A Changing Environment

EUPS students prepare to address climate change challenges

M.A. in Political Science, European Union Policy Studies
Climate Change Spurs Economic Changes

Climate change is one of the most pressing global challenges and continues to be a top priority for the European Union. The job market changes rapidly as international priorities change to respond to the world’s top needs. JMU’s Master of Arts in Political Science program prepares students to tackle historic policy concerns and dynamic, evolving ones. To prepare students for increasingly environment-focused career opportunities, JMU ensures that students have hands-on experience understanding, researching, and predicting the best ways to address different areas of climate change. 

As JMU graduate students in Florence have a particular focus on the European Union, understanding climate change in the context of international cooperation is critical. Part of the European Union’s strategic plan for 2019-2024 included promoting a green Europe. In particular, the EU seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030. By 2050, their goal is to make the European Union carbon neutral. The EU predicts that shifting to carbon neutrality will result in economic growth, new jobs, markets, and substantial technological advancements. Enacting new climate-related policies significantly changes the European and global job markets.

As countries prioritize reducing the impact of climate change, climate-focused jobs open across different sectors, ranging from scientific to political industries. New positions related to climate change may address various issues such as migration, food and water security, social habits, extreme weather responses, and many others. JMU’s Master of Arts in Political Science stays on top of these evolving fields by ensuring students are more prepared than ever to take on this changing job market. The program prepares students to take on roles within the policy and in the climate change sector by giving students hands-on experience in policy writing and advocacy design.

JMU has long valued practical experience and engagement. JMU EUPS students can put those values into action abroad, too! As part of the curriculum, EUPS students learn about the European Union policy process and have the chance to prepare tangible materials that prepare them for the changing job markets. Through writing a year-long policy brief examining a climate change-related topic of their choice, students acquire technical research, writing, and advocacy expertise and the research skills required to understand entirely new topic areas. At the end of the spring semester, students then conduct oral briefing sessions to several faculty members in which they present and defend their policy recommendations and advocacy strategies. While based in Florence, Italy, EUPS students ultimately emerge with a deeper understanding of creating multi-faceted solutions to complex, global issues.  

As the effects of climate change continue to sweep the globe, EUPS students are prepared to rise to the challenge and be part of the solution. Through coursework and practical experience, JMU students are ready to enter the changing job market and, more importantly, continue to be a part of a broader, engaged community.

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Alexandra Wilson Tuman, JD is a EUPS student and the program's Communications and Recruitment Graduate Assistant. Alexandra graduated cum laude from JMU in 2019 with a BA in International Affairs and a BS in Communication Studies. She recently graduated from Seton Hall Law in May 2023. After graduation, Alexandra hopes to use her legal knowledge to continue working in international policy. 

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Published: Thursday, November 30, 2023

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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