Global challenges in the physical environment require that students draw upon and integrate knowledge from many disciplines. The track curriculum and personalized advising process facilitate a synthesis of ideas, traditional disciplines, and ways of thinking. Two required GSVS courses, Global Sustainability and Religion, Ethics & Global Environments establish a clear conceptual framework for the track and integrates concepts from the requisite Global Studies core courses. Students choose from a carefully selected list of approved electives distributed in the three interwoven sustainability areas: Environment, Equity, and Economy & policy. During the spring semester of their final year, students bring together their curriculum and expertise in a significant research project during a 4000 level capstone seminar.

Students in Global Environments + Sustainability will complete 30 credits in the following.

  • Three Global Studies "Core Courses" (9 credits) selection from these distribution areas: Global Humanities, Global Cultures, Global Diagnostics (Ideally, 3 credits should be taken as a prerequisite)

  • Two required GSVS core courses (6 credits):

  • GSVS 2150 Global Sustainability (offered next in Fall 2018)

  • GSVS 2210/RELG 2210: Religion, Ethics & Global Environments (offered next in Spring 2019)

  • Five electives distributed in 3 areas: Environment, Equity, and Economy & Policy (15 credits) Approved electives are listed here

  • 4th year capstone seminar (3 credits): GSVS 4991 Capstone Seminar in Global Environments + Sustainability (offered only in the Spring semester).

  • Language competency: One (1) course beyond the 2020 level of any language taught at UVA (or in an approved study-abroad program).
    - OR-
    If a student has reached the 2020 level in one language but does not want to go further with that language, the student can satisfy the requirement by studying a second language and reaching the 1020 level.

NOTE: Students are strongly encouraged to complete one Global Studies "core course" in Global Humanities, Global Cultures, or Global Diagnostics prior to applying for the Global Studies major.


May a class listed under another department's mnemonic (e.g., HIST) count toward the major? Absolutely. All course planning will be in direct consultation with the track director, Phoebe Crisman, who has great discretion with regard to counting courses toward the major.

May I count a class for which I received UVA Transfer Credit toward the coursework required for the major? Yes, in consultation with the track director.

May I count transfer credit from a Study Abroad program toward the major? Yes, in consultation with the track director.

May I count a UVA Direct Credit Study Abroad class toward the major? Yes, in consultation with the track director.

May I create an independent study course in Global Studies – Environments + Sustainability? Yes, in consultation with the track director.

May I receive credit for an internship? Yes, in consultation with the track director.

May I double-count a class toward the major and toward another UVA graduation requirement? Yes. You may count classes that are counting toward your UVA distribution requirement (e.g. “social science”, “humanities”) toward the 33 credits required for the major.


** The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at