Environment, Policy and Society Certificate

Crossing Curricular Boundaries

The Graduate Certificate Program in Environment, Policy and Society provides an interdisciplinary specialization for students in M.A., Ph.D., and J.D. programs at CU-Boulder.

Environmental issues -- water policy, wilderness preservation, air quality, energy development, and global climate change -- transcend ordinary academic boundaries. Policy analyses to deal with these problems must integrate insights and information from many different disciplines. The Graduate Certificate program draws on courses in Anthropology, Biology, Economics, Geography, Philosophy, Political Sciences, Psychology, Sociology, the College of Architecture and Planning, the College of Business, the College of Engineering, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the School of Law.

Two designated Certificate Program seminars are normally offered each year, one or more at the beginning survey level and one or more at the capstone level. Each focuses on environmental issues, emphasizing the contribution of different disciplines to the understanding of those problems and the integration of disciplinary perspectives in the analysis of alternative policy recommendations.

Program Requirements:

The program requires 18 hours of approved courses, including a cornerstone and a capstone course.

To qualify for the Certificate, students must complete at least 12 hours of course work from the more than 50 courses in environmental policy and policy sciences offered at CU-Boulder. No more than 6 of the required 18 hours may be in the student's home department.

Of the 12 elective credit hours, nine elective credit hours must be drawn from one of four specialty areas, chosen by the student: 1) Society and the Environment; 2) Environmental Policy; 3) Energy and Society; 4) Water and Society. The broad area of “Society and the Environment” has two recognized (but optional) clusters of courses including “Environment and Development” and “Social Dimensions of Hazards.” Additional credit hours may be taken from outside the student’s area on consultation with, and approval from, the student’s Certificate advisor. Students who wish to incorporate a natural science course into their elective coursework may also do so with the approval of their Certificate advisor.

Admission:

The Graduate Certificate on Environment, Policy, and Society provides an interdisciplinary specialization for students in MA, PhD, JD, or other graduate degree programs at the University of Colorado. The program draws on courses in Anthropology, Economics, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Geography, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, the College of Architecture and Design, the College of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the School of Law. The program requires 18 hours of approved courses, including a cornerstone and a capstone course.

Students must be admitted to the Certificate Program, but the only admission requirement is to be a graduate student in good standing at the University of Colorado at Boulder. To be admitted, CU graduate students must complete an application form and have it signed by an appropriate departmental representative.

A very limited number of students already holding graduate degrees from other institutions may be admitted to the program, through the Division of Continuing Education, by petition to the Director of the Environment, Policy and Society Program, provided their credentials are validated by one of the participating departments and meet the normal admission requirements of the department.

Non-CU students must first complete an Application for Graduate Admissions and provide transcripts from their graduate institution and three letters of recommendation. Once these documents are reviewed, if an applicant is admitted into the program s/he also must complete the Certificate Application.

Since Fall of 2008, only two students not enrolled in regular CU graduate degree programs have been enrolled in the Certificate program.

Courses