Certificate in Sustainable Communities & Development


Sustainable communities are planned, built, and modified to promote a quality of life that is ecologically responsible and inclusive to foster the creative use of our physical and cultural resources.

The Certificate in Sustainable Communities and Development, designed primarily for professionals in architecture, planning, law, government and development, offers knowledge and methods to design and develop sustainable places and spaces within our community. Grounded in a comprehensive understanding of the ecological, political, and social context of the subject, the program also offers students a set of specific practical skills with which to plan sustainable communities. The scientific, political, economic, and social implications of sustainable development and design are addressed in the core and elective courses. A studio-based capstone experience addresses the collaborative and integrative nature of sustainability development.

required course work

Required Courses: 18 units

  • Global Sustainability (U29 364)
  • Sustainable Development (A46 472) or Planning Sustainable Communities (U19 319)
  • Sustainability (A46 336A)
  • Practical Applications of Sustainable Design I
  • Practical Applications of Sustainable Design II
  • Required Capstone/Practicum
Elective Courses: 3 units

  • Universal Design: Process, Principles, and Application (U19 352) - 1 unit
  • Management of the LEED Design Process (U19 343) - 1 unit
  • Introduction to Historic Preservation (U19 315) - 3 units
  • The Metropolis (U19 329) - 3 units

admissions requirements

Candidates for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Sustainability in University College may not simultaneously pursue a Certificate in Sustainability (Communities and Development, Environment and Science, Management and Organizations) offered by University College. Bachelor of Science in Sustainability students should pursue this category of courses as a concentration within the Bachelor of Science.

Transferring Credit

A maximum of six units of transfer credit for required courses may be applied to certificate programs that include nineteen units of credit or more. All other required courses must be taken at Washington University.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

In order to be considered for admission to this certificate program, students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.7 in at least six units of previous college course work, including at least one college-level English composition course with a grade of B or better.

Policies & Procedures
  • Courses may be taken on a stand-alone basis.
  • Courses taken in the certificate program at Washington University must be completed with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0.
  • Courses taken toward a University College undergraduate certificate program may be applied to a University College bachelor of science degree as distribution or general elective courses.

application requirements

Completed application form

The online application is available online on our Apply page. Applications are ready for review when all fields on the application form are completed, required documents have been received, and the application fee is paid.

Official transcripts from all previous college work

Contact the registrar at each previous college or university attended to request an official transcript. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the registrar to University College.

Personal statement

Tell us about yourself in a brief essay (about 250 words). Why are you applying to University College? What are your goals, both academic and professional? What do we need to know when considering your application?

TOEFL scores (if applicable)

If you are not a U.S. citizen, official TOEFL scores must be forwarded to University College.

Graduates of a U.S. university or college or Canada, Australia, and U.K. residents are exempt if they have earned a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree from such college or university.

$35 application fee

You may pay by credit card online, or via check or money order payable to Washington University in St. Louis. You may also pay the fee by cash at the University College office. 

This fee is waived for all WashU staff.

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Still have questions?

Administrative Assistant for Academic Programs: Holly Schroeder | (314) 935-6759 | cschroed@wustl.edu

Director of Advising and Student Services: Elizabeth Fogt | (314) 935-6778 | efogt@wustl.edu