Global Environments + Sustainability

Preparing students to understand, innovate and lead efforts to sustainably transform the physical environment.

Major Requirements

The major in Global Environments + Sustainability requires 30 credits plus two prerequisite courses and a language competency as defined below. 

Download a copy of the GSVS Advising Sheet here.

PRE-REQUISITES (6 CREDITS) students may apply before completing the prereqs.

  • Global Humanities, History or Culture course
    • Courses vary by semester: GSGS 3030/ENGL 3610: Global Cultural Studies; GSGS 3100 (was GSGS 2559): Critical Conceptions of the Global; HIST 2001: Global History; HIST 2002: The Modern World - Global History since 1760; ANTH 2250: Nationalism, Racism, Multiculturalism; GSGS 2010: Global Commerce in Culture; ANTH 1010: Introduction to Anthropology; ANTH 1050: Anthropology of Globalization
  • Global Studies Methods or Quantitative course
    • Courses vary by semester: GSGS 3111: Global Studies Epistemology, Methodology & Methods; ECON 2010: Microeconomics; STAT 2120: Intro to Statistical Analysis; STAT 2020: Statistics for Biologists; EVSC 3020: GIS Methods

CORE COURSES (15 CREDITS) each course is offered once per academic year

  • GSVS 2150 / ARCH 2150 / COMM 3880: Global Sustainability (fall)
  • GSVS 2210 / RELG 2210: Religion, Ethics & Global Environments (spring)
  • ECON 3430: Economics of Sustainability & the Environment (fall)
  • GSVS 3310: Sustainability Policy at Home & Abroad (fall) Note: listed as GSVS 3559: Natural Resource Poliicy in Fall 2021. EVSC 1080: Resources & the Environment or EVSC 1450: The Inconvenient Truce only count for this requirement if taken before Fall 2021.
  • GSVS 4991: Capstone Research Seminar (spring)


  • 5 elective courses from the approved list that must include:
    • 3 courses from the “Environment” category (may petition for different distribution)
    • 1 course from the “Equity” category
    • 1 course from the “Economy & Policy” category

LANGUAGE COMPETENCY (one of the below)

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


  • Students may count 4 of their major courses (12 credits) taken in other UVA schools as 'inside' the College (per CEPC approval on 12/8/2015)
  • Credits applied toward a major may not also count toward completion of a minor. See rules for College minors here.
  • Within allowable UVA limits and in consultation with track director Prof. Phoebe Crisman, students may do the following:
    • apply before completing the prerequisites
    • double-count up to 3 courses toward the interdsiciplinary GSVS major and another UVA major
    • count UVA Transfer Credit toward coursework required for the major
    • count a UVA Direct Credit Study Abroad class toward the major
    • count UVA approved Transfer Credit from a Study Abroad program toward the major
    • create an independent study course in Global Studies – Environments + Sustainability
    • receive 1 credit for an internship. See detail here.


** 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