(Updated 1/23/17)


  1. Application – In order to begin the certificate program, students must create an account and fill out the online application form. Students must be in good standing with the university at the time of applying and may apply at any time during the semester. Students will be notified by email within two weeks regarding acceptance into the program. Once accepted, students should add the Sustainability Certificate to their active curricula program via the MyPrograms option in Athena. 
  2. Checklist – Once a student has applied and been approved, he or she will be prompted to begin filling out the online checklist of completed program requirements. Students will not have access to the checklist until their application has been approved. This will allow the student to keep track of their progress as they go along.
  3. Pre and post-assessment – Upon admittance into the certificate program, students will gain access to an online survey measuring their baseline sustainability attitudes and knowledge. Students will be prompted to complete the baseline survey within one month of application approval. Prior to completion of the capstone, students will gain access to another online survey measuring approximately the same domains. Students will be prompted to complete the post-survey prior to the end of their capstone coursework and no later than graduation. These assessments are for internal use only (primarily to measure the effectiveness of the program) and responses will not have bearing on the students' certificate application.
  4. Orientation and Advisement – Certificate staff will host an orientation for new and continuing students early each fall, spring and summer semester, prior to advising periods. Orientation invitations will be sent out sometime during the first month each semester. Students may email or meet with the director to plan or confirm a program of study as needed.
  5. Program requirements – Students must complete 17 credit hours to earn the Certificate in Sustainability. The certificate consists of the following components:
    • Anchor course (3 credit hours)
    • One course from each of 3 “spheres” (9 credit hours)
    • Seminar (2 credit hours)
    • Capstone project (3 credit hours)
    • Portfolio
    • Note: one of the three "spheres" courses must be from outside of your major
  6. Course sequence – Courses may be completed in any order; however, we believe there to be pedagogical benefit for students who follow this sequence: anchor first, spheres and seminar (concurrently) second, and capstone third. Portfolio work should be ongoing throughout the process. It is anticipated, though not required, that most students will complete the certificate requirements within 3-4 semesters.
  7. Graduation – Students must apply to graduate in Athena. Students may apply to graduate with the certificate from the beginning of registration until the withdrawal deadline of their graduation term. Certificate staff will send a reminder to graduating students two weeks ahead of the withdrawal deadline.
  8. Ad-hoc approvals – Students can petition for exceptions to any requirement for the certificate. A written rationale for the exception should be sent to the director. The director, in consultation with the Faculty Advisory Board, will review the petition and let the student know the results.

​Student Deadlines

  1. Pre-survey – Should be completed within one month of acceptance into certificate program.
  2. Capstone work plan peer review – Should be completed before capstone work plan is submitted to director.
  3. Capstone work plan – Should be submitted one semester prior to capstone coursework. Deadline is last day of final exams for preceding semester (e.g. last day of summer thru session 2016 final exams if capstone will begin in fall 2016).
  4. Capstone reflection – Should be included in the portfolio.
  5. Post-survey – Should be completed by the end of the capstone.
  6. Capstone presentation – Should be completed before or during the final semester.
  7. Application for graduation in Athena – Students must apply to graduate with the certificate by the course withdrawal deadline of their graduation term.
  8. Certificate coursework – Should be completed before or during final semester.
  9. Portfolio – Should be submitted by the last date of final exams during the final semester.

Certificate Staff Deadlines

  1. Review and approve completed applications within two weeks of submission.
  2. Email capstone cohort each semester with link to post-survey. Send reminders to students who have not completed pre/post surveys, as needed.
  3. Email all students orientation invitations during first week of fall, spring and summer semesters (send additional reminders prior to orientation date).
  4. Email all students about capstone peer review process one month prior to work plan deadline (fall, spring, and summer semesters).
  5. Email all students a reminder to ‘apply to graduate’ in Athena two weeks prior to withdrawal deadline during fall, spring and summer semesters.
  6. Update degree status from “sought” to "pending" or “deleted” for all graduating students in the certificate program (after grades are due and before Registrar’s Office deadline). The day after the date that grades are due the Registrar's Office will activate the graduation roster and certificate staff will log into Athena and update degree status from “sought” to "pending" for all graduating students who have met certificate requirements. Graduating students who have not met certificate requirements will be updated to "deleted". The Registrar's Office will make the final update of "pending" to "awarded".