The Certificate in Sustainability will provide undergraduate students formal recognition for the knowledge about sustainability that they have acquired during the course of their academic career. The certificate will indicate to employers that the student has gained a baseline understanding of sustainability which complements their primary areas of expertise.
The Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences is the administrative unit for the Certificate in Sustainability, although students who earn this certificate can take courses from other participating Faculties offering courses that can be counted toward the certificate. Normally the requirements for the Certificate in Sustainability can be completed as part of the requirements for the degree; however, in some cases, a student may need to take more than the minimum required for their degree program in order to qualify for both the degree and the certificate. The Certificate in Sustainability will be available to undergraduate students who are enrolled in degree programs offered by participating Faculties.
While completing the undergraduate program in their respective Faculties, students will be required to complete a minimum of ★12 from a list of designated courses. These courses will be categorized into two categories: “Core courses” and “Electives.” Students will be required to complete at least ★6 in each category. In addition, students will complete a final “integrative project” worth ★3, which will engage directly with the core features of sustainability and serve as the de facto “capstone” experience for participating undergraduate students.
Students will be asked to complete an “intention to complete the certificate” form available at the University of Alberta Sustainability Council’s website: www.ualberta.ca/sustainability and the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences (ALES) website: www.ales.ualberta.ca.
Application for the certificate is made to the ALES’s Student Services office: www.ualberta.ca/agriculture-life-environment-sciences/student-services by February 1 for Spring Convocation and September 1 for Fall Convocation. At present, this certificate is not available to students who have already completed their degrees or who are not receiving a degree at the appropriate convocation.
For information about the Certificate in Sustainability, contact: Student Services, ALES, 2-06 Agriculture Forestry Centre, www.ualberta.ca/agriculture-life-environment-sciences/student-services or contact the Academic Director with the University of Alberta Sustainability Council www.ualberta.ca/sustainability/about/contact
Students may pursue the Certificate in Sustainability by fulfilling existing requirements for majors, minor or honors in their respective disciplines and by completing the following:
- ★6 in core courses from the preapproved list of academic courses listed by the Office of Sustainability and the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences.
- ★6 in elective courses from the preapproved list of academic courses by the Office of Sustainability and the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences
- ★3 in an integrative project to be approved by Office of Sustainability Academic Director or designate(s).
- A maximum of ★3 from any given course can be used for the certificate
- No more than ★3 of the ★15 may be transfer credits from other postsecondary institutions.
- ★3 “integrative project”. The final project will engage directly with the core features of sustainability and will serve as the de facto “capstone” experience for participating undergraduates. The certificate stresses the importance of projects that involve community engagement, the testing of, or the implementation of concepts learned in the classroom.
Forms that the integrative project can take include:
- A field course
- An internship
- A Community Service Learning (CSL) course
- An Undergraduate Research Initiative (URI) supported research project
- A course that explicitly includes a student-led research project
- Independent study with a professor that involves research outside the University
- Project presentation. All students that participate in the Certificate will be required to present their findings, in poster presentations, at periodic undergraduate presentation events hosted by the University of Alberta (e.g. URI, CSL, or Office of Sustainability).
- The certificate will be awarded at the time the students earn their undergraduate degree.
- Must be enrolled in a major that is part of the participating Faculties.
- Students must be in good academic standing at the time they register for the certificate and they must maintain good academic standing as they pursue the certificate. Students must maintain the minimum GPA for continuation in their respective programs.
Students will be required to register for the certificate no later than September 30 of their third year, or at completion of ★60 if studying part-time. No more than half of the course requirements for this certificate may overlap with the requirements of another certificate. This certificate is conceived as an interdisciplinary one, and at least one of the courses in the certificate must be taken from an outside Faculty. Indeed, this certificate encourages students to undertake an interdisciplinary approach to education.