Course Requirements

Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management include:

  • 3 core courses (9 or more total credits)
  • completion of a 2 quarter long team-based Keystone Project conducted through the course sequence ENVIR 511 and 512 (8 credits)

**Please note that students must have completed at least one - and preferably two - core courses before enrolling in the Keystone Project course series.

Award of the Certificate is contingent on completion of the student's graduate degree.

Core Courses

Students must complete three core courses, one in each of three core elements of the Environmental Management curriculum: Environmental Policy, Business and the Environment, and Science Application. A set of courses is available to provide students a fundamental background in the environmental decision-making process from these three perspectives. The courses satisfying the requirements in the three core areas are listed below.

Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are highly recommended.

  • Environmental Policy Processes (PB AF 590) *
    Professor: Craig Thomas
    Environmental policies are crafted and implemented through a wide variety of governance processes. This great diversity of processes is a relatively new phenomenon. Prior to the 1990s, two types of processes predominated in the U.S., both of which were top-down: centralized planning within public agencies and command-and-control regulation. In the 1990s, new types of governance processes emerged, sometimes replacing top-down processes, other times layering over them. Some emerged from the bottom up, such as collaborative partnerships and corporate social responsibility. Others emerged in conjunction with top-down processes (such as ecosystem management and permit trading). In this course, we will survey a wide variety of environmental policy processes. The goal is for students to develop the critical capacity to identify appropriate processes for solving environmental problems.
  • Resource Policy and Administration (SEFS 571 / PB AF 592)
    Professor: Clare Ryan
    Study based on understanding of the actors, arenas, issues, and policy communities that form the context for policy development and implementation. Exploration of approaches to policy inquiry. Consideration of implications for both policy and management. Students develop a study design for course project.
  • Natural Resource Policy and Planning (ESRM 470)
    Introduction to and analysis of environmental policy-making processes, with a focus on forest and land policy and law. Use of policy models to examine the interaction of agencies, interest groups, Congress, and the courts in the legislative process. Policy implementation, evaluation, and change are also addressed.
  • Environmental Planning and Permitting in Practice (ENVIR 485)
    Professor: Todd Wildermuth
    Advanced survey of environmental planning and permitting as encountered by environmental and natural resource professionals in Washington State and beyond. Focuses on Washington State acts (SEPA, SMA, GMA) and Federal systems (NEPA, CWA ESA) that shape environmental land use planning and federal planning and permitting systems
  • Marine Policy Analysis (SMEA 519)
    Professor: Nives Dolšak
    Goal is appreciation for and basic working knowledge of techniques used in policy analysis. Techniques are explored in both quasi-realistic settings and in application to real world problems of marine policy.
  • Public Policy Processes (POLS 575)
    Professor: Peter May
    This course is broadly concerned with political science research about policy processes. We will conduct this course as a research seminar in American politics focusing on key perspectives about the policy process. Students with theoretical interests will find the course useful in providing frameworks for studying policy processes and American politics. Students with applied interests in particular policy areas will find the course useful in thinking about the forces that shape public policies.
  • Business Strategy and the Natural Environment (ENVIR 502 / MGMT 579) *
    Professor: Timothy Hargrave
    Applies economic and business principles (marketing, accounting, operations) to understand interactions between business and the natural environment and how environmental issues influence business strategy. Theory and case studies explore strategies that both respond to and seek competitive advantage from firms' interactions with the environment.
  • Cases in Sustainability (IBUS 545)
    Professor: Elizabeth Stearns
    This course examines the three chief components of corporate sustainability - financial, social, and environmental/natural- in a case based format.  The orientation of our case work is Business (not Policy or Politics, although given the global perspective these clearly are incorporated).  We tackle rigorous cases with a systems approach to the triple bottom line.   Each of the three sustainability components includes coverage by outside expert speakers & practitioners.  We explore both strategic and executional aspects of major Fortune 500 organizations and the work they are doing in this important 21st century context.  The objective of this course is not only to inform, but to help incorporate into the executive’s decision making process the issues, opportunities and approaches needed to address the issues of Sustainability within any firm.
  • Role of Scientific Information in Environmental Decisions (PB AF 597) *
    Professor: Alison Cullen
    This course examines how science contributes to decisions that involve the natural environment: how science and scientists help frame debates and decisions; how scientific findings are incorporated into decision-making processes; how scientists and nonscientists deal with uncertainty about scientific questions. Illustrates the need for accurate representation and critical evaluation of scientific information.
  • Risk Assessment for Environmental Health Hazards (PB AF 589 / ENVH 577)
    Professor: Elaine Faustman
    Environmental Risk Assessment introduces students to the fundamentals of environmental risk assessment. Students learn to identify, characterize and predict environmental health risk. Prediction methods are taught and students will have an opportunity to use these approaches. Methods for evaluating uncertainty in such predictions are presented. Approaches for preventing and controlling such potential risks are also included in the course content and this will involve discussion of legislative and regulatory options as well as risk communication techniques. Students will prepare a risk assessment within a group project.

    Students must complete a two-quarter long interdisciplinary team-based Keystone Project, which is conducted through the Keystone Project course sequence ENVIR 511, 512 offered Fall and Winter Quarters.

  • Keystone Project I (ENVIR 511) (4 credits)
    Environmental Management Certificate Capstone Course.  First course in a two quarter sequence.  Interdisciplinary project teams work with a faculty mentor and community partner to address regional environmental issues. 
  • Keystone Project II (ENVIR 512) (4 credits)
    Environmental Management Certificate Capstone Course.  Second course in a two quarter sequence.  Interdisciplinary project teams work with a faculty mentor and community partner to address regional environmental issues. 

Course Planning

To keep the curriculum current, and depending on availability of course offerings, specific courses may change from year to year. Below is a sample course schedule. Students studying for longer than two years may choose to spread out the core courses and keystone project over a longer period of time.





Year 1



ENVIR 502: Business Strategy and the Natural Environment (BUSINESS CORE)

Year 2

ENVIR 511: Keystone Project
PB AF 597: Role of Scientific Information in Environmental Decisions (SCIENCE CORE)

ENVIR 512: Keystone Project
PB AF 590: Environmental Policy Processes (POLICY CORE)


Grading/Assessment/Minimum Standards

The program complies with Graduate School standards for performance and completion. Student performance will be assessed in accord with standards in primary academic units. To successfully complete the certificate, the student must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all courses taken to fulfill the requirements, and no grade in any of these courses can be lower than 2.7.

Graduate Certificate Information Sources

Additional information and Graduate School requirements for Graduate Certificate programs are available online at: Guidelines for Graduate Certificate Programs.