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Undergraduate, Adult Degree | In-Person

Global Leadership Studies | Adult Degree

Advance your global career with a degree in global leadership studies through Belmont University's Adult Degree Program. Build upon your skills with a leadership core and specialty areas of emphasis.

Why Major in Global Leadership Studies? 

Global Leadership Studies equips you with the skills and knowledge to shape new solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems. This interdisciplinary major immerses you in important issues that are global in scope, such as human trafficking, economic inequality, refugees, climate change, peace and security, gender inequality and more. The skills you’ll acquire in this exciting field position you as a leader and decision-maker in an increasingly global workplace.

Interdisciplinary and Innovative

Successfully addressing global issues depends on a mindset much broader than any one discipline or department can offer. That’s why global leadership studies cultivates an interdisciplinary way of thinking that blends insights from multiple perspectives.

From Nashville to the World

The Global Leadership Studies major is as much about experiencing the world as it is about engaging in the classroom.

In Belmont’s hometown of Nashville and in cities around the world, you’ll get to apply classroom knowledge to real-world settings from day one through internships, service opportunities and a required study abroad experience.

Am I an Adult Student? 

Adult Degree applicants should be 24 years or older. However, exceptions for those under the age of 24 might include evidence of two years or more of military service, marriage or having a family of your own.

What makes Adult Degree Programs special?

Your Success is Personal: Our students are not one-sized fits all, and neither is our commitment to you. Your path to a college degree is unique, and we take your success as personally as you do. Our staff and faculty will be with you from the first point of contact all the way through graduation and beyond, providing personalized guidance and assistance so you don’t have to go it alone.

Education Designed to Elevate Your Career: Whatever adult degree program option you choose, a career-focused curriculum will help you elevate your current career or prepare you for new professional or personal opportunities. 

Unique Tuition Discount for Adult Degree Program Students: Belmont is dedicated to offering access to high-quality education for busy adults. Students in Belmont’s Adult Degree Program receive more than a 40% discount off of the tuition cost that traditional Belmont students pay for the very same quality, private school education.

What You'll Learn 

The major draws from three of Belmont’s undergraduate colleges to provide a well-rounded, interdisciplinary curriculum. As a global leadership studies major at Belmont, you’ll get a strong foundation in leadership, communication, business, political science, psychology, history, religion, and language.

A concentrated area emphasis and a required minor allow you to focus on areas of potential specialty or region. The top double majors and minors for GLS students include:

  • Organizational Communication
  • Economics
  • Social Justice
  • Marketing
  • Foreign Languages

Career Possibilities

A strong academic and experiential foundation in global awareness, cultural identity and leadership prepares you for a vast amount of career options.

The area emphasis of the major and the minor you choose, combined with your unique study abroad and internship experiences, equip you with a customized set of skills that are valuable to organizations with a global footprint.

As a graduate of the program, you'll be prepared for a wide variety of careers in the following areas:

  • Government and foreign service
  • Non-profit sector
  • International business
  • Humanitarian organizations working with worldwide issues
  • Foreign affairs and diplomacy
  • Human rights activism and social justice
  • Language translation
  • Global media and corporate communications
  • Marketing management
  • Missions
  • Economics
  • Transportation, travel and hospitality industries
  • Education
  • Global social work
  • Law

Student Testimonial

“I chose Global Leadership Studies (GLS) because I’m a big picture person who is globally-minded. I knew that GLS would help foster the leadership abilities I already had and give me the tools to use my global interests to help people. I was an intern for the education department at Thistle Farms, an area non-profit, where I had my first taste of legal writing by creating policy for their sister organizations. I want to help people who have been on the receiving end of environmental injustice and maybe one day help write legislation to combat climate change.”

Olivia Whatley, Classof 2020, Assistant Programs Director and Environmental Justice Consultant BCAGlobal
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Program Details


The major in global leadership studies leads to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and requires 128 credit hours of coursework:

  • BELL core requirements: 53 hours
  • Global leadership studies major tool course: 3 hours
  • Major requirements: 33 hours
  • Minor requirements: 18 hours
  • General electives: 21 hours

See All Program Requirements

Courses You'll Take

Major Core Requirements

  • GLS 1100: Intro to GLS (3 hours) This course will enable one to understand leadership competencies, theories, and frameworks to further one’s own self-awareness, values and purposes. Special attention is given to understanding the challenges facing global leaders in the 21st century.
  • GLS 3100: Leadership Across Cultures (3 hours) This course compares leadership across cultures and countries. Students will explore the relationship between culture and leadership styles, ideas of cultural diversity and globalization, and implications for leading within and across national borders and global regions. The course also explores the challenging but increasingly important task of working across cultures in cross-functional teams composed of persons from different professions, cultures, ethnicities, racial identification, and religious and/or social backgrounds.
  • GLS 4015: Global Leadership Studies Capstone (3 hours) The capstone course is designed to be the culminating work for the Bachelor’s degree in Global Leadership Studies. With the guidance of the instructor, students will design a project to demonstrate their mastery of leadership competencies, theories, and models. Students will consider their own personal approach to global leadership and will integrate knowledge from across several disciplines and also their study abroad experience as they prepare an analytical study of leadership issues that arise when groups with shared goals seek to cross borders between cultures, countries, and world regions, and when project teams are composed of diverse cultural backgrounds. Students will include scholarly research, attention to ethical frameworks, and critical analysis in their project.

Tool Requirement

Participation in an approved Study Abroad program earning at least 3 hours of credit

Area Emphasis (Choose 7 courses, at least one from each area)

  • MKT 3210: Principles of Marketing (3 hours) An introductory marketing course designed to give a basic understanding of marketing principles used by businesses and organizations, and the operation of our marketing system. The marketing mix, marketing environment, strategic marketing planning, marketing of services, and international marketing are some of the topics discussed.
  • MKT 4310: International Marketing (3 hours) The course will explore the differences between domestic and international marketing. Marketing problems, opportunities, and organization of multinational firms to serve transnational markets are examined. Government aids and impediments are discussed along with a framework for cross-cultural analysis.
  • ECO 4400: International Economics (3 hours) An examination of the special problems and issues surrounding the economic interaction of sovereign nations. Topics include gains from trade, patterns of trade, balance of payments, determination of exchange rates, free trade and protectionism, international capital markets, and issues in international policy coordination.
  • INB 3300: International Business (3 hours) An introduction to the theories and practices of international business. The course gives special emphasis to the impact of environmental forces on multinational firms and on management responses to changing international conditions.
  • COM 3150: Intercultural Communication (3 hours) The course involves studying the basic communication elements of cultural systems, the research and literature in the field, and the interpersonal interaction characteristics of specific cultures.
  • COM 3340: Organizational Communication (3 hours) This course explores the role of communication in organizations. Students learn prominent theories of organizational communication and use them to analyze real-world organizational contexts. Technology, corporate culture, leadership, teamwork, ethics, and diversity are among the topics examined.
  • PSY 3250: Cross Cultural Psychology (3 hours) This course will critically evaluate religious customs, child-rearing practices, socioeconomic characteristics, educational values, communication styles, language patterns, and mental health issues of diverse cultures from psychological and sociological perspectives. Students will also be exposed to the religious principles of several religious minorities. Several mental health and service delivery issues faced by the aforementioned ethnic minority groups will be examined.
  • ENL 4370: World Advanced Studies (3 hours) Studies of authors and works or major trends, genres, and patterns not covered in regular course listings.
  • HIS (One Upper Division World History Course) (3 hours)
    Choose one course from the following:
    HIS 3700 History of Central Asia (3 hours)
    HIS 3720 Islamic Social and Religious Thought
    HIS 3800 Latin America: The National Period
    HIS 3850 Africa Since 1890
    HIS 4700 Colonialism and Empire Since 1500
    HIS 4750 Nationalism and Ethnic Identity
    HIS 4820 History of Modern Japan
    HIS 4850 Cuba and the Caribbean
  • HUM 3500: Topics in Asian Culture (3 hours) This course, which may vary by topic at each offering, will study special topics related to the culture, arts, and philosophies of the countries of Asia, past and present.
  • PHI 3230: Comparative Philosophy (3 hours) This course engages questions of commensurability, relativism, skepticism, and pluralism by an intentional selection of widely divergent philosophical texts coming from the traditions of humanity.
  • PSC 2300: International Relations (3 hours) A survey of the sub-field of international relations, this course gives special emphasis to political and economic factors which contribute to conflict and cooperation among nations.
  • PSC 2400: Comparative Politics (3 hours) This course examines political, economic and social divergence between nations. As one field of political science, comparative politics attempts to identify patterns of divergence and to determine their causes. A particular focus of this course is how differences in institutional arrangements across countries affect differences in outcomes.
  • PSC (one upper level International Political Science course) (3 hours)
    Choose one course from the following:
    PSC 3420 Politics of Latin America
    PSC 3430 Politics of Asia
    PSC 3450 Politics of Europe
    PSC 3480 Politics of the Middle East
    PSC 3481 Israeli Politics
    PSC 4320 International Law
  • REL 2510: Christian Ethics (3 hours) An introduction to Christian Ethics, with attention given to methodology, biblical foundations, types of ethical thought, and Christian responsibility in relation to current social problems.
  • REL 3510: Poverty and Justice (3 hours) A study of poverty and homelessness in the United States and the world in light of social, biblical, and theological approaches to economic justice. This course combines experiential and theoretical learning to help students develop an understanding of economic justice.
  • REL 3540: Eco-Justice and Faith (3 hours) This course explores ways in which theologies, spiritual traditions, and social ethics guide and motivate human beings in their interaction with the environment. The course examines the tensions between religion and science in order to see how those have an effect on the way we think about the environment. This course applies moral and theological analysis to a broad range of environmental issues.

The admission decision process for the Adult Degree Program is different from what someone might experience right out of high school. To be eligible for an Adult Degree program,  applicants must be 24 years or older or provide evidence of two years or more of military service, marriage or having a family of your own.

Even if you struggled academically when you first attended college, the Belmont Admissions Committee looks at more than just your academic history. We also consider your professional experience and personal accomplishments as we review your application materials.

Learn more about Adult Degree Admissions & Financial Aid

Beyond the classroom, you’ll find many ways to explore your global passions, make connections and discover your purpose.

  • Explore the World: In addition to studying abroad as part of your coursework, you can pursue international internships and additional study abroad opportunities. You can also find global internships in corporations, NGO’s, government organizations and more through Belmont USA study away programs in NYC, LA and Washington D.C.
  • Gain hands-on experience: Take on an internship through our many Nashville opportunities! Our students have interned in the Metro Nashville Mayor’s Office - Office of Neighborhood and Community Engagement, Nations Ministry Center for Refugees, Tennessee Baptist Mission, EXILE International, Thistle Farms, Nashville Public Defenders Office and Novel, an online community and blog that focuses on global humanitarian issues
  • Join a Student Organization: Choose from 180+ student organizations, including ones focused on global issues like International Justice Mission, Enactus, Global Medical Brigade, United Nations Association, UNICEF and more.

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Application Deadlines

Apply by August 1

Start on August 23

Apply Now

Tuition & Aid Info

Contact Us

Adult Degree Program

Kim Powell
Admissions Coordinator
Email Kim