Sustainability is the practice of meeting the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. In order to achieve sustainability, we need to understand human and environmental systems and their complex interactions. 

The certificate program in sustainability focuses on changing environments and human health; energy, climate, and built environments; the power of culture and society; and ethics, economics, and public policy. This program will help you become an effective leader and an agent of change for sustainability in any professional setting you choose.

Admission Requirements

The Certificate in Sustainability may be earned by any University of Iowa student who is not concurrently enrolled in a UI graduate or professional degree program. 

Students must declare their intent to earn this certificate. View the Certificate in Sustainability in the UI General Catalog or the Certificate in Sustainability website for details about admission and course requirements.  


Careers and Outcomes

This program provides a solid foundation for careers in fields related to sustainability. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for individuals with training in the environmental area is projected to grow by 11 percent by 2024, faster than the national average.

Iowa graduates have a 95 percent job/grad school placement rate within six months of graduation. Our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs. 

Student Opportunities

In addition to more than 500 student organizations, Iowa students choose from more than 100 study abroad programs and multiple undergraduate research opportunities.


The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college. 

The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships. 


Sustainability encompasses multiple disciplines, methodologies, and institutional practices. Certificate students must understand the interdisciplinary nature of the field, which is represented by the program's breadth electives:

  • Dynamics of natural systems
  • Dynamics of human systems
  • Communication, ethics, and interpretation 

Students also must be able to analyze real-life problems in and outside of the classroom and work collaboratively to solve everyday problems.  

This program requires 24 s.h. of credit. Work for the certificate includes three introductory core courses, four courses from the breadth area electives, and one project course. 

Students may be able to count certificate courses toward requirements for other majors, minors, or other certificates. Certificate courses may not be taken pass/nonpass.

See Sustainability, Certificate in the UI General Catalog to learn about required course work.