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Education for Environmental Sustainability

Environmental education focuses on the exploration of environmental issues, problem solving, critical thinking, and taking action to improve the environment. Furthermore, education for sustainability is a transformative process that prepares individuals to lead an informed citizenry whereby responsible individual and collaborative actions result in an ecologically sound, economically prosperous, and equitable society for present and future generations. This certificate program combines salient features of each of these approaches to investigate interdisciplinary content and relationships that promote sustainable communities.

The rationale for this certificate, which is appropriate for students interested in both formal and non-formal education, is grounded in a UC core principle - educating students in ways that transform their lives so they are poised for “ongoing discovery and full engagement as they shape an evolving world.” More specifically, the responsibility for making progress toward an ecologically sustainable future lies in the hands of today's students.  As a forward thinking institution of higher education, UC offers this certificate to interested students so they can cultivate environmentally and civically responsible orientations. The certificate coursework will educate our students about environmental literacy and ecological sustainability, essential for 21st century global citizenship. It will foster critical and creative thinking skills within an eco-pedagogy that promotes learning and stimulates individual and collective action towards enhancing the human–earth relationship.


Quick Info

Program Code


Real-World Learning Components

Required clinical experience, Research


1 years


Main Campus


School of Education
College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services


PO BOX 210105
Cincinnati,OH  45221
Dr. Victoria Carr
Phone: 513-556-3805

Student Success Factors

Students who will be most interested in this certificate are those who are aware of, sensitive to, and concerned about environmental challenges, economics, social justice issues, and sustainable development.  

Career Possibilities

Education for sustainability and about environmental issues affects everyone and must involve everyone. Thus, this certificate would enhance skill sets in numerous careers since it is about connections across all subject areas and interrelationships that are vital to sustaining the earth and its inhabitants. 

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Major Details

This certificate is appropriate for any major. There are five required courses with opportunities to engage with community programs whose emphases is on environmental education and/or sustainable practices. Courses are offered within the Educational Studies and Environmental Studies programs and are sequenced so students build environmental literacy, pedagogical knowledge, and investigative skills that are congruent with the standards for an environmental educator. The certificate is offered through the College of Educational, Criminal Justice, and Human Services. It can be completed within one year.

The Education for Environmental Sustainability certificate promotes a practical approach to lifelong learning.  The issues and topics studied and discussed throughout the coursework and fieldwork will increase students’ environmental literacy and knowledge of sustainable practices, thus empowering students to engage fellow citizens in defining and pursuing sustainable futures for themselves, their children, and their communities.


These tools assist students to identify course requirements and individual progress toward completion of academic programs. It is important to utilize these resources with personalized guidance from a UC academic advisor regularly to ensure timely graduation..

My Degree Audit - for confirmed and current students

My Transfer Course Equivalencies - for students considering transfer to UC

UC Schedule of Classes - search course availability and descriptions

Curriculum Guide Versions:

Education for Environmental Sustainability Curriculum

Predominant Program

    Education for Environmental Sustainability Core Courses
    • EDST2055, Introduction to Education for Environmental Sustainability, SE, 3
    • EVST1011, Introduction to Environmental Studies I, SE, NS, 3
    • EDST3058, Education for Environmental Sustainability: Principles and Practices, 3
    • EDST4065, Applied Research & Eval in Environmental Education and Sustainability Practices, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Students will complete a Field Experience. Students may select CI4108C Experiential Learning in Environmental Research OR BIOL3090 Interdisciplinary Field Experience, 3

Admission Requirements

This program is open to students in good academic standing with a cumulative university grade point average of 2.0 and the desire to succeed.  Although admission is open, students accepted into the program must meet the academic standards of the program to advance to upper levels of study. Interested students should meet with a UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services Student Services staff member for appropriate advising. Please note: In order to obtain this certificate, 50% or more of the required coursework must be taken from the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services.  Application materials for the certificate program can be located here.

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate from the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, a student must:

  • Complete all required course work and program requirements.
  • Obtain at least a 2.0 university grade point average.
  • Be in good academic standing; that is, not on academic or disciplinary probation or suspension.

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines are as follows: fall semester - July 1; spring semester - November 1; summer semester - March 1.


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.