The Franke GLI Program

The Student Experience



At graduation, our students face increasingly global concerns such as economic viability, population and environmental changes, effects of technological advances, ethical dilemmas and the creation of wealth and resources. Our global society needs leaders and entrepreneurs to shape progress toward innovation, new technologies and civic and cultural engagement. In response to this, the University of Montana created the Franke Global Leadership Initiative. This program instills graduates with a more comprehensive understanding and broader perspective needed to address global issues and to develop leadership skills needed for the global century.

Each year, Franke GLI welcomes a broadly representative group of students to participate as fellows. The program enriches and enhances the UM experience by providing students with interdisciplinary coursework, out-of-classroom experiences, advising, and support. This enables our fellows to critically examine global challenges and achieve genuine confidence in their knowledge and abilities.

Component 1: Global Challenges

During the first year of Franke GLI, fellows explore the idea of global challenges through two courses: a small seminar course focused on a single topic and a larger course designed to give an overarching view of global issues and the innovative approaches used to combat them.

Component 2: Models of leadership

The second year of the program focuses on developing leadership skills that can be utilized at home and abroad and connecting with other Franke GLI fellows. This is achieved through a leadership retreat where fellows learn more about themselves and their leadership styles and a seminar course with distinguished guest speakers who embody many different types of leadership.

Component 3: Beyond the classroom

During year three, Franke GLI fellows complete a 12-week beyond the classroom experience of their choosing. The experience broadens their understanding and interactions with global challenges. In the past, fellows have completed study abroad programs, internships, service learning experiences and research and creative scholarships. Partial funding is available through the Franke GLI program to offset costs of travel and research.

Component 4: The Capstone

The final component of the Franke GLI fellowship program is a capstone project where fellows demonstrate mastery through interdisciplinary projects designed by the students and assisted by a faculty mentor. Through this, students address critical issues affecting the world and use their experiences in the program to develop a solution to a particular challenge. Upon completion of the program, successful fellows are awarded a certificate in global leadership.


Franke GLI alumni go out into the world after graduation capable of tackling issues our world is facing because of the training they received as Franke GLI fellows. Our alumni are teaching English in foreign countries, working as software developers in Germany, reporting at newspapers in the U.S. and attending graduate schools in different states.