Global Focus

Global Studies Diploma Program

The Global Studies Program at Brimmer is specifically designed to prepare students to be informed, involved, and ethical citizens in a global society. The Program entails concentrated and advanced coursework in world languages, geography, international relations, culture, media, and science. Completion of the program leads to a special diploma in Global Studies, and students may work to earn this diploma with distinction.
Application Process
Students in Brimmer’s Upper School may apply for admission to the Global Studies Program at the end of their ninth or tenth grade year. At this time, they will submit an application form and a plan of study for their tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade years. Applications are made and reviewed by the Global Studies Program Supervisory Board, which is composed of the Assistant Head of Academic Affairs, Director of Global Studies, and members of the Science, World Languages, and Humanities Departments. The Supervisory Board will review student status in the program at the end of each semester.
Program Requirements
  • European History (1 credit)
  • Modern World History (1 credit)
  • Geography (1/2 credit)
  • A Survey of Global Studies (1/2 credit)
  • 4 years of study in one World Language: Spanish, French, or Mandarin (Exceptions may be made for international students who are studying English as a second language and an additional language. Options for diversified coursework may be made for students who reach the AP® level of a language in eleventh grade.)
Students must select a concentration in either economics, political science/history and culture studies, science, or world languages. Students must complete at least two credits in their area of concentration.

Students must earn grades of B- or higher or a score of 3 or higher in an Advanced Placement® course in all Global Studies courses and must maintain an overall GPA of at least a 3.0 to be accepted into and stay in the program.

Coursework in Economics Concentration
  • AP® Macroeconomics (1 credit)
  • AP® Microeconomics (1 credit)
  • Statistics or Calculus (recommended, not required)
Coursework in Political Science/History Concentration 
  • International Relations (1 credit)
  • Women’s Studies: A Global Perspective (1/2 credit)
  • The Use of Torture in 20th Century Conflicts (1/2 credit)
  • Government (1 credit)
  • An Exploration of Music History through Global Cultures (1/2 credit)
  • Cultural Intelligence in the Global Context (1/2 credit) 
  • Latin American History (1 credit)
  • Archaeology (1/2 credit)
  • The Cultural Revolution Through the Lens (1/2 credit)
  • China in Transition (1/2 credit)
Coursework in Science Concentration
  • Evolution, Ecology, and the Environment (1 credit)
  • Oceanography (1 credit)
  • AP® Environmental Science (1 credit)
  • AP® Statistics or Calculus (recommended, not required)
Coursework in World Languages Concentration
  • 3 years in a second world language (3 credits) or 2 years and a summer course or immersion program.
Additional Requirements
In addition to coursework, students will work to earn 650 credit points toward the Global Studies Diploma once accepted into the program. Credit points will be required in the following categories: 
  • Global Action—200 credit points—global travel, service learning either abroad or domestic with a global focus, or other global activities (may include Winterim travel abroad, participation in Model UN, taking part in international exchange programs, volunteering with the local chapter of a global-based NGO, etc.) 
  • Cultural Engagement - 200 credit points - experiences that are not service- or travel-related but that contain a global focus (may include activities such as movies, museum exhibits, plays, etc.)
  • Student Choice—200 credit points—may include community activities such as planning a trip, taking a leadership role in planning and running an assembly, taking Global Studies courses above and beyond their concentration requirements, etc. 
  • 12th Grade thesis with a global focus - 50 credit points
Point values earned for activities within the Global Action, Cultural Engagement, and Student Choice categories will vary depending on the length of time involved, degree of student preparedness, and overall commitment level. Point values will be determined and approved by the Global Studies Director and/or Global Studies Program Board.

Requirements for earning a Global Studies Diploma with Distinction
In addition to completing the coursework required, students who seek to graduate from the program with distinction will be required to earn at least 800 credit points. Additional points will be considered for, but not limited to, the following options:
  • Grade of B+ or higher on the 12th Grade Thesis Paper and Defense
  • Grade of B+ or higher or a score of 4 or higher on the AP® Exam in all Global Studies Program coursework
  • Proof of consistent leadership in the Global Studies Program
  • Participation above and beyond the program requirements
  • Global Studies Program Board vote of earned distinction
Once accepted into the program, each student is assigned a Global Studies Program advisor who provides guidance and monitors student progress throughout the program.

Global Studies Events

Global Studies Program students and faculty recently attended a lecture at Boston College entitled, "Natural Disasters and Human Rights: Comparing Responses to Haiti and Pakistan." Dr. Beth Ferris, Co-Director of the Brookings Bern Project on Internal Displacement, presented her research on and comparative analysis of the international humanitarian response to these two natural disasters of 2010. She raised many questions in regard to the international community's uneven responses to these particular events and included discussion of the 2004 tsunami in South Asia and 2005's Hurricane Katrina in the United States. Following her presentation Dr. Ferris took questions from the audience members including one from a Brimmer and May student about the response in Haiti. This lecture was sponsored by the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College.

The Global Studies Program sponsors monthly events for students to broaden their intellectual understanding of international events and global issues. The Program also seeks to advance the students in their level of knowledge and skills of analysis in order to prepare them for their post-secondary studies and their future as global citizens.
69 Middlesex Road
Chestnut Hill, MA  02467