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UW-Parkside
UW-River Falls
UW-Superior

Achieve sustainability goals with environmental science.

Earn your Undergraduate Certificate in Environmental Sustainability from the University of Wisconsin—100% online.

In the Environmental Sustainability Undergraduate Certificate, you’ll learn about the interrelationship between human behavior and the environment, energy systems, and emerging technologies.

You’ll explore topics, such as:

    • carbon budgeting and reporting,
    • role of humans in creating and solving climate change,
    • biodiversity and ecology,
    • energy systems including nuclear, fossil fuels, wind, solar, biofuels, and biomass,
    • renewable energy and emerging technology,
    • systems thinking,
    • natural resource management.

The Environmental Sustainability Undergraduate Certificate is offered through the University of Wisconsin Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Management. Courses and credits earned in the certificate apply to the bachelor’s degree should you choose to enroll as a degree-seeking student.

Courses are entirely online—asynchronous, with zero on-campus, virtual, or in-person meeting requirements—an ideal format for busy professionals. Watch lectures, participate in online forums with your classmates, and—although assignments have deadlines—do homework whenever it’s convenient for you. Learn more about online learning with UW Extended Campus.


Earn your bachelor’s, master’s, or certificate in sustainability ONLINE with the University of Wisconsin. 


Who Should Apply?

Students enroll in our certificate programs for a variety of reasons, including to learn new skills that help them advance in their current field, gain a competitive edge in the job market, or change careers. Our certificate programs can also serve as preparation for a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

The Environmental Sustainability Undergraduate Certificate offers value to professionals working in a variety of fields, such as: sustainability, facilities/operations, landscaping and grounds maintenance, public health/human services, waste management, education, government and public policy, business, architecture/design, urban planning, and more.

Universities of Wisconsin Collaboration

The Environmental Sustainability Undergraduate Certificate is a partnership of UW-Parkside, UW-River Falls, and UW-Superior. Learn more about our campus partners and choosing a home campus.

Accreditation

Whether online or on campus, University of Wisconsin programs have a reputation for delivering world-class education and student support. Accreditation is your assurance that you will graduate with skills that are relevant to your field and valued by employers. The Environmental Sustainability Undergraduate Certificate is approved by the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents and is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Admission to the Environmental Sustainability Undergraduate Certificate does not require an application fee, transcripts, or prerequisites. Please review the following information before completing the University of Wisconsin System Online Admission Application.

Application Deadline

All application materials need to be completed two weeks prior to the semester start to be considered for admission.

International Guidelines

This program welcomes online students from around the world. Online students do not qualify for an F-1 Student Visa to travel to the U.S., but instead can participate in our online courses remotely. If your native language is not English and/or you attended school outside of the U.S., you will likely need to provide proof of English language proficiency and an official translation or evaluation of academic transcripts. Requirements will vary based on a student’s academic history and home campus policies. For guidance about these requirements and how they apply to your specific situation, contact your preferred home campus admissions office.

If you would like to apply as an International Student for an on-campus program in the UW System please refer to these resources through UW-HELP.

How to Apply

While you are free to apply on your own, many prospective students find it helpful to speak with an enrollment adviser first.

Step 1. Choose a home campus from the program partners: UW-Parkside, UW-River Falls, or UW-Superior. Learn more about our campus partners and choosing a home campus.

Step 2. Visit the University of Wisconsin System Online Admission Application to login or create an account.

  • Apply to your preferred home campus as an “Undergraduate Non-Degree” applicant.
  • When asked “Are you applying as a degree-seeking student?” select “No” and that you plan to take “Undergraduate” classes.
  • Select your preferred home campus, UW-Parkside, UW-River Falls, or UW-Superior, as the campus, and follow the instructions below, as applicable:
    • UW-Parkside: select your certificate of interest: Certificate in Environmental Sustainability.
    • UW-River Falls: choose “UG Special/Non-Degree” for program; indicate your interest in the Certificate in Environmental Sustainability in the essay field on the application.
    • UW-Superior: choose “Undergraduate Non-Degree” for program; indicate your interest in the Certificate in Environmental Sustainability in the essay field on the application.
  • Skip the application fee section (not required for the certificate).

4 Courses. 12 Credits. 100% Online.

Courses in the Environmental Sustainability Undergraduate Certificate focus on the environmental science behind sustainability. You’ll learn about the interrelationship between human behavior and the environment, energy systems, and emerging technologies.

It is possible to complete a certificate in one year; however, based on work and personal obligations, you may decide to take longer.

CourseCredits

This course focuses on climate change science and greenhouse gases, natural and human impacts of climate change, and sustainable and efficient strategies to limit carbon emissions. The course is divided into three major areas: 1) climate science and measured impacts, 2) modeled predictions and mitigation/adaptation strategies, 3) sustainable and carbon neutral practices. This course will emphasize not only the economics of carbon budgeting and increasing efficiency but also the human role in creating and solving climate change and the discrepancies in who, where, and what will be impacted by both climate change and the necessary solutions.

Prerequisite: College Math (for degree-seeking students only; there are no prerequisites for certificate students)

SMGT 305 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course covers interrelationships of organisms with each other and their environments, as well as investigation into composition and dynamics of populations, communities, ecosystems, landscapes, and the biosphere, with emphasis on sustainability.

Prerequisites: Introductory Biology (for degree-seeking students only; there are no prerequisites for certificate students)

SMGT 310 course syllabus

3 Credits

Basic engineering principles and applications for existing and emerging energy technologies. You will learn about energy production, consumption, and environmental impact, and explore the ways in which these principles relate to sustainable management. Topics cover a wide range of energy systems, including nuclear, fossil fuels, wind, solar, biofuels, and biomass.

Prerequisites: College Math (for degree-seeking students only; there are no prerequisites for certificate students)

SMGT 320 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course examines the interdependence between natural resources associated with land, air, and water. You will explore significant environmental issues regarding the policies and problems in the use and management of natural resources related to soils, vegetation, and landscape within the context of social needs and sustainability.

SMGT 325 course syllabus

3 Credits

How do these courses fit into the bachelor’s degree curriculum?

The Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Management explores the connection between business, environmental science, and social systems to prepare students for sustainability careers. The Environmental Sustainability Undergraduate Certificate consists of four courses from the bachelor’s degree curriculum that focus on the natural environment.

The Environmental Sustainability Undergraduate Certificate and the Sustainable Enterprise Undergraduate Certificate offer flexibility for the student who wants to learn specific skills by only earning a certificate, or prefers to build their skills over time by earning one certificate and then the other, and finally earning the Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Management by completing the remaining courses. A certificate also provides an affordable option for students who would like to determine their level of interest in environmental science before investing significant time and money in a bachelor’s degree program, and can also serve as preparation for a master’s degree.

Courses and credits earned in the certificate apply to the bachelor’s degree should you choose to enroll as a degree-seeking student.

Course availability for the Environmental Sustainability Undergraduate Certificate varies each semester, and is subject to change due to fluctuating enrollment. If you are a current student, please consult with your campus adviser prior to registration.

Fall 2024

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Course Preview Week: August 27 - September 02, 2024
Semester Dates: September 03 - December 13, 2024

CourseCredits

This course covers interrelationships of organisms with each other and their environments, as well as investigation into composition and dynamics of populations, communities, ecosystems, landscapes, and the biosphere, with emphasis on sustainability.

Prerequisites: Introductory Biology (for degree-seeking students only; there are no prerequisites for certificate students)

SMGT 310 course syllabus

3 Credits

This course examines the interdependence between natural resources associated with land, air, and water. You will explore significant environmental issues regarding the policies and problems in the use and management of natural resources related to soils, vegetation, and landscape within the context of social needs and sustainability.

SMGT 325 course syllabus

3 Credits

Spring 2025

Registration Opens: November 11, 2024
Course Preview Week: January 21 - January 27, 2025
Semester Dates: January 28 - May 09, 2025

CourseCredits

This course focuses on climate change science and greenhouse gases, natural and human impacts of climate change, and sustainable and efficient strategies to limit carbon emissions. The course is divided into three major areas: 1) climate science and measured impacts, 2) modeled predictions and mitigation/adaptation strategies, 3) sustainable and carbon neutral practices. This course will emphasize not only the economics of carbon budgeting and increasing efficiency but also the human role in creating and solving climate change and the discrepancies in who, where, and what will be impacted by both climate change and the necessary solutions.

Prerequisite: College Math (for degree-seeking students only; there are no prerequisites for certificate students)

SMGT 305 course syllabus

3 Credits

Basic engineering principles and applications for existing and emerging energy technologies. You will learn about energy production, consumption, and environmental impact, and explore the ways in which these principles relate to sustainable management. Topics cover a wide range of energy systems, including nuclear, fossil fuels, wind, solar, biofuels, and biomass.

Prerequisites: College Math (for degree-seeking students only; there are no prerequisites for certificate students)

SMGT 320 course syllabus

3 Credits

Tuition is a flat fee of $450 per credit. There are no additional course or program fees, with the exception of textbooks which are purchased separately.

  • You’ll pay the same tuition whether you live in Wisconsin or out of state.
  • You will not pay technology fees. If software or special technology is required in a course, it will be provided to you and is included in tuition.
  • You will not pay segregated fees (fees for student services, activities, programs, and facilities).
  • Textbooks are purchased separately and are not included in tuition.

Students enrolling in certificate programs may not be eligible for financial aid. Refer to your home campus for more information.

Flexibility to earn a certificate or a degree. How does this work?

The Environmental Sustainability Undergraduate Certificate and the Sustainable Enterprise Undergraduate Certificate offer flexibility for the student who wants to learn specific skills by only earning a certificate, or prefers to build their skills over time, while earning a credential. By earning both certificates, you have completed eight courses in the bachelor’s degree curriculum. Courses and credits earned in the certificates apply to the bachelor’s degree should you choose to enroll as a degree-seeking student. You can start any semester and take courses and certificates in any sequence.

All courses are 3 credits per course. The Environmental Sustainability Undergraduate Certificate and the Sustainable Enterprise Undergraduate Certificate courses are part of the bachelor’s degree curriculum.

Environmental Sustainability Undergraduate Certificate Courses

SMGT 305 Climate Change and Sustainability
SMGT 310 Ecology for Sustainable Management
SMGT 320 Renewable Energy for Sustainable Management
SMGT 325 Natural Resource Management

Sustainable Enterprise Undergraduate Certificate Courses

SMGT 230 Triple Bottom Line Accounting for Managers
SMGT 235 Economics in Society and Sustainability
SMGT 335 Management and and Environmental Information Systems
SMGT 340 Organizational Behavior and Sustainability

Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Management Courses

To earn the bachelor’s degree, you need to complete twelve more courses, plus the capstone project.

SMGT 115 Environmental Science and Sustainability
SMGT 220 Systems Thinking
SMGT 240 Business Communications for Sustainable Management
SMGT 250 Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security
SMGT 330 Marketing for a Sustainable World
SMGT 332 Economics of Environmental Sustainability
SMGT 360 Environmental and Sustainability Policy
SMGT 370 Logistics, Supply Chain Management and Sustainability
SMGT 410 Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability
SMGT 420 The Built Environment and Sustainability
SMGT 435 International Development and Sustainability
SMGT 460 Environment and Society
SMGT 495 Sustainable Management Capstone

Learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Management

Experience UW Sustainable Management

Learn about sustainable management, meet the faculty, read student stories, and more. Read the blog.

Program: Biodiversity Conservation and Management, Data Science, Digital Marketing, Financial Technology, Health and Wellness Management, IT Management, Senior Living and Services Leadership, Sustainability and Well-being, Sustainable Management

Looking For a Way to Learn New Skills? Consider a Certificate