Sustainability Practices (Professional Certificate)

Award: Professional Certificate
Program of Study: Sustainability Practices
Program Code: 1464

About This Program . . .

“Sustainability” is a way of living that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  In order to achieve sustainability, we must examine our approach to energy, food, shelter, transportation, and other aspects of everyday life.  Can we continue our current approach indefinitely?  What changes need to occur to make our approach sustainable?  What can we do to make those changes?

Through the Certificate in Sustainability Practices, students learn the principles of sustainability along with specific ways to implement them.  Anyone seeking to understand and practice this approach will benefit from completion of the program.  For some, the program can serve as a first step toward a more in-depth knowledge that may lead to a career.  Earning this certificate helps professionals to improve their business practices and community leaders to understand trends in community planning.  Any citizen will learn ways to improve the environment through their personal choices. 

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit Career Services’ What to Do with a Major? resource.

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Certificate Requirements

The following institutional requirements apply to all CMU Professional Certificates. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • Consists of 5-59 semester hours.
  • Primarily 300-400 level courses.
  • At least fifty percent of the credit hours must be taken at CMU.
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • A grade lower than “C” in the program of study will not be counted toward meeting the certificate’s requirements.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Certificate Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and certificate requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements. 

Program Specific Certificate Requirements

(9 semester hours, must earn a "C" or better in each course.)

Core Courses
Select one of the following courses:3
Introduction to Environmental Science-GTSC2 1
Environmental Science: Global Sustainability 1
Total Semester Credit Hours3

​Either ENVS 104 or ENVS 101 may be taken for credit, but not both.

Restricted Electives
Select 6 hours of electives from the following list approved by department head:6
Renewable Energy
Renewable Energy
Sustainable Building
Ecological Design and Technology
Systems Thinking in Environmental Science
Permaculture Design
and Permaculture Design Laboratory
Total Semester Credit Hours6

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a certificate. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and discussing the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for their intended certificate.

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a certificate and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their certificate requirements (for one-semester certificates, complete in the first week of class):

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found on the Graduation web page.

If a student's petition for graduation is denied, it will be their responsibility to apply for graduation in a subsequent semester. A student's “Intent to Graduate” does not automatically move to a later graduation date.