Academic Courses

GSP First Year Courses

These courses are the fall and winter semester installments of the core course series for students in their first year of the Global Scholars Program (GSP) living learning community. Enrollment is restricted to students who have been accepted to GSP.

Fall Semester - Defining Critical Global Issues

Global Scholars Program Fall Semester Course – Defining Critical Global Issues
Course Number: UC 270 Section 012
Course Title: Global Scholars Program: Defining Critical Global Issues
Credits: 2 
Advisory Prerequisites: Global Scholars Program Participant
Consent: With permission of instructor

Other course info: Students are required to sign up for a Collaborative Group (meets 7:00-
8:30pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday in North Quad). CG assignments are coordinated through the GSP office.  Students will be notified of  their confirmed CG assignment by early September.

Class Format: Weekly lectures are led by the GSP faculty.  Students will meet weekly
for evening sessions in small collaborative groups (similar to discussion sections) to process
content from the lecture and readings amongst peers through experiential learning activities and
in-depth discussions that engage the broad range of students’ personal experiences.

Notes: Students admitted to GSP will automatically be issued a course override to register after
their housing contract has been confirmed. Please contact the GSP office with questions: email
globalscholars@umich.edu
, call +1-734-764-3573, or visit us at 3145 North Quad.

Description:
This course is the fall semester installment of the core course series for students in their first year
of the Global Scholars Program (GSP) living learning community. Enrollment is restricted to
students who have been accepted to GSP. 

If you could help alleviate some of the world’s greatest problems - extreme hunger, poverty,
disease - would you? The focus of this course series is not about whether you want to save the
world, but on how you can.

The core course series for the Global Scholars Program (GSP) living learning community
follows two essential components of effective social change for critical world issues: identifying
problems and designing (and maintaining) interventions. The 2-credit Fall semester installment
asks the questions: “What makes a problem a problem?” and “How do we decide when a
problem is bad enough that it needs a solution?” The 2-credit Winter semester installment asks
the questions: “What makes an intervention a success or a failure?” and “How do we design
achievable, sustainable interventions?”

In this Fall semester course, we will utilize the United Nations Millennium Development Goals
(UN MDG’s) as a framework to explore problems that reflect global disparities between, and
sometimes within, developing and developed nations. We will follow methods used to identify
Global Scholars Program Fall Semester Course – Defining Critical Global Issues.

The extent and nature of these disparities through research conducted by entities such as the
United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and International Monetary Fund (IMF). Concepts learned through the UN MDG’s will be applied through examples that take a multi-disciplinary approach to topics including, but not limited to: human rights, economic development, public policy, human conflict, environmental sustainability, and international cooperation. We will critically examine the socio-political complexities of how problems arise, are identified as problems, then are categorized as needing solutions.

Students will attend weekly interactive lectures led by the GSP faculty that will feature
occasional guest speakers with expertise in global issues. Students will meet weekly for evening
sessions in small collaborative groups (similar to discussion sections) to process content from the
lecture and readings amongst peers through experiential learning activities and in-depth
discussions that engage the broad range of students’ personal experiences with topics we cover.
Collaborative Groups, or CG’s, are comprised of approximately 6-8 1st year GSP students and
are peer-facilitated by returning GSP student leaders. The expectations for CG’s are to develop a safe space in which peer learners can honestly engage in the sometimes emotional and personal
dynamics of global disparities through dialogue with the understanding that opinions and values
vary, but a commitment to understanding one another’s socio-political and personal context is
key to working and learning effectively together. Fall/Winter GSP students are strongly
encouraged to register for the same CG in both Fall and Winter terms in order to maintain as
much continuity within groups as is possible.

Preparation for lectures will involve a blend of assigned readings and multimedia (e.g. videos,
podcasts, etc.). Students will share their reactions via online forums and generate discussion
questions before in-person CG meetings. GSP recognizes that our students represent a wide
range of personal experiences, educational backgrounds, and academic writing levels; thus,
resources provided by the Sweetland Writing Center will be heavily utilized. Students are
encouraged to take advantage of our unique living-learning environment by discussing course
content outside of class with any of the 100+ students living in the GSP halls of North Quad.

Major assignments include:
• CONVERSATION PAPER: a 2-3 page reflection based on engaged conversation with
fellow U.S. and international GSP students to learn about similarities and differences in
educational experiences (e.g. national exam systems, public vs. private, curriculum,
learning styles, etc.).
• INTERVENTION ANALYSIS: a structured, logic-based analysis of an intervention
intended to promote one of the UN MDG’s or other pressing world issue.
• TERM PAPER: an annotated bibliography and 4-5 page literature review
• ATTENDANCE & PARTICIPATION: Attendance is required at both lectures and CG’s.
Active participation is rated through peer- and self-evaluation, small assignments, and
attendance at a minimum number of select GSP and campus events throughout the term.
Notes: There is a 2-credit winter course that is also required for Fall/Winter GSP students. 

Winter Semester - Addressing Critical Global Issues

Global Scholars Program Winter Semester Course – Addressing Critical Global Issues
Course Number: UC 270 Section TBD
Course Title: Global Scholars Program: Addressing Critical Global Issues
Credits: 2
Advisory Prerequisites: Global Scholars Program Participant
Other course info: Students are required to sign up for a Collaborative Group (meets 7:00-
8:30pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday in North Quad). CG assignments are coordinated through the GSP office. Students will be notified of their confirmed CG assignment by early January.

Grading: Letter grade

Intended Audience: This course is the winter semester installment of the core course series for
students in their first year of the Global Scholars Program (GSP) living learning community.
Class Format: Weekly lectures are led by the GSP faculty director. Students will meet weekly
for evening sessions in small collaborative groups (similar to discussion sections) to process
content from the lecture and readings amongst peers through experiential learning activities and
in-depth discussions that engage the broad range of students’ personal experiences.

Notes: Students admitted to GSP will automatically be issued a course override to register after
their housing contract has been confirmed. Please contact the GSP office with questions: email
globalscholars@umich.edu, call +1-734-764-3573, or visit us at 3145 North Quad.

Description:
This course is the winter semester installment of the core course series for students in their first
year of the Global Scholars Program (GSP) living learning community. Enrollment is restricted
to students who have been accepted to GSP. 


If you could help alleviate some of the world’s greatest problems - extreme hunger, poverty,
disease - would you? The focus of this course series is not about whether you want to save the
world, but on how you can.

The core course series for the Global Scholars Program (GSP) living learning community
follows two essential components of effective social change for critical world issues: identifying
problems and designing (and maintaining) interventions. The 2-credit Fall semester installment
asks the questions: “What makes a problem a problem?” and “How do we decide when a
problem is bad enough that it needs a solution?” The 2-credit Winter semester installment asks
the questions: “What makes an intervention a success or a failure?” and “How do we design
achievable, sustainable interventions?”

In this Winter semester course, we will reference the United Nations Millennium Development
Goals (UN MDG’s) as a framework to explore problems that reflect global disparities between,
and sometimes within, developing and developed nations. We will examine example
interventions to identify effective and ineffective elements within the context of geographic
location, available resources, and political, cultural, and historical circumstances. We analyze
assessment metrics, such as UN MDG markers, International Monetary Fund (IMF) standards,
and annual corporate shareholder reports, to learn how various entities determine the
effectiveness of their interventions. We will highlight how subsequent decisions regarding
resource allocation and intervention modification can be influenced by assessment
outcomes. We will take a multi-disciplinary approach to learning these concepts by applying
examples from topics including, but not limited to: human rights, economic development, public
policy, human conflict, environmental sustainability, and international cooperation.
Students will attend weekly interactive lectures led by the GSP faculty that will feature
occasional guest speakers with expertise in global issues. Students will meet weekly for evening
sessions in small collaborative groups (similar to discussion sections) to process content from the
lecture and readings amongst peers through experiential learning activities and in-depth
discussions that engage the broad range of students’ personal experiences with topics we cover.
Collaborative Groups, or CG’s, are comprised of approximately 6-8 1st year GSP students and
are peer-facilitated by returning GSP student leaders. The expectations for CG’s are to develop asafe space in which peer learners can honestly engage in the sometimes emotional and personal
dynamics of global disparities through dialogue with the understanding that opinions and values
vary, but a commitment to understanding one another’s socio-political and personal context is
key to working and learning effectively together. Fall/Winter GSP students are strongly
encouraged to register for the same CG in both Fall and Winter terms in order to maintain as
much continuity within groups as is possible. Winter-only GSP students will be provided with
the necessary academic and interpersonal resources to join CG’s in a timely and effective
manner.
Preparation for lectures will involve a blend of assigned readings and multimedia (e.g. videos,
podcasts, etc.). Students will share their reactions via online forums and generate discussion
questions before in-person CG meetings. GSP recognizes that our students represent a wide
range of personal experiences, educational backgrounds, and academic writing levels; thus,
resources provided by the Sweetland Writing Center will be heavily utilized. Students are
encouraged to take advantage of our unique living-learning environment by discussing course
content outside of class with any of the 100+ students living in the GSP halls of North Quad.
Major assignments include:
• DIVERSITY PAPER: a 2-page reflection based on engaged conversations with fellow
U.S. and international GSP students about what diversity is and how it can be utilized
within our living learning community and beyond.
• RESEARCH ACTION PROJECT: an action, however large or small, that promotes a UN
MDG or other pressing world issue, that is designed and carried out by CG members
together as a way to gain experience working effectively in diverse groups. The entirety
of the project will be captured in an end-of-term co-authored paper.
• TERM PAPER: a 5-page paper that is co-authored by CG members that includes an
introduction situating a problem, a literature review that reflects adequate research of a
problem, method describing the design and implementation of an intervention, results
that convey assessment measures of the group’s action, and a reflection on the group’s
collective learning process. Papers that adequately meet requirements will be published in
GSP’s online journal and searchable through U-M’s Deep Blue service.
• SYMPOSIUM PRESENTATION: a public presentation of the CG’s Research Action
Project at the end-of-year GSP Symposium.
• ATTENDANCE & PARTICIPATION: Attendance is required at both lectures and CG’s.
Active participation is rated through peer- and self-evaluation, small assignments, and
attendance at a minimum number of select GSP and campus events throughout the term.
Notes: Fall/Winter GSP students are required to have taken the 2-credit fall semester prerequisitecourse. However, Winter-only GSP students are exempt from the fall course prerequisite (e.g.
one-term exchange students, Winter transfer students, students returning from study abroad,
etc.). While Fall and Winter courses have related themes, each can be taken as a stand-alone
course.

GSP Second Year Course List (Word document)

GSP Third Year Course List (Word document)