All students in the certificate program must complete the gateway and capstone courses. Students each select two electives from a set of courses.

The gateway must be taken prior to enrolling in either of the electives. Students must complete the gateway, two electives, and two experiences prior to enrolling in the capstone.

No more than one course and one experience that is used to satisfy the requirements of any major, minor, or other certificate program may count towards the Sustainability Engagement Certificate.


Listed below are the courses in the Sustainability Engagement Certificate curriculum. The course numbers refer to the listing of the owning department, but all cross-listings for each respective course equally qualify to count towards the requirements.

Gateway Course (Required)

  • ENVIRON 245: Sustainability: Theory and Practice

Elective Courses (Choose Two)*

Students must choose two electives that together engage across all three pillars of sustainability – Environment (E), Society (S), and Economics (Ec). Each elective must engage with at least two of the three pillars. At least one elective must originate outside the ENVIRON department.

*The elective list is periodically reviewed and updated. Please note that courses change frequently in title and content. However, this list is not exhaustive and in order to ensure that a course not on the list below meets the certificate requirement, students must clear their selection with the Sustainability Engagement Certificate staff.


  • AAAS 345S: Activism, Women, and Danger (S, Ec)
  • BIO 209D: Ecology for a Crowded Planet (E, S)
  • BIO 319A: Coastal Watershed Science & Policy (E, S)
  • CEE 315-20: EGR Sustain Des & Global Comm (E, S)
  • CULANTH 236S: Farmworkers in NC: Poverty (E, S, Ec)
  • ECON 325S: Economic Analysis of Energy Issues (E, S, Ec)
  • ECON 339: Environmental Econ & Policy (E, S, Ec)
  • ENERGY 364: Green Germany (E, S, Ec)
  • ENVIRON 201: Integrating Env Sci/Pol (E, S, Ec)
  • ENVIRON 216S: Environment and Conflict (E, S)
  • ENVIRON 348: Global Environmental Politics (E, S, Ec)
  • ENVIRON 528SA: Community-Based Conservation (E, S, Ec)
  • ENVIRON 533A: Marine Fisheries Policy (E, S)
  • ENVIRON 543S: Water Coop/Conflict (E, S)
  • ENVIRON 631S: Energy Tech and Its Impact on Env (E, S)
  • ETHICS 285: Denial, Faith and Reason: Sustainability & Survival (E, S, Ec)
  • ETHICS 301S: Business and Human Rights (S, Ec)
  • GERMAN 435S: German Politics and Society (S, Ec)
  • GLHLTH 212: Gender and Global Health (S, Ec)
  • GLHLTH 305: Social Determinants (E, S)
  • GLHTH 340: US Health Disparities (S, Ec)
  • ICS 195: Comp Appr Global Issues (E, S)
  • POLSCI 231: Wealth and Poverty of Nations (S, Ec)

Capstone Course (Required)

  • SUSTAIN: Sustainability Engagement Seminar



Bass Connections
Focus Program
Sustainability Courses

Bass Connections

Bass Connections fosters a unique culture of collaboration between undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty by applying classroom learning to pressing global problems of our time. Bass Connections projects promote interdisciplinary research in five main themes:

  1. Brain and Society
  2. Information, Society, and Culture
  3. Global Health
  4. Education and Human Development
  5. Energy

Projects under all these themes may relate to sustainability goals by working creatively across multiple disciplines.

Examples of past Bass Connections projects with a sustainability focus include:

In order to learn more about current and future Bass Connections projects, please click here.


Focus Program

The Focus Program is an exciting opportunity for first-year students to be exposed to ideas from the vantage point of different disciplines across the humanities, sciences and social sciences. Through interdisciplinary and small seminars courses, shared housing, and integrated learning experiences, the Focus Program offers a unique opportunity specifically for first-years. Many Focus Program clusters relate to sustainability goals through many contexts.

Examples of Focus Program clusters with a sustainability focus include:

In order to learn more about current and future Focus Program clusters, please click here.


Sustainability Courses

Each semester, Sustainable Duke examines every course offered by Duke University for sustainability involvement. Courses may be sustainability focused or sustainability related. Sustainability focused courses touch on at least two of the three aspects of sustainability – environment, society, and economics, while sustainability related courses touch on at least one of the three.

For a full list of the 2016-2017 sustainability courses, please click here.