Certificate in Sustainability Studies

Certificate in Sustainability Studies

This certificate has been instrumental in opening new doors for me. It helped me find a position in the solar energy industry and has now led me to my new role at UCalgary's Office of Sustainability. The program provides students the chance to explore their interests under the guidance of knowledgeable and supportive instructors.

Aviva Fialkow

2018 Certificate in Sustainability Studies Graduate

The first program of its kind at UCalgary.

The Certificate in Sustainability Studies is based on an innovative experiential learning model that you can easily embed in most undergraduate degrees at no cost. UCalgary is a leader among Canadian universities with this new model for sustainability education. We provide you with the thinking and problem-solving skill set needed for sustainability leadership, research, education, policy and planning. After completing the Certificate in Sustainability Studies, you will be ready to enter into a variety of industries and jobs ranging from climate change adaptation to sustainable community design and sustainable futures planning, to natural and social resource conservation and stewardship, to renewable energy and regenerative food and water systems, product stewardship, municipal and federal planning and policy development, and community based and environmental monitoring, reporting and consulting.

Program requirements

The Sustainability Certificate consists of four required core courses and two sustainability-focused elective courses that are embedded in your chosen degree program; elective selection is designed to fit your individual program requirements, but in a way that allows you to explore your interests and career goals. The core courses begin with foundational sustainability principles, practices, challenges and opportunities in both an historical and contemporary context. Throughout the certificate you will apply foundational principles to complex social, ecological and sustainable design problems through research and experiential learning. Using systems models, design thinking, and quantitative and qualitative methods, you will learn how to work in teams to find solutions to complex sustainability problems at local, regional and global scales. Class sizes are small, course content is cross-disciplinary and you have the opportunity to engage directly with both sustainability problems and with faculty and expert practitioners who work on sustainability and resilience problems across the globe.

Learning Opportunities

Certificate in Sustainability Studies students have the opportunity to hear from a variety of external organizations, sustainability and equity consulting firms, researchers, institutions, not-for-profits and practitioners throughout the program. Students will engage in applied research projects throughout the core courses both on and off-campus with a variety of stakeholders. These projects allow students to apply their classroom learnings to real sustainability challenges while also working with sustainability practitioners and leaders.



SUST 201 and SUST 403 are offered during the fall semesters, while SUST 401 and SUST 501 will be offered during winter semesters. In addition to the four core sustainability courses, students in the Certificate in Sustainability Studies are required to take six units (1.0 full-course equivalents) of elective courses, of which at least three units (0.5 full-course equivalents) must be taken at or above the 300-level. These elective courses are intended to provide breadth and disciplinary focus, while the core courses provide cross-disciplinary collaboration and depth in Sustainability Studies.

As easy as 1,2,3

Are you an undergraduate student who wants to enhance your current degree with UCalgary's embedded Certificate in Sustainability Studies? Declare your interest. Here's how:

Student Centre

Login to MyUCalgary Student Centre.


Change Program

Fill out the change of program form.


Select the Embedded Certificate in Sustainability Studies option. Your faculty advisor can assist you if you have any difficulty.

Elective Courses

Please see suggested courses below or inquire about courses currently not on the list. Email sustainability.cert@ucalgary.ca with any questions.

Explore electives

Electives inventory | PDF

500+ Sustainability Courses offered to UCalgary undergraduate and graduate students

Courses offered span across all UCalgary faculties.

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Discover UCalgary's Certificate in Sustainability Studies

Program office located in the Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences 102. Contact us