ESS Graduate Certificates

A Graduate Certificate consists of a minimum of 9 specified credits and not more than 15 credits. All of the credits must be coursework at the graduate level (500- to 700-level). A student must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.000 or better and a minimum of a “C” in the courses required in the Graduate Certificate. Certificates may have courses in common with other graduate certificates. A student may earn more than one certificate, but a given course may be counted only in one certificate.

Guest and degree-seeking students with bachelor’s degrees are eligible to apply to participate in the Graduate Certificate Program. Students must apply for admission into the program and for the conferral of the certificate. Students must be enrolled at CSU to receive and complete the certificate requirements. Graduate certificates by title are noted on the student’s academic record (transcript). For degree seeking students this is at the time of degree conferral. The certificate title is not on the diploma.

To be considered for admission to our certificate programs, applicants must submit an online application through the CSU Graduate School.

A workforce needs assessment survey carried out by the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute concluded that:

  1. US organizations are ill-prepared for emerging regulatory emissions reporting;
  2. Carbon markets are not “up-to-snuff”; and
  3. Competency concerns loom with expansion of climate programs.

A set of recent reports in Nature confirmed that new international agreements will tax the capabilities of nations and organizations to carry out the supporting accounting activities.

This certificate program is designed to deliver the latest fundamental knowledge and skills to practicing environmental/sustainability professionals to enable them to advance their careers by expanding into this emerging area.


Upon completing the program, students will:

  • Apply quantitative and qualitative methods to the study of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission management
  • Explain greenhouse gas sources and sinks and how they might be managed
  • Discuss current issues in greenhouse gas policies and climate change
  • Evaluate the linkages between socioeconomic and ecological processes driving increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations
  • Apply methods of conducting GHG mitigation analyses following current ISO standards
  • Design, evaluate, set up, test and operate GHG information management systems and GHG assurance processes that are appropriate for specific applications and that conform to applicable standards
  • Carry out basic greenhouse gas assessments using systems approaches and integrative methods, including the application of life cycle analysis and other numerical quantification tools

Additional coursework may be required due to prerequisites.

Required Courses: 
Program Total Credits = 10-11
ESS 524Foundations for Carbon/Greenhouse Gas Management3 credits
ESS 542Greenhouse Gas Policies2 credits
ESS/ATS 543Current Topics in Climate Change2 credits
Select one course from the following (3-4 credits required):
ANEQ 626Animal Nutrition, Emissions, and Management
ESS 545Applications in Greenhouse Gas Inventories
ESS/ENGR 555Life Cycle Assessment for Sustainability
ESS/F 625Ecology of Forest Production
This certificate program is designed to provide college graduates, current practitioners, and new professionals with targeted knowledge and skills to advance their understanding and career mobility related to water resources planning, management, and policy. This skill set can be applied to a wide array of natural resource managers as water planning is essential to sound governmental policy and community management. All courses include case studies and exercises pertaining to an array of water issues in Colorado and the United States, as well as international examples.

Upon completing the program, students will:
  • Apply and demonstrate the principles of the hydrologic cycle and explain complex interactions of groundwater and surface water.
  • Recognize and articulate the foundational assumptions of water resource management in multiple settings (Colorado, the US and international).
  • Conduct research and analysis of water data, both temporally and spatially, using spreadsheets, geographic information systems and statistical software.
  • Contrast and compare water policy, laws, and regulation to assess potential changes to water management.

Additional coursework may be required due to prerequisites.

Required Courses 
Program Total Credits = 9
WR 511Water Resource Development3 credits
OR
CIVE 544Water Resources Planning and Management3 credits
WR 512Water Law for Non-Lawyers3 credits
WR 514GIS and Data Analysis in Water Resources3 credits