Certificate in Sustainability | Geography | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

Certificate in Sustainability

There is increasing demand for graduates in sustainability, as "green jobs" are expanding across the USA. For example, Sustainability Coordinators are recruited for positions in a variety of institutions in both the private and public sectors. Students are requesting, even demanding, a certificate of this type. Indeed, "Geography" and "Environmental Studies" both rank within the top careers in the current job market, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"Sustainability science reaches across many different disciplines, encompassing natural sciences, social sciences, and policy research—but the discipline of geography comes closest to tying it all together. Geography is a core discipline of sustainability science." (Academic Geography for Sustainability by George E. Clark Environment Magazine)

Geographers are active in the study of climate change, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, groundwater pollution, and flooding. Our department has a long tradition of research and instruction in the field of environmental sustainability with a focus on water resources, climatology, and sustainable land use. Our Certificate in Sustainability gives students the knowledge and skills they need to address the pressing environmental problems we face today. Focus is on understanding issues and finding long-term solutions that are socially and environmentally sustainable.

The Graduate Certificate in Sustainability enables students to expand their knowledge and understanding of the long-term sustainable use of the earth's resources, including water, land use and food systems, climate change, urban sustainability, and "green" energy. This certificate meets the needs of the expanding job opportunities in environmental sustainability.

Students must be admitted to an SIU graduate program or the SIU non-declared graduate program. The program requires students to complete 18 credit hours of graduate level coursework as follows:

  • GEOG 521 (3) - Urban Sustainability
  • GEOG 524 (3) - Sustainable Development
  • GEOG 536 (3) - Natural Hazards
  • GEOG 539 (3) - Global Climate Change
  • GEOG 570 (3) - Contemporary Issues in Environmental Studies

Plus, one of the following:

  • GEOG 502 (3) - Geographic Information Systems
  • GEOG 512 (3) - Applied Geographic Statistics