Certificate in Sustainability Policy and Environmental Management

Society faces three interlocking problems as we move deeper into the twenty-first century - global population that will reach 9-10 billion by 2050, depletion of several key natural resources, and climate change and its likely ecological consequences. The field of sustainability policy and environmental management is designed to systematically address these challenges. It encompasses several foci including environmental science, environmental economics, industrial ecology, sociology, political science, and law. The transition toward more sustainable systems entails the integration of these modes of expertise and the modernization of contemporary science, technology, and governance.

Who is this program recommended for?

The Graduate Certificate in Sustainability Policy & Environmental Management aims to train students in relevant areas of science, engineering, industrial design, natural resource management, urban and regional planning, and social policy. The program is intended for environmental professionals, scientists, engineers, and managers with diverse academic backgrounds in physical and biological science, social science, and management.

What will I learn?

  • The scientific basis of contemporary global-scale environmental problems and the institutional responses that have evolved to manage them.
  • The political economy of sustainable development including the international politics of sustainability, the social scientific dimensions of sustainability, and the tools and techniques for measuring sustainability, as well as emergent developments in ecological economics and the “new economics” of sustainability.
  • The complex and dynamic interactions that characterize the relationship between the economy and the environment from biological, economic, and institutional perspectives and the various strategies for solving conflicts in resource management and pollution control including risk assessment, cost-benefit analysis, and cost-effectiveness analysis.
  • The key elements of the legal system that has evolved to control air, water, and solid waste pollution by federal, state, and local governments and the international agreements that have been created to manage global environmental issues.
  • The ways in which language, media, and symbols influence our perceptions of the environment and how communication affects our understanding of the cultural, political, and scientific contexts of decision-making processes.
  • The fundamental tenets of industrial ecology including material flow analysis, life cycle and exergy analysis, product/process engineering from a systems perspective, carbon/ecological footprint techniques, demanufacturing systems, and design for environment.

Why study Sustainability Policy and Environmental Management at NJIT?

The faculty who participate in the Graduate Certificate in Sustainability Policy & Environmental Management are internationally recognized experts in their respective fields and integrate their wide-ranging experience into the courses that they teach. From an array of eligible courses, students are able to develop customized study plans and to complete the program exclusively on an online basis if they would like to do so. The Sustainability Policy & Environmental Policy graduate certificate is designed for professionals currently working in the field and for career changers thinking about transitioning into the growing “green economy.” A recent article in USA Today highlights the exciting developments taking place in this area across the country. Prospective students may also want to familiarize themselves with the academic journal Sustainability: Science, Practice, and Policy that is edited at NJIT.


Completion of a Bachelor’s degree with an overall cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.8 or higher on a 4.0 scale. It is important that students have some understanding of the scientific and political context of sustainability and environmental management both in the United States and globally.

Related Degree Programs

Depending on which courses are chosen, the credential relates to the NJIT MS in Environmental Policy Studies.

Take Note

Check the course descriptions for more information. Some courses have prerequisites and must be taken in order.

Faculty Advisor: M. Cohen

Please check the Registrar's website for full course listings and course profiles.

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