Platform mound at Aztalan State Park, a site visited by CHE place-based workshop participants

The Center for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE) provides a home for faculty and graduate students from across campus to explore changing human-environment interactions across the broad sweep of history in an interdisciplinary setting. Graduate student involvement is at the core of CHE’s mission, and graduate students from all disciplines are invited to take part in the full range of CHE’s activities, events, scholarly collaborations, and professional development opportunities. CHE offers two main avenues for graduate student involvement: a non-curricular affiliation in the form of Graduate Student Associate status, and a curricular track in the form of the CHE Certificate or Ph.D. Minor.

Eligibility: Any currently enrolled graduate student at UW–Madison at the Ph.D. level and not pursuing any other minor field.


  • Completed Ph.D. minor will appear on transcript
  • Demonstrates rigorous academic engagment with interdisciplinary environmental studies
  • Ability to construct a tailored minor course of study that counts as an “Option A” minor program

To apply:

  1. Find a CHE faculty associate who is willing to serve as your CHE advisor.
  2. Complete the form available here and submit with an unofficial transcript.
  3. Apply through the UW-Madison Graduate Student Portal.

All Graduate School students must utilize the Graduate Student Portal in MyUW to add, change, or discontinue any major/named option, doctoral minor, or graduate/professional certificate.  To apply to this doctoral minor, please log in to MyUW, click on Graduate Student Portal, and then click on Add/Change Programs.  The CHE curricular coordinator will review your application for admittance, and reach out to you if they have any further questions.

Admission process: CHE Curriculum Committee reviews applications on a rolling schedule.


  • ENVIR ST 922 Historical and Cultural Methods in Environmental Research (also known as the "CHE methods seminar")
  • 6-credit plan of study.
    Each CHE graduate student works with her/his/their CHE faculty advisor to design a tailored plan of study. The plan of study must be relevant to the student's chosen area of focus. The area of focus should be related to human dimensions of an environmental issue.
    Examples of areas of focus include (but are certainly not limited to): posthumanism and the human-wildlife interface; critical engagements with conservation science; feminist political ecology and/or ecofeminisms; history of indigenous landscapes and cultures in Central America; environmental justice and Latinx, Black, and/or other minoritized communities in the US; food insecurity and sovereignty; the literature and/or art of polluted spaces.
  • Average GPA for coursework must be 3.00 or higher.