Certificate Requirements


Students are required to take a minimum of 17 credit hours to earn the Certificate in Sustainability. The certificate will consist of the following components:

Anchor Course – These courses will provide a foundation in sustainability, including its history, components and application. Courses which qualify as anchor courses for this certificate will challenge students to evaluate their behavior as citizens and consumers and encourage them to think about the interdisciplinary challenges associated with a sustainable future. There are a minimal number of courses from different departments from which students can choose that may serve as anchor courses.

Coursework from three spheres

  • Ecological Sustainability: Courses in the ecological sustainability sphere will build upon a baseline understanding of ecology and address issues concerning ecosystem services, environmental degradation, and climate change.
  • Economic Sustainability: Courses in this sphere will build upon a baseline understanding of economics and address the bottom-line, as well as address the interactions between the economy and the environment.
  • Social Sustainability: Courses in the social sustainability sphere will build upon a basic understanding of social science and will address the social aspects of sustainability, including issues of cultural diversity, social justice, equality, participation, the built environment, and community.

NB:  We require that at least one of the spheres come from courses outside you major and highly recommended that two of the three spheres come from courses outside of your major to develop the broadest perspective on sustainability.

Seminar – The seminar will introduce students to the many ways UGA faculty and the Athens-Clarke County community are promoting sustainability. Sustainability challenges, including climate change, biodiversity, and the built environment, will be addressed. The seminar will be open to the entire UGA Community as a means of connecting and communicating across disciplines. The seminar will also allow students the opportunity to present their capstone course project and receive feedback from their peers.

Capstone Course/Project – This course will provide students with an opportunity to apply what they have learned to hands-on sustainability challenges.   For capstone projects, students will work on problems identified on campus and in the surrounding community to offer creative, sustainable solutions.  For details, see the Guidelines for the Capstone.

Portfolio – A collection of documents presented at the completion of the certificate that ties together the courses, seminar, and capstone project completed by the student. This portfolio will provide students with an opportunity to reflect on the integration of disciplines, systems thinking, analysis of complex problems, and their ongoing commitment to sustainability.  For details, see Guidelines for the Portfolio.