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Sustainability Graduate Certificates FAQs

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How long does it take to earn a Sustainability Graduate Certificate?

Four courses are required to complete the certificate (minimum of 3 units per course). Please note some courses require prerequisites. The courses can be completed at any time while you are enrolled as a Stanford graduate student.

What is the admissions process?

Please fill out this Interest form if you would like to pursue one of the certificate programs. There is no formal admissions application, process, or fees. However, you must be a currently enrolled Stanford graduate student to pursue the certificate.

After you have completed all of the course requirements, apply for the certificate by submitting this form: Apply for the certificate

Are there prerequisite courses required for the Sustainability Graduate Certificates?

Not for the program, however some courses will have prerequisites, course recommendations, or applications. We suggest looking at the current course description and checking with the instructor to make sure you are equipped for the material. Some courses may require some extra work but are manageable. 

Who is eligible?

Any matriculated graduate student in good academic standing at Stanford.

Can past activities be used for credit in the certificate?

Courses taken outside of Stanford do not count toward the certificate. If you have already taken Stanford courses from the core or elective course list, those can count toward this graduate certificate, unless they are being counted toward your degree. 

Can the courses I take for my Stanford graduate degree double-count toward the certificate requirements?

No, you cannot double-count courses. Units taken for the certificate can be counted as part of the minimum residency requirements for the graduate degree (i.e. 45 units for MA/MS, 90 units for MBA, 135 units for PhD). But courses used for the certificate should not be used to also meet the requirements for the graduate degree (e.g. core, depth, breadth requirements). Courses repeated for credit do not count towards the number of required courses.

Can I get more than one Sustainability Graduate Certificate?

Yes, but you cannot count the same course toward more than one certificate. 

How do I know what activities get credit towards the certificate?

See the course lists for each program. Courses that are being used to fulfill the certificate requirements cannot double-count towards your degree or be repeated for credit (i.e. you need 3 different elective courses, not 1 course repeated 3 times for credit).

Do I have an advisor while trying to complete the certificate?

Yes, reach out to Kelly Wells if you have questions about the certificates or would like advice on course selection.

How do I submit my application to receive the certificate?

After you have completed the course requirements, please fill out this application for the certificate form. You must take the courses for a letter grade, successfully complete all courses, and have a 3.0 or B average GPA from the 4 courses at time of application to receive a certificate. Courses with missing, incomplete, in progress, or failing grades do not count toward the certificate requirements.

Will this certificate appear on my transcript?

At this time, this is considered a ‘local’ certificate issued by the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability and will not be on your official transcript.

How should I note completion of this program on my CV?

  • Sustainability Graduate Certificate - (Program) (date of completion)
  • Completed the Sustainability Graduate Certificate with the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability. Certificate in (program) recognizes dedication in developing professional competency in (learning objectives).