Environmental and Cultural Sustainability Certificate Program

environmental science student

The multidisciplinary aspects of a sustainability-based curriculum are essential to understanding many of the problems facing today’s world, and for providing the basis for the development of solutions.

The five-course Environmental and Cultural Sustainability Certificate program is designed for individuals employed in or seeking employment in fields such as: land use planning, environmental non-profits, government, transportation, and insurance, in which sustainability concepts play an integral role.  The program can be completed through full-time or part-time enrollment. All classes are offered in the evenings, face-to-face on the campus of UNC Asheville.

The Certificate in Environmental and Cultural Sustainability is awarded to students who successfully complete 15 credit hours, including the three core courses and two elective courses approved by the MLAS director. Students must have a cumulative 3.0 grade-point-average in the five courses. Course descriptions are available by clicking the link below.

Required courses: ECS 520: Seminar in Sustainable Cultures; ECS 540: The Economics of Sustainability; ECS 560: Energy Systems; plus six credit hours of approved electives.

For more information on the program and how to apply, call 828.250.2399.

ECS Course Descriptions

Courses in Environmental and Cultural Sustainability (ECS):

ECS 520: Seminar in Sustainable Cultures

Interdisciplinary seminar on the importance of diversity among the world’s cultures

and the potential for homogenization resulting from the globalization of many human

activities.  Literature from a variety of authors concerning international

environmental themes will be read and discussed throughout the course.

ECS 540: The Economics of Sustainability

Interdisciplinary seminar on the challenges and opportunities facing environmental

sustainability in the modern era. This course draws on environmental and natural

resource economics as well as political economy to understand contemporary

sustainability issues including climate change, ecosystem services, and the greening

of global supply chains.

ECS 560: Energy Systems

Interdisciplinary seminar on the study of current energy uses and demands.  Energy

resources, including carbon-based, water-based, geothermal, and nuclear energy will

be discussed. Renewable methods of energy generation, and potential future sources

of energy will be reviewed.

ECS 599: Directed Research in Environmental and Cultural Sustainability (1-3)

Independent research under the supervision of a faculty mentor or with an

interdisciplinary team of faculty. An IP grade may be awarded at the discretion of the

instructor. Students may take Directed Research twice for a total of 6 hours of credit,

in any combination of CCS 599, ECS 599, ENG 599 and MLAS 599. See program


ECS 571-3, 671-3 Special Topics in Environmental and Cultural Sustainability (1-3)

Courses not otherwise included in the catalog listing but for which there may be

special needs. May be repeated for credit as subject matter changes. See program