The goal of this program is to provide undergraduates with an opportunity to engage deeply with complex interconnections involved in sustainability-related challenges. The program requires students to connect multiple disciplines, such as environmental science, economics, public policy, and/or social justice. The program will foster critical analysis, systems thinking, and practical skills to create engaged leaders in sustainability.


Specific learning objectives of the Sustainability Engagement Certificate include the following:

  • Analyze the structure, components, and processes of natural, economic, and social systems and the interconnections between and interdependency of these systems.
  • Evaluate complex trade-offs between different dimensions of sustainability and their impact on the sustainability of the system.
  • Engage effectively with stakeholders about sustainability challenges using best practices, including collaboration, cooperation, and reciprocity.
  • Create and implement strategies to enhance the sustainability of such systems.

In the gateway and capstone courses, students will grapple with connections between all three primary dimensions of sustainability. Each student will choose a focal theme that connects these three dimensions for their electives and experiences. Sustainability involves actively living in collaboration with our surrounding communities and the natural world. Critical learning about sustainability thus must occur out of the classroom. The experiential components of the Certificate will support students as they develop skills for collaborating with stakeholders, assessing the complexities of sustainability in real-world systems, and developing and implementing effective solutions to sustainability-related challenges.

Our aim is that students will meaningfully engage with complex questions surrounding sustainability throughout their time in this certificate program. These questions include:

  • What does sustainability look like in a given scenario?
  • How do we understand and assess the complicated trade-offs between dimensions of sustainability to prioritize these potential impacts?
  • What are challenges and pathways to true stakeholder engagement?
  • How do we effectively design and implement strategies to improve the sustainability of an overarching system?