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Earning an Undergraduate Degree in World Cultures

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 6/20/2011

Are you seeking information on a world cultures undergraduate degree? If so, read on to learn more about this degree and the possible careers with it.

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    Culture is a learned, shared, and symbolic system of beliefs, values, and attitudes that influences and shapes behavior and perception. A world cultures undergraduate degree will allow students to learn about cultures all throughout the world, their history, present, and future. An undergraduate degree in this field puts students in position for a large variety of career paths, as well as allows them to further their education in a large variety of subjects if they choose to do so.

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    What Does a World Cultures Degree Entail?

    Earning a world cultures degree involves a wide, and seemingly unrelated, curriculum. Throughout earning this degree, students will develop a solid understanding of what the true definition of culture is and how culture relates to society, as well as the surrounding environment. They will learn how cultures adapt, and how society adapts to the different cultures throughout the world. They will take sociological classes that will deepen their understanding of how humanity evolved and how this evolution contributed to the cultures we know in the world today.

    Students will learn more about mathematics and the sciences so that they can better understand the biological aspects of culture, as well as the genetic component. History courses will further encourage this understanding through showing the student how individual cultures have evolved, both biologically and genetically.

    Students will also focus on writing and communication. They will learn to effectively write several different types of reports and how to best interpret and communicate data and information.

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    Average Completion Time

    An Associate's degree in this field takes about two years to complete. Those going for a Bachelor's degree can expect to be in school for about four years. Some colleges and universities offered accelerated programs that take half the time.

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    State Universities

    The University of California Los Angeles offers this degree. Students will begin by filling out the Application for Undergraduate Admissions. Once this has been done, students will receive and need to complete a World Arts and Cultures Supplemental Application. The student service fee is $900.00. Resident students will pay a $9,402 educational fee and nonresidents will pay a $10,260 educational fee. The undergraduate students association fee is $121.38. Students will also have to purchase all required course materials and textbooks.

    Penn State University also offers a degree in this field. All students must complete an application for admission and promptly return it with all required documents accompanying it. Students will pay an information technology fee of $80.00 to $236.00 depending on how many credits the student is taking. A full academic year will cost an undergraduate student about $9,000 to $17,000 depending on the campus they attend. Other fees, such as books and supplies, will be necessary.

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    World Cultures Internships

    Virginia Commonwealth University offers a World Studies Internship Program. To qualify, students must have an overall GPA of at least 2.0 or higher, be a declared world studies major, and have already completely at least nine, 300-level or higher credits. Students must log 40 work hours per credit.

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    Best Ranking Schools

    Several state schools offering an undergraduate degree in world studies are in the top 25 US schools. The University of Pennsylvania ranks number 5. University of California – Berkeley ranks number 22. University of California – Los Angeles ranks number 25.

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    Purchase College State University of New York. (2010). Core Curriculum Requirements: B.A and B.S. Degree Programs. Retrieved on September 25, 2010 from Purchase College State University of New York:


    University of California Los Angeles. (2010). Fees. Retrieved on September 25, 2010 from the University of California Los Angeles: