Global Challenges Courses


The College of Discovery, Creativity and Innovation invites you to take the lead in exploring complex global issues, ask important questions and solve problems that mean something in some of the University of Calgary's most exciting new undergraduate courses.


The Global Challenges courses challenge you to think critically about complex problems and how to solve them. As such, many of our students find that the learnings apply well beyond the boundaries of the content itself. The courses are, more generally, about the study of idea creation. What pathways can we take to answer a question? To generate a solution to a problem?

The Global Challenges courses have no particular domain or discipline of their own. Therein lies the excitement. They empower you with tools and frameworks that you can apply to any question, regardless of your path, in university and beyond.


About global challenges


UNIV 201: Global Challenges Inquiry I

UNIV 201: Global Challenges Inquiry I is your introduction to a global challenge, and your first chance to use the inquiry process to explore a real world problem from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. As a global challenges student, you will be in charge of your inquiry: you will take the lead in exploring complex issues, identifying important questions, looking for evidence, conducting research, and solving problems.  Your instructor will serve as a guide and coach throughout the innovation and inquiry process. You will work with a team to develop an innovative idea that can address one aspect of the global challenge in a meaningful way. Your innovative idea will showcase the way that you have learned to view the global challenge from many social, cultural, scientific, philosophical, political and economic perspectives. Most importantly, you will work with your peers to drive and direct your learning process, seeking to deeply explore the global challenge and to design a new way to create change in the world.



UNIV 203: Global Challenges Inquiry II

Are you ready to take the next step to address our global challenge? UNIV 203 : Global Challenges Inquiry II is your chance to enhance the skills and ideas you developed in UNIV 201 as you prepare to take your place as a change maker in the world. Workshops held early in the course are designed to build teamwork skills, prototype, and develop new and innovative ideas. Throughout the semester, you’ll build a team of students and community partners to connect your innovative idea with the real world.  In UNIV 203, you’ll create partnerships with individuals in the broader Calgary community, you’ll bring your innovation to life, and you’ll have a chance to take part in a showcase of your creativity, your discovery and your innovation at the end of the semester! 


Student Experience

"Global Challenges is interesting because it is an inquiry-based — rather than lecture-based — course. It allows me to cultivate my knowledge and take responsibility for my career through my own resources and research projects. The conversations I had illuminated certain aspects of food security that I was unaware of, so I think that events and conversations addressing a global challenge should be held regularly, at schools and at home, for youth and for groups of all ages, casually and professionally, because they do more than bring awareness — they inspire people to join the movement for sustainability." 
Ivan Savytskyy, first-year astrophysics student

An Instructor Perspective



Video Credit: Michael Do, Global Challenges Student Ambassador