 5 courses (25 MC) within or related to the major. At least half of these courses (12.5 MC) must be taken at Yale-NUS College. The Head of Study must approve these courses, and these courses must be taken for a letter grade unless there exists an eligible exception. For more details, please consult the Global Affairs programme description.

3. As a Global Affairs minor, do I also have to take the required courses for Global Affairs majors?

As a Global Affairs minor, you will be required to take some of the same required courses as Global Affairs majors. For the Class of 2019 and Class of 2020, Global Affairs minors are required to take the course Introduction to Global Affairs. Students who minor in Global Affairs are encouraged, but not required, to take the module Methods in the Social Sciences. For the Class of 2021 onwards, Global Affairs minors are required to take two courses: International Relations and International Development.

4. What if I am interested in taking elective courses offered by another major at Yale-NUS College? Can I count this towards the requirements of the Global Affairs minor?

Yes, you can, provided that the elective course is cross-listed with Global Affairs. Cross-listed courses are offered by another major within Yale-NUS College but, based on their content, these modules have been pre-approved to count towards the requirements of the Global Affairs major/minor.

5. What if I am interested in taking elective courses offered by a faculty outside of Yale-NUS College? Can I count this towards the requirements of the Global Affairs minor?

Yes, you can, provided that the elective course is a cross-registered course. Cross-registered courses are offered by a faculty outside of Yale-NUS College, such as the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at NUS or the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy or a Study Abroad institution, and require approval from the Global Affairs Head of Studies to count towards your minor requirements. For more details on the number of cross-registered courses that you can count towards your minor, please consult the Global Affairs programme description.

6. What if I am interested in taking elective courses while on a study abroad programme? Can I count this towards the requirements of the Global Affairs minor?

Selected courses taken while on a summer or semester study abroad programme can count towards the requirements of the minor. This is contingent on the approval of the Head of Studies.

7. How do I track my progress towards fulfilling my Global Affairs minor requirements?

You should keep in regular contact with your Assistant Dean or the Global Affairs Head of Studies to plan your courses in order to ensure that you complete the requirements for a minor before the end of your fourth year at Yale-NUS College. Remember, it is incumbent upon you to reach out and work with your Assistant Dean or the Head of Studies.

8. What if I do not know who is my Global Affairs advisor?

A student minoring in Global Affairs is not assigned a Global Affairs faculty advisor. If you have any questions about Global Affairs, please contact the Head of Studies, Prof. Anju Mary Paul at anju.paul@yale-nus.edu.sg.

9. I’m a sophomore and I’m taking “Introduction to Global Affairs” right now. Can I count that towards my GA requirements if I choose to minor in Global Affairs?

Yes! For the Class of 2021 onwards, you can absolutely count it towards your minor requirements. It can be counted as one of the three 2000/3000/4000-level GA electives you need to take. It is no longer counted as a “core course” however.
In subsequent years, “Introduction to Global Affairs” will be renamed “Introduction to Globalization” and it will still be offered on a regular basis.

Internships

1. Where can I find information on internships?

The Centre for International & Professional Experience (CIPE) at Yale-NUS offers internship opportunities for a wide range of prominent places, including: intergovernmental organisations (IGOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), public sector, consulting firms, etc. You can find details on all these opportunities here.

Study Abroad

1. What about spending a year abroad? How do I apply? Where should I go?

We strongly encourage Global Affairs majors to take the opportunity to study abroad. Contact the Centre for International & Professional Experience (CIPE) for information about study abroad opportunities.  They can also help you through the application process.

2. When should I go abroad?

There are many excellent study abroad opportunities around the world that will enrich your experience as a student at Yale-NUS College. The timing of your Study Abroad programme is largely dependent on your personal schedule. We think either semester in Year 3 would be a good time. This enables you to gain a flavour of our Global Affairs modules on offer at Yale-NUS in your second year here, and then pursue more specialized courses in your specific interest area during your time abroad.

In general, we can be flexible. However, students are typically not permitted to go on study abroad programmes during their senior year. Beyond that, it is up to you to decide what works best for your schedule.

3. Can I count courses taken abroad toward my major?

Yes, courses taken while abroad can count towards your Global Affairs major requirements, provided these courses have been approved by the Head of Studies. Plan ahead with the Head of Studies and also contact CIPE for more details.

Career Information

1. What careers follow a Global Affairs degree?

Our recent graduates from the Global Affairs major have secured successful job placements in the public and private sectors in Singapore and globally. We have Global Affairs graduates working in the Singapore Ministry of Defence, think-tanks and foreign policy research institutes, consulting firms, mass media and communications, and pursuing fellowships and graduate school programs in prestigious universities, to name a few.

The strength and versatility of Global Affairs draw from its unique, multidisciplinary nature. Our students strive to understand the underlying causes and consequences of transnational socio-economic, political, and development challenges. And we study these pressing global issues from a theoretical, empirical, and/or practical level. As a result, Global Affairs students are well prepared to go on to a wide range of related careers, including but not limited to: policy, diplomacy, international business and finance, development, journalism, or humanitarian work, and work at intergovernmental organisations (IGOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), public sector organisations, or multinational firms. The Global Affairs major is designed to allow you to pursue your specific interests and help you to follow a related career path that spans national borders.

 

Key Post-Graduation Statistics:

  • 95% of GA students from the first two cohorts of Yale-NUS students have found employment
  • 21% were accepted into graduate programs (all Master’s programs)
  • 16% are employed in the financial sector
  • 16% are employed in the technology sector or in start-ups
  • 11% are employed in communications, consulting, social impact/international development sectors each
  • 11% are employed in the public sector

2. What are good job search resources?

The best place to look for good job search resources is the Centre for International & Professional Experience (CIPE). CIPE can help you identify and apply for internship opportunities for prominent and wide-ranging places: intergovernmental organisations (IGOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), public sector, consulting firms, etc. You can find details on all these opportunities here.