Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies Certificate
The Environmental Studies Certificate Program encourages undergraduate students at UW-Madison to explore environmental topics through prescribed coursework but with fewer curricular requirements than the Environmental Studies major. Beginning in September 2011, the certificate will require 15 credits of course work instead of the previous 26 credits.
Students in the certificate program can learn about society's environmental problems and issues; study environmental science, policy, literature, art, and philosophy; and take part in environmental research, field work, and case studies.
Participating students pursue bachelor's degrees through the university's regular academic departments and earn environmental studies certificates as a complement to their majors. Students who complete both the certificate curriculum and an undergraduate degree program earn environmental studies certificates with their degrees, and completion of the certificate program is noted on their academic transcripts.
Perhaps the best reason for pursuing an environmental studies certificate is a student's own personal interest in learning more about the environment. In some cases, earning a certificate can also make a graduate more marketable.
In today's world many academic programs, even in environmental fields, encourage students to specialize—to focus on relatively narrow subject areas. Yet "real-world" problems often require understanding beyond that of a single academic discipline. For this reason, more and more employers seek people with interdisciplinary training. The Environmental Studies Certificate Program exposes students to a broad range of knowledge. It helps put other courses into perspective. The Environmental Studies Certificate is evidence to employers that the graduate has acquired not only depth in the major field, but breadth beyond that field—an excellent combination.
Any undergraduate student enrolled at UW-Madison is eligible to participate in the Environmental Studies Certificate Program. Because the certificate is designed to complement a student's academic major, it must be completed together with one of the university's bachelor's degree programs. Students from most majors are invited to participate.
Detailed information about program requirements will be posted when it is available.