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Graduate Certificate in sustainability

About the Graduate Certificate in sustainability

Developing sustainable solutions requires collaboration across industries. Many organizations, businesses, governments, and agencies seek individuals with knowledge of sustainability and experience applying sustainability concepts. The Graduate Certificate in sustainability prepares students to apply sustainability problem solving methods to challenges in a wide array of disciplines and organizations. The 15-credit certificate is available as a stand-alone program or may be used to enhance a student’s experience in another area of study.

Learning outcomes

Students in the sustainability graduate certificate program will study the foundations of sustainability and apply systems thinking and solutions-based problem solving to local and global challenges. Students will also collaborate with peers from varied backgrounds, preparing them to incorporate sustainability principles into a wide range of organizations.


A minimum of 15 credits is required for a graduate certificate in sustainability.

Requirements and electivesCredits
Required core courses:6
School of Sustainability electives:6
Total credits required15

Required core courses

The required core courses are designed to provide students with the foundational methods and theories used in the study of sustainability. They explore the link between concepts of sustainability and systems approaches to knowledge, and develop the integrative methods needed to apply sustainability concepts in other disciplines.

  • SOS 508 – Pathways to Sustainability
    Introduces the basic mindsets critical to approaching sustainability challenges. Students will employ systems thinking, futures thinking, strategic Thinking, and values thinking to issues like climate change, public health, and equitable development.
  • SOS 509 – Leading Sustainability Transitions
    Exposes students to different change models that can be employed by private, public, and nonprofit organizations to become more sustainable. Students will learn how to champion such change, generate momentum, and align internal reward systems to facilitate sustainable transitions.

Elective courses

Students choose two courses (6 credits) offered by the School of Sustainability and one related course from across ASU to tailor the certificate to their interests. Interest areas include, but are not limited to, public policy and administration, zero waste, alternative energy, corporate social responsibility, sustainable food and clean water, and international development.

Application process

Applicants for the Graduate Certificate in sustainability must meet ASU Graduate College requirements. Students may enroll in the certificate along with another graduate degree program at ASU or may pursue the certificate by itself, as a non-degree seeking graduate student. Potential students are highly encouraged to make an appointment to discuss the program before applying.

To begin, apply directly to the ASU Graduate Application.

  • Admission to: All semesters and sessions
  • Complete application deadline: One month prior to start date
  • GPA requirement: 3.00 on a 4.00 scale (or equivalent)
  • Application includes: Educational history, resume/CV and transcripts

Contact information

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