Global Environmental Studies

Q: What courses should I take during the first year?

A good place to start is one of several 00- and 100-level courses in Global Environmental Studies (GES) that have been designated as core courses. GES majors take five of these core courses which are designed to introduce students to the different ways of understanding and researching society-environment relations. Students must take one core course from the "State of the Earth" and "Natural Science" areas. The three remain core courses are selected by the student in consultation with their GES advisor:

1. State of the Earth (one course required): What are the contemporary relations between society and environment? How do we begin to critically understand these relations?

2. Natural Science (on course required): What are the earth's physical, chemical, and biological processes that shape the landscapes of the planet?

3. Politics and Economy: How does the economy impact the environment? How do different nations impact the climate? How do governments and social institutions seek to intervene and shape human-environment relations?

4. Culture: How do we understand the environment? What landscapes are protected and why? How do we learn to appreciate and value the living world?

Q: Is there a preferred sequence of courses students should follow?

Completing the GES major requires you to take 12 courses with GES attributes. These courses are listed in the Program Guide, which can be found on the GES website. The major is structured so that you build foundational knowledge in your core courses, and then move on to develop one of three specialized sets of skills. Your selection of classes and identification of specialization should be undertaken in collaboration with your GES advisor. Given the breadth of the GES major, it is imperative that you actively construct your major, understanding why you are taking particular classes and identify specific learning outcomes for the major. You should also select your skills courses so that they correspond to your specilization.

Q: What are the guidelines for internships and/or study abroad?

Students are strongly encouraged to do internships within the private, public and non-for-profit sectors. Similarly, study abroad provides students with the opportunity to witness first-hand the environmental issues that arise in other parts of the world and to be a part of their analysis and problem-solving. To receive credit for study abroad, you must work with your faculty advisor and select courses that have equivalents within the GES major at Clark.

Q: Where should students or faculty go for more information?

The GES Program Guide (on the GES website) should be the first place students refer to when they have a question about the major. Students and faculty can also contact Rachel Levitt, GES Program Assistant, who can provide additional information and help you find a faculty advisor in the department. The Program Assistant can also assist with the major declaration process and add you to the necessary email lists and Moodle pages.


Revised: 2/2017