Certificate in Environment, Sustainability and Society

The Certificate in Environment, Sustainability and Society (ESS) is open to current undergraduate students from any Faculty at Dalhousie, excluding those who have declared ESS as a Major or Minor subject.

The ESS Certificate allows students from multiple disciplines to engage meaningfully with issues of Environment, Sustainability and Society. Over the duration of 15 credit hours, you will explore many current sustainability issues and have the opportunity to focus on specific areas of interest. Topics of study include food, energy, resources, climate change, governance, and conflict resolution through courses offered by the College of Sustainability and other departments across the university. With many course options to choose from, the ESS Certificate is designed to support your own sustainability interests and goals.

About the College of Sustainability

Dalhousie University’s College of Sustainability is a leader in post-secondary sustainability education, the first of its kind in Canada. The curriculum provides an interdisciplinary, student-focused forum for collaborative teaching and learning driven by the pressing concerns of our time. The faculty in our ESS program are drawn from across the academic spectrum.

Certificate Learning Outcomes

A student who completes the ESS Certificate will be able to:
1. Recognize sustainability challenges as complex issues that require interdisciplinary thought and action.
2. Identify the interactions between complex sustainability challenges by interpreting current issues of environment, sustainability, and society.
3. Locate diverse ideas and sources of information about sustainability issues, critically analyze arguments, generate conclusions based on evidence and communicate effectively.
4. Identify how (a) their own disciplinary method is used to engage in sustainability issues and (b) how other disciplines/fields engage with and contribute to sustainability
5. Develop self-awareness and describe their own subjective position in the world with respect to sustainability issues and practice respect for diverse perspectives in discussing sustainability understandings and solutions.
6. Work effectively, independently and in group situations, to contribute to problem solving on sustainability issues

Certificate Requirements

Certificate Grade Requirements:

The cumulative GPA in ESS Certificate courses must be 3.0 (B) or better, with no individual ESS Certificate course grade less than C.

Required Courses (15 credit hours total):

At least one SUST course at 1000-level (minimum 3 credit hours) chosen from:

A minimum of 12 credit hours at 2000-level or above including:

"ESS Electives" are courses offered by any department at Dalhousie. They focus on the relation between environment, sustainability and society, or incorporate issues of environment, sustainability and society as a significant module or significant assignment. ESS Electives are reviewed and approved by the College of Sustainability Council.

N.B. SUST 1400 and SUST 1000 are Exclusions – credit will be granted for one or the other, not both.

General Degree Requirements satisfied by SUST courses

  • SUST 1000.06 satisfies the full University Writing Requirement.
  • SUST satisfies “Social Science” Subject Grouping for BSc students.
  • SUST satisfies “Life and Physical Science” Subject Grouping for BA students.
  • SUST satisfies “Social Science” and “Life and Physical Science” Subject Groupings for BCD students.

Contact: Kaarin Tae, ESS Academic Advisor. ess.advising@dal.ca