Why Global Affairs?

At the heart of Global Affairs, we strive to understand the underlying causes and consequences of transnational socio-economic, political, and development challenges. Global Affairs draws its strengths from an interdisciplinary perspective and approach. Such linkages enable students to understand and analyze pressing global challenges like international security and conflict, economic integration, global trade flows, migration, environmental degradation, public health and development in a comprehensive manner. If you are passionate about making an impact in research, scholarship and/or in practice, then the Global Affairs Major is right for you.

The Global Affairs major is flexible. It is designed to provide understanding in key areas of globalisation, such as global governance and international development, but allows for concentration and depth in many different areas. Want to explore China’s increasing global responsibility as a leading economy, or the ways in which cyber-security relates to broader issues of conflict in Southeast Asia, or how international trade and finance are shaped by the international political economy, or how migration is a gendered phenomenon? If the answer is yes, then this is the right major for you.

Students in Global Affairs have a wide range of course options for the Academic Year 2017-2018

Semester 1 Semester 2
Required Courses

  • Introduction to Global Affairs
  • Methods in the Social Sciences

Core Courses

  • International Relations
  • International Development
  • International Political Economy

Elective Courses

  • Political Concepts
  • International Migration
  • Conflict and Cooperation in East Asia
  • Contemporary European Politics
  • Law, War, and Peace in the Middle East









Required Courses

  • Introduction to Global Affairs
  • Methods in the Social Sciences

Core Courses

  • International Relations
  • Globalisation on the Ground
  • International Security

Elective Courses

  • Migration Policy
  • Ethics and Global Affairs
  • Conquest, Territorial Expansion, and International Law
  • Politics of Identity in Developing Countries
  • Chinese Foreign Policy
  • India as a Rising Power
  • U.S. Foreign Policy

Cross-Listed Courses with GA

  • International Trade
  • International Finance
  • The Anthropology of Human Rights
  • Religion and the Media Turn
  • Medical Anthropology: The Canon
  • Ethnography
  • Chinese Politics
  • Populism and Democracy
  • Global Cities
  • Cities of the Global South

Students in Global Affairs have lots of options in the job market

The strength and versatility of Global Affairs draw from its unique, interdisciplinary nature. Our recent graduates have secured successful job placements in the public and private sectors in Singapore and globally. We have Global Affairs graduates working in the Ministry of Defence, think-tanks and foreign policy research institutes, consulting, mass media and communications, medical industry, and fellowships and graduate school programs in prestigious universities, to name a few.

Employable skills that graduates can deploy in the job market are listed in the below table. 

Adaptability Investigation
Critical thinking Written and verbal communication
Cross-cultural understanding and communication People management
Quantitative data collection and analysis Program management
Textual data collection and analysis Persuasive communication
Global outlook Prioritisation
Hypothesis development Problem solving
Data analysis Research
Foreign language Identifying relationships between factors
Global financial analysis Solutions advocacy
Ideas and information analysis Summarising ideas
Information synthesis Interviewing
Interpreting events and ideas Information literacy
Teamwork Independent work

Job titles of Global Affairs graduates in the private and public sectors include the following:

Business/ Management Consultant Business Analyst
Communications Specialist Editor
Financial Officer Financial Planner/Analyst
Financial Reporter Foreign Correspondent
Foreign Service Official / Diplomat Fundraiser
Global Diversity Associate Import/Export Coordinator
Innovation Manager Intelligence Agent
International Account Executive International Banker
International Financial Planner International Hotel Manager
Journalist Knowledge Exchange Coordinator
Legislative Correspondent Lobbyist
Logistics Coordinator Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor
National Security Officer Policy Coordinator
PR Representative Procurement Coordinator
Program Manager Public Affairs Coordinator
Sales Coordinator Social & Digital Marketing Strategist

For more details on potential employer industries and a list of places our majors have interned please go the CIPE website here.

Core Skills Developed through the Global Affairs Major

The Global Affairs Major provides students with training in the key skills of critical thinking, problem solving, communication and research by engaging with and applying theories of global interconnectedness in the classroom and in the Capstone experience. Students practice ideas of Global Affairs outside the classroom as well through their study abroad experiences, language studies and internships and through our Learning Across Boundaries programs.

Critical Thinking: This is an essential skill for the workplace and in life more broadly. Critical thinking, according to the American Association of Colleges and Universities is a habit of mind characterised by the comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas, artefacts, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion. Students learn to analyse their own and others’ assumptions and carefully evaluate the relevance of contexts when presenting a position (AACU). Further, students will learn to place evidence and perspectives addressed in priority order, with viewpoints of experts questions thoroughly.

Problem Solving: Problem solving is the process of designing, evaluating and implementing a strategy to answer an open-ended question or achieve a desired goal. Student learn to properly define a problem, identify strategies relevant to a specific content, propose solutions, evaluate potential solutions and then implement and assess those solutions.

Communication: Oral communication is a prepared, purposeful presentation designed to increase knowledge, to foster understanding, or to promote change in the listeners’ attitudes, values, beliefs, or behaviours. Students learn about the craft of organization, language, and central message delivery. Written communication is the development and expression of ideas in writing. Written communication involves learning to work in many genres and styles. It can involve working with many different writing technologies, and mixing texts, data, and images. Written communication abilities develop through iterative experiences across the curriculum. In their written work students will ultimately demonstrate in-depth understanding of context, audience and purpose in their writing and use appropriate content to illustrate mastery of subject. Further they will demonstrate keen ability to apply interdisciplinary approaches to address a given issue and apply credible and relevant sources to support their ideas. In addition to support received in the classroom to develop these skills students will also have access to the Writer’s Centre for additional support.

Research Skills – In close collaboration with the Yale-NUS Library, Global Affairs majors obtain what is known as information literacy. The American Association of Colleges and Universities defines this as “the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively and responsibly use and share that information for the problem at hand.” Students learn to determine the extent of information needed; access the needed information; evaluate information and its sources critically; use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose; and access and use information ethically and legally.