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Graduate Certificate in Sustainability

Next start date is March 15. No GRE needed and applying is free!!

Graduate Certificate in Sustainability

Sustainability is a problem-based, solution-oriented framework for creating a resilient civilization. Mitigation and adaptation to climate change is emphasized along with biodiversity conservation, resource conservation, and mitigation of pollution. Students within this graduate certificate should expect to explore, debate, and research possible sustainability solutions from a variety of viewpoints.

Certificate requirements

12 credits earned
3.00 minimum cumulative graduate level grade point average

Download our program sheet

Required Courses

  • SUST 505 Thinking in Systems

    Ecological, economic, and social systems have complex interactions which can make management inherently difficult. Students will examine examples of these systems from both a top-down and bottom-up perspective. From a top-down perspective, students will use statistical tools to mine information about systems, as understanding system patterns and measures can help managers anticipate how systems will change under natural or artificially applied modifications. In some cases, modifying these interactions (due to variation in environment or natural or applied pressures) can produce unexpected results. Therefore, students will also examine systems from a bottom-up perspective, using quantitative tools to model systems and examine their responses under changing conditions.

  • SUST 510 Climate Dynamics

    Climate change is the defining environmental issue of the 21 st century. Sustainability scientists and natural resource managers should be able to follow the emerging science and communicate it to a wide variety of audiences. This course begins with the science of climate and climate change and the anthropogenic contributions to that change. The course then examines the technical and economic challenges society faces with regard to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and strategies to increase the resilience of natural and human communities. Throughout the course, we will examine the historical and emerging responses to aspects of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

  • SUST 515 Leading Sustainable Change

    The community dimension of sustainability science sets it apart from historical scientific problem solving. Truly sustainable solutions need to meet economic and cultural acceptability to be implemented politically, and the process of seeking solutions can change community perceptions. Through techniques for understanding the nature of stakeholders and the use of social marketing, sustainability professionals can strongly influence perceptions and behavior. In this course, students will practice research-based stakeholder analysis and social marketing.

  • SUST 520 Community Planning for Resiliency

    It is increasingly essential that we couple our greenhouse gas reduction actions with preparations for climate extremes and other changes, both expected and unexpected. As the footprint of human society continues to grow, managing the built environment for resilience becomes one of the primary leverage points for mitigation of sustainability problems, and an important focus of adaptation. From buildings to transportation networks to the relationship between urban communities and their rural resource bases, a strategically developed built environment dramatically reduces the carbon footprint, protects open space, and fosters social cohesion. We will enlist successful frameworks used in community design and green building as we explore ways in which communities can anticipate and adapt to the consequences of climate change while contributing to global mitigation efforts.

Distance Education Concierge