PhD Emphasis Course Electives

All students in the emphasis must take three elective courses in departments and disciplines other than their own. The purpose of the electives is to enable students to develop expertise in an area that complements their disciplinary training.

Choosing Electives

Students should tailor their electives to their interests and needs. The following three suggestions may be useful in guiding students' choice of electives:

  1. Subject Area Outside Home Discipline: It may provide an opportunity for a student to focus on a particular subject area outside his or her home discipline but related to his or her research. An example would be a student studying climate justice in the Sociology Department who wishes to develop a more in-depth understanding of climate science.
  2. Methodological Expertise: The elective requirement may enable a student to develop an area of methodological expertise outside his or her home discipline. An example would be an ecology student who wishes to develop skills in historical research for use in restoration work.
  3. Basic Environmental Knowledge: A student with little previous training in this area may use the elective requirement to develop a broad foundation of basic environmental knowledge. An example of this final case is a student with a strong background in political science, whose prior training focused on immigration but who is moving toward environmental research for the first time at the doctoral level.

Approving Electives

Electives can be selected from course offerings in any department or program on campus and must include at least two graduate-level courses. Students should choose electives in consultation with the emphasis program director and the outside member of their dissertation committee.

A Sampling of IPEES Relevant Graduate Electives