The Certificate in Sustainability is offered by the USask School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS). Located on the third floor of Kirk Hall, SENS is an international model of excellence and destination site for interdisciplinary, problem-oriented and experience-based graduate and undergraduate learning for issues dealing with environment and sustainability.
- You cannot enter this program directly from high school
- You can begin this program off-campus
What you will learn
Coordinated through SENS, the Undergraduate Certificate in Sustainability enriches a student's current degree program and helps them stand out from the crowd following graduation.
By providing significant exposure to sustainability-related concepts and practices, students gain an understanding of how to integrate human-environmental systems within our current reality and how to critically evaluate sustainability efforts. Students choose their elective courses from one of three areas of focus:
- natural resources and sustainability
- community and sustainability
- food systems and sustainability
The program can begin in your second year of undergraduate study. This certificate requires the completion of 21 credit units including:
- ENVS 201.3 Foundations of Sustainability
The intention of this course is to provide foundational knowledge about sustainability science and concepts while also exposing students to the key foci areas they can pursue with the certificate. Students will be exposed to an interdisciplinary perspective, with materials from the social and natural sciences as well as humanist perspectives. This course is team-taught in an interactive environment with an emphasis on critical thinking exercises and class discussions.
- ENVS 401.3 Sustainability in Action
This course combines seminars and project-based activities to examine local and global sustainability issues, integrating perspectives and knowledge from both the social and natural sciences. Students will work in interdisciplinary, collaborative groups to address sustainability challenges on campus and in our community.
- 3 credit units chosen from electives on Indigenous Learning for Sustainability
- 3 credit units chosen from electives on Techniques and Tools for Sustainability
- 9 credit units chosen from one of three areas of focus:
- Natural Resources and Sustainability Focus
- Community and Sustainability Focus
- Food Systems and Sustainability Focus
The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete, up-to-date, and official listing of all requirements for this program.
Students must be enrolled in a USask degree program in order to enroll in this certificate program. The certificate typically begins in the second year of a student's degree program. The program is open to students from any USask college.
Current students should contact their academic advisor to determine how the certificate fits with their current degree program. Students planning to complete the certificate should download and fill out the advising record, and return it to SENS. Notifying the school of your intention to complete the certificate helps us to ensure the certificate will be awarded at the end of your studies (note that this will not happen automatically, so this step is important). Enrolling in the certificate also provides opportunities to engage with SENS (e.g. through invitations to invited talks hosted by SENS, as well as other events).
Certificate completion and awards
When a student has completed the requirements for their Certificate, they should follow these instructions to be awarded their Certificate:
Each year, SENS solicits nominations for two awards for students in the Certificate Program (Certificate in Sustainability Excellence Award, and the Award for Outstanding Sustainability in Action Project). Nominations will be accepted during the winter semester (typically in early April, please check with your ENVS 201 or ENVS 401 instructor) and the awards will be presented in May.
For academic advising specific to the Certificate in Sustainability, questions can be directed to SENS faculty member Dr. Colin Whitfield, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all other questions and additional information, visit the friendly SENS admissions team in Kirk Hall, room 323, or email us.
What students say
Graduate Leah Luciuk has this advice for students considering adding the certificate to their degree program. Leah is the Energy Education Programmer for the Saskatchewan Environmental Society in Saskatoon. She also works for the Government of Saskatchewan as a Park Interpreter:
"Play to your strengths. I found the certificate to be very flexible and there is something for everyone. Without [the certificate] and SENS, I would not be the person I am today, nor would I have the knowledge and skills that have helped me make a difference in the current economy.
The ENVS 401 course was the highlight of my time at university, and Professors Colin Laroque and Philip Loring genuinely inspired me to ask the students I work with now to think differently, just as I was asked to look at sustainability through different lenses during the ENVS 401 course."
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