Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Global Citizenship Program?

Lehigh University’s Global Citizenship Program is a cross-college co-curricular certificate program open to students from all fields, including engineering and science, business, arts, humanities and social sciences. Envisioned as a “backpack” – or a set of courses and experiences that any student can fit into her/his major – the program requires students to examine the questions of meaning and value associated with the theme of citizenship within today’s global world.

How much time will I have to commit to the Program?

The Global Citizenship Program spans four years of study, with a total of 22-25 credits. Students have some flexibility in choosing when they fulfill their requirements. Please see the program requirements table for more detailed information about how these requirements are distributed.

In addition to coursework, most GC students are active on campus in various clubs, volunteer positions, jobs, and in Greek life. GC students are required to attend at least 2 globally-related co-curricular activities each semester and help organize at least one activity per year. These can range from internship opportunities to on-campus speaker series to participation in international on-campus events. GC students can choose to live in special themed housing relevant to global issues, in which there are often fun house activities and a strong sense of community. The Student Committee usually organizes a few educational, volunteer, and social events each semester and the GC program usually hosts at least one trip to the United Nations in New York City.

What type of plan of study can I expect and how will it fit into my major?

The Global Citizenship Program spans four years of study, with a total of 22-25 credits. Although there is no typical plan of study, there are certain requirements that each GC student must fulfill. These can be fulfilled by students in any major, though certain majors require additional planning in advance.

In their first year, all GC students take 8 credits of specially designed courses that replace the standard freshman English 1 and 2 (incoming first-years who place out of first-year English can apply these credits to their Humanities requirements). Sophomore students enroll in a 1-credit practicum that prepares students for the Intersession Trip, a 10-12 day international learning experience. Juniors continue their exploration of global citizenship in the 2-credit Junior Practicum. During their senior year, students enroll in a 4-credit Capstone course. At some point over the 4 years, students must also take at least 9-12 credits (at least 3 courses) of GC-approved coursework (chosen from an extensive list of courses in all three colleges). Students are also required to study abroad, usually for a semester or year, usually during their junior year, but summer programs lasting at least 5 weeks are also acceptable.

Students are encouraged to register beyond the minimum of Global Citizenship course requirements. Please note that all of the Global Citizenship courses not only meet the program requirements, Global Citizenship courses may also double-count towards the student’s major, minor, or elective courses. Consultation with an academic advisor is recommended.

What can a student expect out of the Global Citizenship curriculum?

The curriculum focuses on various content areas: trade and commerce, environment and ecology, comparative cultures and identity, creative expression, imagery and the arts, science and technology, and language and communication. All content areas are concerned with critical perspectives of ethical responsibility, humanistic values, and cultural/religious/institutional awareness associated with the theme of "global citizenship."

How are faculty members involved in the Global Citizenship Program?

Faculty participate in the program by offering Global Citizenship-approved courses on campus; working with students on international projects; advising students in their studies; and leading international trips. Faculty members’ contributions are vital to the program's potentially transformative effect on the lives of students.

What is the travel component of the Global Citizenship Program?

Travel is the distinctive element of the Global Citizenship Program. The first-semester Introduction to Global Citizenship course introduces students not only to writing and communication in a global context, but also begins to prepare them for the challenges of international travel. After a 1-credit preparatory seminar in the fall semester of their sophomore year, all GC students travel for 10-12 days during the winter intersession break. Travel takes students to destinations where they experience the challenge of negotiating othernes and confront the human face of globalization. Cultural and academic activities are organized by Lehigh staff, and Lehigh faculty member accompanies students on this Intersession Trip.

Students are expected to participate in an additional study abroad experience. Acceptable study abroad experiences must be at least 5 weeks in length, take place in a non-English speaking country, and include language instruction. Home-stay is encouraged. Students are encouraged to spend a semester or year abroad, but summer programs are acceptable. Students may choose to return to the country they visited during their sophomore year, or they may travel to another country that faces current global challenges.

What is the cost of the Program?

The Global Citizenship Program is a scholarship program, generously and proudly subsidized by Lehigh University. In addition to regular university tuition, students are expected to contribute $500 towards the Intersession Trip. Previous trips have been to Chile, Hong Kong, Czech Republic, China, South Africa, Ghana, and Costa Rica. This contribution helps subsidize the cost of travel, lodging, food, and cultural experiences. Students are also responsible for their second study abroad experience.

What will a student receive upon completion of the Program?

All graduates of the program receive a certificate in Global Citizenship. Completion of the program will also be listed on each student’s academic transcript.

How do I apply to the Program?

The Global Citizenship Program is not accepting new students for the 2013-2014 academic year. This gap year will enable us to design a better program that meets the needs of future students and integrates with the rest of Lehigh’s international programs and activities. If you have any questions, please contact Neil McGurty at (610) 758-3351 or