Environmental Science & Sustainability (ESS) Major Study Away Advising Guide

The Global Education Office and the Environmental Science & Sustainability (ESS) Department have compiled the following information for ESS majors to assist in planning for a semester of study away. Students should let their Academic Advisor know as soon as possible about their plan to study away so they can help fit this experience into the student’s graduation plan.

Academic Planning Prior to Going Away

Successfully Complete the Following Courses Before Studying Away

In order to be eligible to study away, students in the ESS major must successfully complete the following courses at Allegheny prior to studying away:

  • FS-101, FS-102 OR SWS-105 *wording TBD
  • While not REQUIRED, the department does recommend that the student complete ENVSC 110 and ENVSC 210 prior to studying away.

When should I study away?

It is recommended that students in the ESS major should study away during the fall or spring semesters of their junior year. The ESS major requires a two-semester senior project therefore students cannot study away in the senior year.

Allegheny’s graduation requirements state that a student’s final 16 semester credit hours before graduation must be taken in academic residence on campus, therefore study away during the second-semester senior year is not allowed without the permission of the Dean’s Exemption Committee.

Plan Around Your Junior Seminar/Senior Project

The junior seminar for ESS majors is offered in both the fall and spring terms, therefore students who study abroad in the junior year must take their junior seminar in the term they remain on campus that year.  Students will be provided a survey at the end of their sophomore year asking if they will be studying abroad during their junior year and when they need to take their junior seminar.

Courses that Must Be Taken on Campus

The following courses in the ESS major cannot be taken during a study-away program: 

  • ENVSC 110
  • ENVSC 210
  • FS ENVSC 201 (and replacement course to be proposed)
  • ENVSC 585
  • ENVSC 600 & 610.

How Studying Away Counts Towards the Major

The Environmental Science & Sustainability Department views study-away as a valuable opportunity to increase one’s understanding of environmental change-making at a national or international level. We therefore strongly encourage students to pursue semester-long or summer study away programs, whether internationally or domestically. We strive hard to help ESS majors pursue these opportunities and look forward to working with students to identify appropriate programs and make study away part of their pathway toward graduation and future careers.

Students in the ESS major should focus on coursework for the Systems Integration and Advanced Analysis Concentration section of the major while studying away. 

There is no limit on the number of credits from study away that can transfer back towards the ESS major.

Suggested Programs for ESS Majors in the Environmental Science & Sustainability Department

The following is a highlighted list of sponsored study away programs that have approved coursework for the ESS major:

Program Name Distinguishing Features

Australia: James Cook University – Townsville

James Cook is a large university that offers a variety of courses applicable to an ESS major.

Costa Rica: Sustainable Development in Atenas (SFS) The goal of the program is to contribute to management plans for the sustainable development of Atenas Region communities by focusing on community development, management of protected areas, reforestation, agricultural production, and the development of alternative economic opportunities, including ecotourism. Coursework will vary for each program based on your determined concentration for the ESS major. Work with your advisor to identify coursework that will fulfill your concentration.

Costa Rica: Tropical Ecology & Conservation in Monteverde (CIEE) Students learn about conservation through rigorous work both in the classroom and the field.

England: Lancaster University Lancaster is a large university that offers a variety of courses applicable to an ESS major in their Earth and Environmental Science and Biology departments in addition to several others.  

Israel: Kibbutz Ketura (Arava Institute for Environmental Studies) Courses focus on the areas of water management, renewable energy, ecology, sustainable agriculture, and environmental politics.