Sustainability Certificate

Sustainability is an interdisciplinary concept that, in recent years, has come to the forefront of business, biosciences, environmental science, conservation, ethics, political science and many other fields. It is a concept which explores the intersection of natural processes, the needs of business and industry and the needs of society, while attempting to balance the requirements of each. Corporations, non-profit organizations, institutions of higher learning and individuals are recognizing the need to understand sustainability and incorporate its principles into every aspect of daily life in order to allow development and commerce to proceed without irreparable harm to the environments or to the societies which exist within them.




The Sustainability Certificate will be composed of 13-17 credits consisting of a 3- to 5-credit mathematics course, a 4- to 5-credit natural science with laboratory course required for transfer, a 3-credit speech or other course in communication designated by the transfer institution, and a 3- to 4-credit sustainability concepts course in NS, HU, or SS selected from the choices below. (Note that students should refer to the UW Colleges Catalog for course prerequisites and restrictions on credit if other courses are taken.) In each course that is applied toward the certificate, a student must earn a grade of C or better. Up to 5 credits of equivalent work can be transferred from institutions outside the UW Colleges.


  • Mathematics Requirement, 3-5 cr (*select course most appropriate for transfer)
    • MAT 108, Quantitative Reasoning, 3 cr, Core
    • MAT 110, College Algebra, 3 cr, Core
    • MAT 124, Pre-Calculus Mathematics, 5 cr, MS
    • MAT 211, Calculus, 4-5 cr, MS
    • MAT 221, Calculus and Analytic Geometry I, 5 cr, MS


  •  Laboratory Science Requirement, 4-5 cr
    • BIO 101, Concepts of Biology, 5 cr, NS/LS
    • BIO 162, General Botany, 5 cr, NS/LS
    • BIO 291, Introduction to Fish, Forest and Wildlife Resources, 4 cr, NS/LS
    • BIO 171, Animal Biology, 5 cr, NS/LS
    • CHE 125, Introductory Chemistry, 5 cr, NS/LS
    • CHE 145, General Chemistry I, 5 cr, NS/LS
    • CHE 165, Chemistry for Engineers, 5 cr, NS/LS
    • GEO 123, Physical Geography: Weather and Climate, 4-5 cr, NS/LS
    • GEO 124, Physical Geography: Landforms, 4-5 cr, NS/LS
    • GEO 125, Physical Geography, 4-5 cr, NS/LS
    • GLG 101, Physical Geology, 4-5 cr, NS/LS
    • GLG 169, Environmental Geology, 4-5 cr, NS/LS
    • GLG 251, Introduction to Soil and Water Resources, 4 cr, NS/LS


  • Communication Requirement, 3 cr

               CTA 103, Introduction to Public Speaking, 3 cr, AP Or other communication course as required for transfer


Sustainability (NS or HU/SS)

  •  Sustainability Concepts Requirement, 3-4 cr NS
    • BIO 191, Environmental Science, 3-4 cr, NS/LS
    • BIO 190, Introduction to Environmental Science, 3 cr, NS
    • BIO 201, Principles of Ecology, 3 cr, NS
    • CHE 123, Chemistry and Society, 3 cr, NS
    • CHE 124, Applied Chemistry and Society, 4 cr, NS/LS
    • GEO 120, Introduction to Physical Geography, 3 cr, NS
    • GEO 130, Human Impact on the Environment, 3-4 cr, NS or NS/LS
    • GLG 135, Introduction to Environmental Geology, 3 cr, NS
    • PHY 115, Energy and the Environment, 3 cr, NS
    • INT 290, Local Applications of Global Sustainability, 3 cr, NS/IS
    • INT 290, Spirit of the Rivers, 3 cr, HU/ES/IS


  • Sustainability Concepts, 3 cr HU or SS
    • ENG 285, Literature of Nature, 3 cr, HU
    • PHI 244, Environmental Ethics, 3 cr, HU
    • ECO 342, Environmental and Natural Resources Economics, 3 cr, SS
    • GEO 277, Geography of World Energy, 3 cr, SS
    • GEO 350, Environmental Conservation, 3 cr, SS
    • SOC 355, Sociology of the Environment, 3 cr, SS


[Home department for Sustainability Certificate: Geography and Geology]