A Strong Core of Liberal Arts

Our Global Citizenship Program (GCP) embodies the liberal arts core of every undergraduate’s education at Webster. The GCP is Webster University’s signature program that distinguishes it from many other liberal arts programs in institutions of higher education. It will broaden your horizons, in order to help prepare you for diverse and demanding work in your career. The GCP course series will also develop your core competencies for responsible global citizenship.

Webster students holding hands in group

Six Knowledge Areas of the Global Citizenship Program

The GCP is a common experience for all Webster bachelor students around the world.

Beginning in your first semester, you’ll enroll in a combination of GCP courses that develop your intellectual capacity in:

Six Knowledge Areas

  • Human Cultures (Roots of Cultures)
  • People and Institutions (Social Systems and Human Behavior)
  • Physical and Natural World
  • Languages (Global Understanding)
  • Artistic Expression
  • Quantitative Literacy

Your academic advisors will coach you during your bachelors's degree, as you select courses that fulfill each of these areas. Your typical semester will include courses in your major and courses in the GCP.

Global Citizenship Program

In addition to the knowledge you learn in the GCP, you will also develop transversal skills that support your personal and professional development:

Five Skills Areas

Written Communication
Oral Communication
Critical Thinking
Ethical Reasoning
Intercultural Competence

In addition to the courses that fulfill the GCP requirements, the department offers courses in a range of elective areas. Primary themes for elective courses include:

  • French language and culture
  • Ethics and philosophy
  • Science and sustainability
  • The arts (creative writing, visual arts, acting)

These aligns with our institutional effort to create a culture of "respect, wellness and sustainability” at Webster Geneva Campus.  In addition, many courses are directly related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), expanding your awareness of global challenges, and building upon your capacity to contribute as a global citizen in your future career.

The GCP program also houses an academic Minor in French, which is important because it gives you a chance to improve your language skills to better integrate into the Swiss job market.

Sample Courses Offered in the GCP include:

Current Art

The purpose of this course is to immerse students in the rich variety of artwork that characterizes art production in the 21st century. Current Art will give you an insider’s view of the art world and art market in Switzerland. You will meet and interact with several art world professionals who will present their work through the Meet the Artist Lecture Series held on the Geneva campus, and will also get a glimpse into the global contemporary art world by visiting the world-renowned Art Basel, the world’s largest art fair. The course will shed light on some of the major theoretical frameworks driving contemporary artistic production and reception today. It will also enable the development of skills in visual analysis, critical thinking, and independent research. This course is suitable to students of all levels. 

Digital Basic Photography

This is a course in basic photography in which you will utilize a digital workflow from capture to output. In this class, students will learn the fundamental aspects of digital photography which a beginner should know to start thinking like a professional. You will learn about basic digital cameras, their adjustments, and how choices of these adjustments affect the final image. In this course, you will learn how to digitally process these images using basic software skills and how to best repurpose these image files for Web or for print. You will learn how the visual choices you make when you take the photograph, whether they are technical (such as choice of camera setting) or aesthetic (such as composition, color, point of view) determine the content that will be communicated and expressed. If you are planning to travel during your Summer term, this class will teach you how to better use your digital camera and produce images of the highest quality.

Interpersonal Communication

The course is structured around several innovative projects that allow you to explore and experience different aspects of intra- and interpersonal communication. In the rich, multicultural environment at Webster Geneva, you will be able to deepen your knowledge of the intercultural element of interpersonal communication. Through a project inspired by anthropological methods, you will work with a partner in order to enhance your understanding of how culture shapes your own intra and interpersonal communication. The course concludes with an exhibition during which students share their contributions to a creative collaborative project that reflects their interpretation of the themes studied during the course.

Topics in Psychology: States of Consciousness, Mindfulness and Hypnotherapy

Our consciousness is perhaps the most pervasive thing in our own individual lives. Despite its importance, for most of the 20th century, it was off limits, essentially forbidden as a topic of scientific inquiry. During the past several decades this has changed and consciousness is now a leading topic in psychology and neuroscience. The renewed examination of consciousness adds a new integrative framework to the study of the brain and mind. In this course, we cover a wide range of topics chosen to learn the basic facts and concepts and to stimulate reflective thinking through discussion. Topics include: the neural correlates of consciousness, consciousness vs. (cognitive) unconsciousness, disorders and altered states of consciousness, with an emphasis on Mindfulness and Hypnosis.

Some Global Citizenship Program requirements can actually "double-count," to support your choice of a second major, a minor or certificate program. In other words, your choices in the GCP can open up some interesting possibilities for you as students.

Julianna Sandholm-Bark
Highly Dedicated Faculty

“The faculty teaching GCP courses are committed to helping you sharpen your intellectual agility, a capacity for independent learning, and an enthusiasm for collaboration — all of which are closely aligned with professional effectiveness and personal fulfillment through lifelong learning.”

Julianna Sandholm-Bark
Julianna Sandholm-Bark

Head of Global Citizenship

Julianna Sandholm-Bark biography