The Certificate Program consists of coursework, conferences, and seminars designed to prepare students for their internships and senior integrative projects. Interested students will be matched with a Center advisor who will help them prepare for the application process and develop a program proposal.
Students apply for the Certificate Program in the first semester of their sophomore year and must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Under unusual circumstances, a student with a strong proposal but a low GPA (minimum 2.8) might be accepted into the program on a conditional basis. A 3.0 GPA must be achieved no later than the end of the junior year in order for the student to continue in the program.
- Course Requirements
Students participate in a customized program of courses:
- ES 110 Environmental Studies as a Natural Science or ES 111 Environmental Studies as a Social Science taken in the freshman or sophomore year.
- Three additional courses selected to prepare the student for a summer internship or research project and a senior integrative project. These courses will be chosen in consultation with the Center advisor and may also count for major, minor or general education requirements.
- Certificate Seminars (ES290, ES395 or 396, ES495 and 496), taken during the spring semester of the sophomore year, one semester of the junior year and both semesters of the senior year, prepare students for their internships and senior integrative projects. These two-credit seminars provide opportunities for in-depth discussion of current environmental issues with invited speakers; sharing of information among students with diverse interests; and practical assistance in the planning of internships and projects and in the written and oral presentations of the results. These seminars are also specifically designed to foster a peer-to-peer learning situation in which students who have gained expertise in their chosen area of environmental interest by their senior year share their knowledge with the class. The senior students provide a significant portion of the course content. Students from each of the classes benefit from their interactions at different stages of their Certificate Program and from their participation as a member of a team with shared experiences over a three-year period. Credits cannot be counted towards the general education requirements or the environmental studies major.
- Conference Requirement
Students are expected to be active participants in workshops and special events sponsored by the Goodwin-Niering Center each year. They also attend the biennial Elizabeth Babbott Conant Interdisciplinary Conference on the Environment. A five-page paper will be due two weeks after the end of the conference.
- Internship/Research Project
Students will participate in an approved internship or a faculty supervised research project for eight to ten weeks during the summer after their junior year. This experience will be funded but does not carry any academic credit. Students are required to participate in CELS workshops during their sophomore and junior years in order to maintain eligibility for a funded internship. The Center staff and faculty will assist the student in finding and selecting an internship or research project that is closely related to the student's planned senior integrative project.
- Senior Integrative Project
A project that integrates the summer experience with the rest of the student's Certificate Program may be completed as a one or two-semester individual study, or an honors thesis in the major field. Public presentation of the results is required. The final grade for the senior integrative project is the responsibility of the faculty advisor who supervised the study.