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The Global Environmental Policy (GEP) MA degree is founded upon a tripartite course of study of natural science, economics, and policy analysis to build an integrated understanding of environmental politics and policy.
In their first semester, GEP students take courses alongside NRSD and other students in American University's School of International Service. In addition to taking the required Environment and Politics seminar (SIS 660), students typically take two other courses to satisfy core requirements in science, economics, theory or research methods, or pursue elective/concentration credits.
During their four semesters, GEP students must take two theory courses (one of which is the introductory Environmental and Politics seminar), two economics courses (usually including Environmental Economics) and two science courses (typically starting with Environmental Science I). In addition, GEP students must fulfill a research methods requirement, often either with a quantitative or qualitative methods course, though a number of students end up taking an upper level policy analysis seminar or a GIS/spatial analysis course.
Students additionally take three courses in a concentration of their choosing along with an elective. They must also demonstrate research competency in a language other than English and fulfill a professional experience requirement (usually through an internship). Finally, GEP students must satisfy a capstone research requirement either by thesis, significant research paper or team practicum.
These requirements have built-in flexibility and, given the wide array of courses on offer at AU, students have no trouble building a customized schedule to fit their interests. For a better idea of the kinds of work and research students pursue during their time in the program, click here. For a list of the many courses routinely offered at American University that attract GEP students, click here.
Ultimately, course plans are worked out in consultation with SIS advisors and faculty in order to meet the student’s interest as well as graduate requirements. Official requirements and degree descriptions are available through the Graduate Advising Office.