Curriculum

  • The Earth Institute’s Executive Education Certificate Program in Conservation and Environmental Sustainability is awarded to participants who satisfactorily complete 12 courses (120 hours of instruction) in the program.
  • Courses are five-weeks long, typically meet one evening per week for two hours and may include weekend workshops.
  • Some courses may include an extra field trip off-campus; when opting for intensive field courses, you spend several days at a field site.
  • Participants are admitted into the Certificate Program on a competitive basis. Once enrolled, you complete the coursework in as few as 9 months or up to 3 years.
  • You must enroll in at least two modules per semester in order to maintain standing. 12 courses are required to earn the Certificate.

Courses are divided into four Categories:

Science Fundamentals (5 courses required) give participants a foundation in the vocabulary and basic concepts that define the field of environmental sustainability, with a focus on ecology, basic economics and policy and human ecology. These courses are pre-requisite for many of the advanced electives.

Case Studies (3 courses required) allow participants to explore environmental conservation science in depth and examine specific taxa or scientific areas (i.e., Coral Reefs, or Conservation Genetics), habitats (i.e., Forest Ecology) or environmental concerns (i.e., Disease Ecology). International Field experiences are available, mainly in the Caribbean. International Field Experience is optional.

Practical Tools (1 course required) ensure that participants receive practical, hands-on training in applied conservation skills. Offerings include field courses, independent courses, Geographic Information Systems, topography and map reading.

Environmental Policy, Management and Finance (3 courses required) look at the interaction of human society and the environment, as well as the policy tools available to help promote conservation goals. Topics include — but are not limited to — law, international development, wildlife trade, local conservation and specialized courses in the management of environmental conservation. Business and finance courses focus on corporate practices and financial tools to better manage natural resources and help protect the environment. EPMF courses provide an effective combination of resources and instruments available to the public and private sectors as they move toward environmental sustainability.

Independent Study. A course can be proposed, and depending on the research topic, replace one course in any category, except Science Fundamentals. The proposed course needs to be approved by and completed with a faculty advisor.