Graduate Certificate in Environmental Humanities

The Graduate Certificate in the Environmental Humanities is available to Yale doctoral students who seek to establish a strong foundation in environmental humanities topics and methodologies across the humanities disciplines.

Students who complete the Graduate Certificate will gain skills working in interdisciplinary environmental settings and representing humanities perspectives on a broad range of environmental topics. 

Students who are pursuing the certificate are expected to update their progress in the Graduate Certificate Requirements Checklist once a semester. Students must log into Yale’s CAS system to update the form.

Note: The Graduate Certificate is not available to masters students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at the present time.

Requirements of the Graduate Certificate in the Environmental Humanities

The Graduate Certificate includes coursework, research, and teaching requirements. 

1. Elective Coursework and Individual Concentration

Each student must take three approved graduate or professional courses focusing entirely or substantially on environmental themes, broadly defined. At least one of the courses should involve approximately 50% of its material from outside a student’s home department or discipline.

In consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and their Environmental Humanities advisor (who can also be their departmental advisor), each student is expected to organize their elective courses around a concentration related to their departmental coursework and doctoral research. Elective courses will be chosen from a list of the environmental humanities graduate courses that are being offered each semester.

Each student defines their individualized concentration. At the conclusion of the certificate, students must submit an essay of 4000-8000 characters (approximately 1-2 pages single-spaced) that explains their approach to the environmental humanities and that justifies the courses that they have taken as part of the certificate program.

2. Environmental Humanities Workshop: “Topics in the Environmental Humanities”

Each student must register for and complete two semesters of the Environmental Humanities certificate workshop, “Topics in the Environmental Humanities.” The workshop meets six times per semester to explore concepts, methods, and pedagogy, and to share student and faculty research. Each student must complete both a fall semester and a spring semester of the workshop, but the two semesters of student participation need not be consecutive. The fall semester each year will emphasize key concepts and major intellectual currents. The spring semester each year will emphasize pedagogy, methods, and public practice. The specific conceptual topics will vary each year. Students who have previously enrolled in the course may audit the course in a subsequent year.

“Topics in the Environmental Humanities” is a half-credit course that will be offered in both the fall and spring semesters (one credit total) starting in the 2019-2020 academic year. Students must enroll in “Topics in the Environmental Humanities” each semester that they participate, and student attendance will be recorded at the workshop meetings. Participation in the course typically does not count toward departmental coursework requirements.

3. Research Presentation Requirement

Students must demonstrate the capacity to pursue independent, interdisciplinary research in Environmental Humanities by presenting a qualifying paper at a meeting of the Environmental Humanities Workshop, Graduate Research Symposium, or other approved venue.

4. Teaching and Public Humanities Requirement

Students may fulfill the teaching requirement by serving as a teaching fellow for an approved environmental humanities course or by completing an approved public humanities project. Other options are available to students if appropriate teaching opportunities are not available. Such options must be approved by the student’s PhD or Environmental Humanities advisor and DGS.

Completion of the Certificate

When a student has completed the elements of the certificate, their checklist, along with their academic transcript, will be reviewed by the Director of Graduate Studies for verification and approval. 

Faculty Oversight and Director of Graduate Studies

The Environmental Humanities Steering Committee oversees the Graduate Certificate, and a member of the Steering Committee serves as Director of Graduate Studies.

Paul Sabin is the interim Director of Graduate Studies.  Professor Sabin is the Randolph W. Townsend Professor of History and the faculty director of Yale Environmental Humanities.

In addition to the DGS, each student will have an “environmental humanities advisor,” either their departmental advisor, a member of the Steering Committee, or another faculty member who is positioned to advise them on their environmental humanities program of study.

To apply for the Graduate Certificate in the Environmental Humanities, click here.

For graduate course offerings for the current academic year, click here.