Global Environments + Sustainability Program

University of Virginia

Year Founded: Jan. 1, 2014
Date Posted: Feb. 25, 2016
Submitted by: Monika Urbanski
Sustainability Topic: Curriculum
Content Type: Academic Programs
Program Type: Baccalaureate degree
Completion: 2 years of 4 year undergraduate program
Distance: Local Only
Commitment: Full-Time


The relationship between human societies and the planet have created many of today’s most intractable global challenges. Over the past 50 years, Earth’s human population has doubled and is projected to increase to 9 billion by 2050. When multiplied by a growing per-capita rate of consumption, the resulting effect is an accelerated depletion of natural resources, rapid urbanization, worldwide water and energy shortages, pressure on global food supplies, loss of precious biodiversity, increasing global health challenges and social upheaval. A key characteristic of these problems is their multidisciplinary scope and scale, encompassing not only technical issues, but also historical, social, political, ethical, environmental, economic, and aesthetic ones. The Global Environments + Sustainability program prepares students to understand, innovate and lead efforts to sustainably transform the physical environment.

Global Environments + Sustainability (GSVS) is a track or concentration within the interdisciplinary Global Studies major. Students apply in the spring of their second year and complete the major in their third and fourth years. GSVS students address problems associated with human transformations of the earth through the triple lens of environment, equity, and economy.

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