• The new economy and society concentration examines economics, anthropology, ecology, history, politics, and other social spheres through a global lens.
  • The program’s broad scope allows students to focus on areas they’re most interested in.
  • The program’s global lens includes a junior year abroad and the possibility of a Liberal Studies First Year Away experience.

If you’re interested in economics, especially within a global context, make sure the economy and society concentration within the Global Liberal Studies (GLS) major is on your radar. This new concentration takes an interdisciplinary approach to studying economics. So you’ll not only study economics but also anthropology, ecology, history, politics, and other social spheres—all through a global lens.

Two students collaborating in class.

A Quick Primer on GLS

First time learning about GLS? Here are some important things to know. GLS is part of NYU Liberal Studies, which is known for its small class sizes and interdisciplinary curriculum. GLS majors begin with the Liberal Studies Core and then select one of seven concentrations. With an emphasis on global perspective, all GLS majors study away during their junior year (and some spend their first year away, too). The major offers the chance to complete independent research, scholarly writing, and artistic work for a senior thesis.

A group of students meeting in a conference room.

Understand the World’s Economic Challenges

GLS students’ interest in economics and related issues around the world informed the creation of the economy and society concentration. The program launched with a rich and broad curriculum that allows students to focus on what interests them most. Some popular topics include automation, digitalization, and the future of work; ecological breakdown and green capitalism; and international institutions and governance of the global commons. Zara Ali, a junior, says, “There are so many different ways of considering and tackling problems, and we can analyze almost every problem through an economic lens.” In the future, Zara plans to draw upon her GLS studies for a career in consulting. “I find a lot of satisfaction in problem-solving,” she says. “The economy and society concentration has built my confidence in analyzing data and breaking down big problems into manageable parts.”

For Gracie Galvin, a junior, the concentration was a natural fit for her plans to pursue a career in the food industry, a sector that includes both business and creative aspects. She explains, “In high school, I found micro- and macroeconomics to be the most challenging yet fascinating classes. However, I knew I didn’t want to pursue an Economics major because, while I find economic theory complex and compelling, the math and formulas are utterly numbing to me.” She adds, “While the concentration may seem specific, GLS offers so much freedom. You can study across the globe, take courses from other concentrations, and learn from professors of all different backgrounds.”

NYU Florence students gathered in Villa La Pietra during a History of Italian Fashion class session with Professor Patricia Lennox.

Gain Global Perspectives in Real Time

The economy and society concentration has fueled junior Amelia Kreher’s interest in nontraditional measurements of economic success. “The global lens allows me to look at economics and capitalism from the perspective of other nations. It is interesting to me, for example, to see how Scandinavian capitalism and the welfare state has a different sociocultural effect on its people than American consumer capitalism does. It allows me to challenge modern ideas of the so-called inevitability of capitalism.” Now studying away at NYU Paris, Amelia hopes to work with an organization like the Happiness Research Institute in the future.

Gracie, meanwhile, is at NYU Florence for a second time after spending her first year there. “I chose to live with a host family this time and am absolutely loving it,” she reports. “The ability to study abroad without limits to my academic success has been the best part of GLS. I am so grateful to be able to spend this time traveling and integrating into new cultures.”