Let people know you are ready for the future!

The certificate helps you understand and appreciate the peoples, issues and ideas within the global community. You earn it by taking courses with international content, studying a foreign language at the introductory level, and learning about people in other countries through both Internet contact and actual study in an international setting.


  • A minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA is required for admission. The student must maintain a 2.5 average in the certificate courses to receive the Certificate in Global Understanding.

The certificate requires 15 s.h. of credit as follows:

  1. Core – 9 s.h.
    • A Global Understanding course drawn from any discipline – 3 s.h.
    • 1001 and 1002 courses of the same foreign language – 6 s.h.
    • (You may receive credit either through successful completion of courses with a C or better, or through a language placement exam. The foreign language requirement may be waived for international students whose native language is not English, in which case an additional 6 s.h. of approved electives are required.)
  2. Elective courses – 6 s.h.
    • Choose courses, each from a different discipline, from the list of International Studies Major courses, or, take other courses approved by the International Studies Executive Committee
  3. An approved academic study abroad program or internship of at least one summer session.
    • (International students may substitute an equivalent period of study at ECU.)

Certificate in Global Understanding with Distinction

Students who complete the basic 15 hours and who also complete 60 hours of co-curricular or service activities with an international focus will be awarded the Certificate of Global Understanding with Distinction.

To complete the Certificate of Global Understanding with Distinction, choose two of the three following options:

  • 30 hours of co-curricular or service activities with an international focus
  • An additional year of a foreign language (1003 and 1004)
  • A semester or more of study abroad, or internship in an international setting
    • Examples of distinguishing activities:
      • Attending an international lecture series
      • Volunteering to work with immigrants
      • Participating in an international club or student organization
      • Helping with the Model UN
      • Activities to meet this requirement must be approved by the International Studies Executive Committee.

Portfolio for the Certificate

Students pursuing the Certificate in Global Understanding will need to submit a portfolio via Blackboard listing their accomplishments. Access to the portfolio is provided by contacting the Director of the International Studies Undergraduate programs.