Off-Campus Studies can help Environmental Studies students…

  • See how environmental problems require an interdisciplinary approach and global perspective
  • Develop primary research skills from field studies
  • Gain insights into environmental issues and problems from a non-U.S. perspective
  • Help students see the connection between community, place and environment
  • Expand cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills
  • Prepare for an increasingly diverse and international workplace

How does a semester or year of OCS help students in Environmental Studies prepare for graduate school or various career opportunities? 

  • During off-campus studies students gain research and learning opportunities in a global context
  • First-hand experience with the complexity of environmental issues
  • Exposure to on-the-ground career work in conservation and environmental management

As a general rule of thumb, the Environmental Studies Department recommends the following for students who wish to study off campus.

  • First-year students should take ENVS 120 Introduction to Environmental Studies.
  • Second-year students should take ENVS 207 Methods of Environmental Analysis and as many ENVS requirements as possible in order to have more flexibility for off-campus studies.
  • For planning tips related to your specific field of concentration, please refer to the Advising Sheet for that major (e.g. ES-Biology majors should refer to the OCS Advising Sheet for Biology for tips about the biology side of the major).

Which requirements can Environmental Studies majors fulfill while off campus?

  • Specific courses in the major such as ENVS 459 Interdisciplinary Fieldwork or general ES foundation requirements
  • General Studies distribution requirements
  • General degree credit

Major Credit Limitations

  • The maximum number of credits that can be applied to the Environmental Studies major from off campus studies (including AP credit, IB credit and credits from other U.S. institutions) is 8 credits in ES courses with the approval of your major adviser. For credit limits in the courses for your particular area of concentration (e.g. politics, biology), please consult the table below.
  • Business courses typically cannot be transferred to Whitman because they are vocational in nature and not considered liberal arts.

Table of ES Program Credit Limits

What are the types of OCS programs recommended by the Environmental Studies department?

  • Field study programs with opportunities to engage in research with the local community
  • Interdisciplinary field experiences

Which Partner Programs are recommended by the Environmental Studies Department?

The following programs all fulfill the interdisciplinary course requirement for the ES major with the exception of the DIS program.  For SFS and CIEE programs, the Directed Research course fulfills the requirement.  For SIT programs, the Independent Study Project course fulfills the interdisciplinary requirement.

  • CIEE: Khon Kaen Development and Globalization (Thailand)
  • CIEE: Monteverde Tropical Ecology and Conservation (Costa Rica)
  • CIEE: Monteverde Sustainability and the Environment (Costa Rica)
  • DIS Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • IES: Freiburg Environmental Studies & Sustainability (Germany)
  • SEA Semester (Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA)
  • SFS: Australia Tropical Rainforest Studies (Cairns)
  • SFS: Cambodia Conservation, Ethics, and Environmental Change (Siem Reap)
  • SFS: Panama Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies (Bocas del Toro)
  • SFS: Tanzania Wildlife Management Studies (Moyo Hill Camp)
  • SFS: Turks and Caicos Marine Resource Studies (South Caicos)
  • SIT: Ecuador Comparative Ecology and Conservation (Quito)
  • SIT: India Sustainable Development and Social Change (Jaipur)
  • SIT: Madagascar Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management (Fort Dauphin)

Students interested in Off-Campus Studies should attend an OCS First Step meeting in the fall of their second year, discuss their interests with their major adviser, and schedule an appointment with an OCS adviser.