The Certificate in Sustainability is a for-credit undergraduate certificate open to all Faculty of Arts & Science (A&S) students and is designed to complement any degree or discipline. It is offered in conjunction with any undergraduate program at the Faculty of Arts & Science. Successful completion of the certificate is recorded on the academic transcript.
This certificate brings together students from the arts and science, to approach the topic of sustainability from multiple perspectives. Students will develop a sustainability-lens through which they can approach the rest of their academic program, career path and life in general.
This Certificate is part of a tri-campus initiative, led by the President’s Advisory Committee on the Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainability (CECCS), to incorporate sustainability into the undergraduate curriculum and address society’s pressing sustainability challenges. It serves as the Sustainability Scholar component for the Faculty of Arts & Science. Similar programs already exist in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design on the St. George campus.
Students are required to take 2.5 courses comprised of:
Foundations Course (0.5 Credit)
ENV222H1 Pathways to Sustainability: An Interdisciplinary Approach
The foundations course introduces students to environmental studies and provides them with a sustainability lens that integrates sciences, social sciences and humanities. Students will learn the guiding principles of sustainability to support the remainder of their degree and will be introduced to their journal practice for elective courses that they will return to if they take the ENV411H1 Capstone course.
Note: students who have taken the TrinOne sustainability courses TRN140Y1/141Y1 may count these towards the certificate as an alternative to ENV222H1.
Elective Courses (1.5 Credits)
Between the foundation and capstone courses, students must take 1.5 credits from a curated list of existing 200- and 300-level courses. Students may select courses from at least two of the four clusters below:
- Cluster 1 – Environment/Ecology/Climate
- Cluster 2 – Equity/Ethics/Culture
- Cluster 3 – Economics/Development/Resources
- Cluster 4 – Food/Health/Wellbeing
The three electives are selected from a curated list of 42 half courses from 19 different units across A&S that draw connections between multiple dimensions of sustainability (environmental, social, political, ethical, cultural, and economic).
Students have the option to nominate a third- or fourth-year credit that is not included in one of the clusters to count as one of their elective credits (0.5 FCE). This course could either be one they have already taken or one they are planning to take. Students must submit the relevant cluster, course code and description, a course syllabus (if the student has already taken the class), and proposal (500 words max) that addresses the following three criteria:
- Why the course belongs to the cluster mentioned.
- How the class addresses connections between at least two aspects of the following aspects of sustainability: environmental, social, political, ethical, cultural, and economic.
- How the student expects the course to fill a specific gap in their personal learning objectives within the Certificate.
Elective nominations are be accepted on a rolling basis but must be submitted at least one semester prior to graduation.
Capstone Course (0.5 Credit)
The capstone courses require students to reflect on their sustainability education journey, using their guiding principles and journal reflections.
Students must select one course from the two listed below:
ENV461H1 Campus as a Living Lab for Sustainability
This experiential learning course puts students into groups of 4-6 and pairs them with partners within the university looking to implement a sustainability solution or test the effectiveness of one they have already implemented. This course has a pre-requisite of 10 FCE and completion of either ENV221H1 or ENV222H1. Students will gain significant perspective through the experience.
ENV411H1 Sustainability Thinking
This course includes a lecture section where students come together as a larger group to explore sustainability theory more deeply. It also includes smaller seminar-style tutorials where students will relate this theory to their past interdisciplinary learning experiences of their degree as well as their future careers and sustainability aspirations.