Day and Boarding; Grades 6-12



Global Studies Certificate Program

Learn how to make a difference in the world

The Pennington School's Certificate in Global Studies is a two-year, interdisciplinary program open to all Pennington students. Students apply for the program in the winter of their sophomore year for participation during their junior and senior years. The Certificate in Global Studies is awarded at Commencement in June.

I want all of our students to believe that their Pennington education prepares them to give back to the world rather than give them a leg up to get ahead in the world.” —Dr. William S. Hawkey, Headmaster
The Global Studies Certificate Program at The Pennington School provides an interdisciplinary academic environment that prepares students to meaningfully participate and succeed in their ever-changing world. By participating in the program, students will develop their capacity to understand and act on issues of global significance. Broadening their outlook outside of their school environment, Global Studies students will take steps to achieve purposeful action in the world and take their places as true global citizens.

Program Requirements

Course requirements

Course Requirements during Junior and Senior years:

  • .5 credit of Global Studies Seminar (must be taken Junior year; may count as .5 of the required History credit)
  • 2 credits of English
  • 2 credits of History/Social Studies
  • 2 credits of World Languages OR 1.5 credits of courses from the following list (above the English and History/Social Studies requirements above):

English: Caribbean Literature; Literature of Postcolonial Africa; Irish Literature; Gender and Society; Hyphen-American Literature; War Literature

History/Social Studies: Revolutionary Innovations; International Politics; East Asian History; AP Modern European History; Middle East History; Civil Rights and Liberties

: Buddhism; Rhythm of the Sacred; World Philosophy; Religion and Ecology

Arts: Junior- or senior-level arts courses that include global perspectives in their examination of artists, schools, or media

Science: Environmental Science

World Languages: All language courses

A sample schedule for a Global Studies student might look like this:

Junior Year:

Global Studies Seminar; Middle Eastern History; English III: Perspectives in World Literature; Spanish III; plus three credits and a study hall

Senior Year:

Human Geography; Civil Rights and Liberties; Irish Literature; Hyphen-American Literature; Spanish IV; plus three credits and a study hall

Another sample schedule for a Global Studies student might look like this:

Junior Year:

Global Studies Seminar; History Research Seminar: Material Culture; English III: Perspectives in World Literature; German III; plus three credits and a study hall

Senior Year:

Economics; Caribbean Literature; Literature of Post-Colonial Africa; Environmental Science; Buddhism; plus 2.5 credits and a study hall

Global experience

The Global Experience requirement requires students to engage significantly in an activity conducted outside of the classroom and with a global focus. These global experiences can be fulfilled locally, domestically, or abroad and must include a significant educational or service component. The Global Experience does not need to be School-sponsored, but it must be approved in advance by the Global Studies director. Students will submit proposals for their Global Experience following admission to the program.

Global Horizon project

All Pennington seniors participate in the Horizon senior internship program. Students in the Global Studies Certificate Program will choose a Horizon project that has a global focus, and which will serve as their capstone project for the Global Studies program. Each student will present his or her project to the larger School community.


Spring Break Travel

Learn German in Austria! Open to all German students. We will attend a language school each morning, and in the afternoons we’ll tour Salzburg and surrounding towns, attend a musical and a hockey game, and much more. Dates: March 11–18, 2017. Price: $2,950 with a deposit of $1,000. Email Mr. Chase with questions at

Join us for a one-of-a-kind adventure among the breathtaking red-rock canyons of southwest Colorado. Open to all Upper School students. We will perform our own pieces and will experience music of this region. When not performing, we’ll volunteer for the people of Montezuma County, explore archaeological sites, visit the cliff dwellings of the ancient Pueblo people, and go horseback riding and hiking. Dates: March 11–21, 2017. Price: $2,200. If you’re interested, please email Mr. Alford at .

Volunteer to teach English to elementary students! Pennington will return to Monte Cristi, a small fishing village in the northwest corner of the island. We’ll also sample local fare, visit local beaches, and learn to salsa! Dates: March 11–18, 2017. Price: $2,100. Interested students should email Ms. Kane at

Service trip to Haiti! Co-run with the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, we provide medical services to remote churches and schools served by Harmony Ministries. Open to all upper-schoolers; preference given to those selected for last year’s trip. Applications available in early September. Dates: March 14-19, 2017. Price: $2,000. Email Mr. Thompson at if you have any questions.

The trip will take us to Sicily and Rome, where we’ll explore archaeological sites and tour ancient towns. Dates: March 12–22, 2017. Price: $3,600 Deposit of $400 is due on June 1, 2016. We will be doing some fundraising! Come join us on a fabulous trip! This trip is currently full and there is a waiting list available. For more information, email .

Vamos a España!Open to students of Spanish in Level II Honors and above in the 2016–17 school year. We will visit Madrid and its surroundings, go to a Real Madrid soccer game, enjoy a flamenco show, and much more. Dates: March 10–23, 2017. Price: $1950, with a deposit of $1000. Interested? Email Sra. Castro at

Summer 2017 Travel

Volunteer alongside park rangers and biologists on Cuba’s sustainability efforts: ride horses to a freshwater lagoon from your basecamp at the Charco Azul EcoLodge; spot flamingos from a tropical river cruise; camp under the stars; sunbathe on tropical beaches; and of course explore the culture, history, art, and music of Trinidad and Havana. Open to all students! June 20

29, 2017. Price: $3550. Interested? Email Mrs. Reddy at or visit the trip website:


What is the cost of this program?

There are no specific costs associated with the Global Studies Certificate Program. The requirements for the global experience and the global Horizon project can be met without overnight travel.

Who should apply to the program?

All Pennington sophomores and juniors who are interested in world affairs and in making a contribution to the larger world we share are good candidates for this program. We welcome all students in those grades to apply!

Is the Global Studies Certificate Program an honors-level course of study?

No. All course requirements can be met without the need to take an honors-level class. We encourage all interested sophomores and juniors to apply for the program!

I do not take a world language but I am very interested in global affairs. May I apply to the Global Studies Certificate Program?

The language requirement for the Global Studies Certificate Program may be waived for students in the Cervone Center for Learning, or on a case-by-case basis. This waiver will be determined by the Global Studies committee.

I have already taken some of the courses on the list. Do those classes count toward the requirement for the certificate?

Yes. You will receive credit toward the Global Studies Certificate for any classes on the list of approved classes that you have previously completed at Pennington, including world languages classes.