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Environmental and Sustainability Economics, Graduate Certificate

About the Graduate Certificate in environmental and sustainability economics

Achieving sustainable economies, corporations and communities requires the consideration of tradeoffs. Environmental and resource economics (ERE) provides a rigorous framework for weighing these tradeoffs. It also provides theory and data analysis tools for understanding how individual consumers and companies respond to the incentives presented by markets and government policies.

The graduate certificate in environmental and sustainability economics  provides training in the economic theory and methodological tools of environmental and resource economics. ERE can be complementary to research interests or career development in a number of fields. The primary audience for this certificate includes master’s and doctoral students in fields with a sustainability, environmental science, or policy focus – including sustainability, public affairs, biology, environmental social science, applied mathematics, or agribusiness.

Learning outcomes

Environmental and resource economics provides a conceptual frame and a powerful modeling and empirical toolbox to examine human-environment interactions and evaluate tradeoffs. A foundation in ERE will equip students to evaluate the consequences, social benefits, and costs of changes to markets and public policies.

Graduates of the certificate program will be able to identify and evaluate the economic assumptions embedded in policy analyses and recommendations, critically evaluate the validity of publications in environmental and resource economics, apply economic modeling approaches to real-world cases, and utilize econometric techniques to generate predictions and test hypotheses using applied economic models.


A minimum of 17 semester hours is required for a certificate in Environmental and Sustainability Economics.

Requirements and electivesHours
Required core courses:5
Required electives:12
Total semester hours required17

Required core courses

The required core courses will provide students with methods and theory appropriate to the study of environmental and sustainability economics. They will enhance students’ understanding of environmental and resource economics and introduce them to the theory and methodological tools necessary for the field.

  • SOS 512 – Environmental and Resource Economics
  • SOS 529 – Seminar in Environmental and Sustainability Economics (students take two semesters)

Elective courses

hoose one of the following courses in microeconomic theory:

  • SOS 598 – Microeconomics of Behavior
  • AGB 701 – Advanced Agribusiness I
  • ECN 510 – Microeconomic Theory and Applications

Choose one of the following courses in statistical and economic modeling:

  • SOS 540 – Statistical Modeling for Sustainability
  • AGB 702 – Advanced Agribusiness II: Applied Econometrics
  • ECN 725 – Econometrics
  • PAF 573 – Applied Econometrics

Choose one of the following courses in environmental and resource economics:

  • SOS 591 – Climate Change Economics and Policy
  • SOS 691 – Mathematical Resource Economics
  • ECN 741 – Public Economics
  • ECN 791 – Topics in Environmental Economics
  • BIO 591 – The Economics of Conservation
  • ESS 512 – Institutions

Choose one of the following courses in modeling and empirical methods:

  • ECN 726 – Econometrics II
  • AGB 703 – Advanced Agribusiness III: Advanced Empirical Models
  • AML 591 – Modeling with Game Theory
  • SOS 591 – Agent Based Modeling for Sustainability
  • SOS 591 – Dynamic Modeling of Social and Ecological Systems

Enrollment requirements

Applicants for the Certificate in Environmental and Sustainability Economics must be enrolled in or admitted to a graduate degree program at ASU. Potential students are highly encouraged to make an appointment with the School of Sustainability Graduate Admissions Advisor before applying.

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the School of Sustainability.

Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = “A”) in the last 60 hours of a student’s first bachelor’s degree program, or applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = “A”) in an applicable master’s or doctoral degree program.

All applicants must submit the graduate admission application and application fee.

Prerequisite coursework

None; however, it is strongly recommended that students have at least one semester of calculus (or equivalent such as MAT 251 Calculus for Life Sciences, MAT 265 Calculus for Engineers or SOS 211 Calculus and Probability).

Contact information

For more information, call the School of Sustainability at 480-727-6963 or email [email protected].