Sustainability Certificate - New & Improved

The Sustainability Certificate has been redesigned to ensure that each student develops literacy in all four dimensions of sustainability — that is, the environmental, social, and economic dimension of sustainability, as well its inherent systems nature. Admission and completion requirements will also change. All changes go into effect September 1st 2018.

Who is affected by these Changes

•Students graduating in May 2018 have to meet current certificate requirements, as shown here •Students graduating later than May 2018 and who are currently enrolled in the Sustainability Certificate, or who will enroll prior to September 1st 2018, can choose to fulfill the current certificate requirements or the new requirements. •Students enrolling in the certificate after September 1, 2018, must fulfill the new requirements.

What exactly will change for the Sustainability Certificate?

• A new set of Learning Goals (click here for a further description of each) o Students will be able to identify, critically analyze, and propose solutions to the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability o Students will be able to engage in systems thinking and practice so as to address the interrelationships among the three dimensions of sustainability o Students will develop the capacity for an engaged life in which theory, practice, and reflection are integrated in the pursuit of a more sustainable world

• Admission Requirements o Undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison may apply for the sustainability certificate if they  are not earning the Environmental Studies Certificate or the Certificate in Engineering for Energy Sustainability, and  have completed one of the approved courses for the certificate with a grade of B or better • Completion Requirements o Completion of the certificate requires a 3.0 GPA in all coursework that counts towards the certificate. This GPA requirement only applies to sustainability courses and thus does not equate to the student’s overall GPA. • Curriculum Structure o 12-credit requirement o The Community Engagement Requirement remains in its current form o There is no capstone requirement o Curriculum Requirements  To meet the 12-credit requirement, students need to select at least 3 credits from each of the four categories listed here.  A fifth category, also listed here, captures miscellaneous sustainability courses. Under special circumstances, students can ask to use a maximum of 3 credits from this fifth category to substitute for 3 credits from one of the four main categories. Such a request is granted on an individual basis and requires that the student explains how the substitute class assists the student in optimizing his or her individual goals for taking the certificate in light of the student’s current major and later professional aspirations. The request requires approval by the certificate’s faculty advisor (Ann Terlaak) in coordination with the certificate’s oversight committee

How Can I Apply?

Interested? Eligible as described above? If so, fill out this application form. Be ready to upload an unofficial copy of your transcript and to answer two short essay questions (fewer than 500 words). The first question asks "Pick an experience from your own life, and explain how it has influenced your interest in sustainability." The second question asks "If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and why?" You might find it helpful to draft your responses beforehand.


Please email professor Ann Terlaak the faculty advisor for the certificate, Professor Ann Terlaak at the School of Business. Please use this subject line: "INFO REQUEST: SUSTAINABILITY CERTIFICATE." As part of your message, please include your full name, student ID number, and anticipated graduation date.