Day and Boarding; Grades 6-12



Global Studies Certificate Program

Group of student on mountain in snowy setting.

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.

The program 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 alternative coursework as approved by the Global Studies Director

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.

Global Studies Opportunities

Global Gateway Program

Located in Sharpsburg, Maryland, the Heifer Global Village is a camp comprised of replica homesteads from around the world, with authentic features like outdoor water pumps, animal pens, dirt floors, thatched roofs, communal cookfires. These homes represent impoverished areas around the globe where Heifer International works to eradicate hunger and poverty. Global Studies students are invited to a Gateway Weekend (Saturday, May 19, through Sunday, May 20). The event is designed to help participants delve into the causes and effects of these global issues. In this role-playing simulation, students will become “citizens” of a particular house for the evening and must work together to prepare their own meals, keep their houses, care for their animals and crops, and spend the night in their homestead.

The cost is $50 per student; transportation will be on passenger coach. Please follow the links to read more about Heifer’s Global Village or about the Heifer International organization. Sign up by Monday, April 30, by clicking here.

Supplies: A packing list will be provided. No specific camping gear is needed; plan on for a sleeping bag, clothing, water bottle, and bug spray. Priority will be given to Global Studies students in the class of 2020, but all GS students are welcome.


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.