School of Natural Sciences

Certificate in Sustainability

The certificate program provides an interdisciplinary combination of courses in a liberal arts setting that will prepare students for careers in environmental and sustainability education, advocacy, and management. The Brundtland Commission (formerly, the World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987) envisioned the concept: sustainable development is development that “meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The logical components of a sustainable development strategy encompass environmental, economic, social, and political elements.  Students attracted to the environmental and sustainability management certificate are expected to work for governments, private businesses, and special interest organizations that seek to sustain and improve both current and future conditions for life on earth. The interdisciplinary certificate program seeks to provide them with skills and perspectives that will serve the development of their own rewarding careers in this field. The strengths of the certificate program are: Offers a holistic interdisciplinary approach; Engages students in relevant civic engagement opportunities in the Southern Indiana - Louisville metropolitan region; Provides an alternative program for students interested in environmental issues but less interested in scientific occupations; Enhances the liberal arts experience with courses in the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, education and business.

Student Learning Goals

  1. Comprehend the three pillars of sustainability: Environmental, Social and Economic.
  2. Explain their inter-relationships Environmental, Social and Economic sustainability. 
  3. Identify sustainability principles within their academic specialty.
  4. Be able to begin to analyze local, national and global problems using sustainability principles
  5. Be able to begin to apply principles of sustainability to propose solution local, national and global problems. 
  6. Document how sustainability principles have influenced personal and professional values.  

Sustainability Certificate Residency Requirement

The Sustainability Certificate program enforces the IU Southeast Certificate Residency Requirement (minimum of 50% of total credits) with no additions. 

Core Program
All courses listed below require a grade of C or better.

  Primary Courses (Complete each of the following)

  • PHYS-P 120 Energy & Technology
  • PHIL-P 237 Environmental Ethics
  • SOC-S 309 The Community

  Secondary Courses (Complete one course from each discipline below)

  Environmental Science (Choose one)

  • EDUC-Q 450 & 550 Science Technology & Society in a Changing World
  • BIOL-L 200 Environmental Biology

  Social Sustainability (Choose one)

  • SOC-S 305 Populations & Human Ecology
  • SOC-S 308 Global Society

  Economic Sustainability (Choose one)

  • ECON-E 363 Environmental & Natural Resources
  • POLS-Y 376 International Political Economy

  Specialization Are (Choose one are and complete a minimum of 8 credit hours in that area.)

  Environmental Sustainability Course List

  • BIOL-L 303 Field Biology
  • BIOL-L 343 Applied Conservation Biology
  • BIOL-L &
  • BIOL-L 473 &
  • 474 Ecology &
  • Ecology Lab
  • BIOL-L 579 Community Ecology
  • CHEM-C 303 Environmental Chemistry
  • CHEM-C 305 Environmental Chemistry Seminar
  • CHEM-C 318 Spectrochemistry & Separations
  • CHEM-C 333 Experimental Environmental Chemistry
  • GEOG-G 213 Introduction to Economic Geography
  • GEOG-G 307 Biogeography
  • GEOG-G 315 Environmental Conservation
  • GEOG-G 338 Geographic Information Science
  • GEOG-G 432 Current Issues in Environmental Conservation
  • GEOG-G 438 Advanced Geographic Information Systems
  • GEOG-G 439 Seminar in Geographic Information
  • GEOL-G 400 Energy: Sources and Needs
  • MICR-M 420 Environmental Microbiology
  • PHYS-P 310 Environmental Physics

  Social Sustainability Course List

  • REL-R 371 Religion, Ethics, and the Environment
  • POLS-Y 303 Formation of Public Policy
  • PSY-P 457 Topics in Psychology: Environmental Psychology & Sustainable Living
  • SOC-S 305 Populations & Human Ecology
  • SOC-S 308 Global Society

  Economic Sustainability Course List

  • ECON-E 363 Environmental & Natural Resources
  • POLS-Y 376 International Political Economy
  • SOC-S 360 Topics in Social Policy
  • SOC-S 419 Social Movements and Collective Action
  • SOC-S 403 Industry, Labor, & Community

  Internship (A max. of 2 credits of Internship may be applied toward specialization area)

  • COAS-S 399 Internship

Financial Aid

Students may not currently receive Financial Aid for the Sustainability Certificate.

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