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Graduate Certificates

Graduate Certificates are linked courses that provide graduate education within a specific field.

Please note that Federal Financial Aid is not available for non-degree seeking students and aid can only be used towards courses applied to a degree program. Please visit the the Graduate Certificate website for more information about financial aid.

Please expand the links below for additional information on our graduate certificates.


For general questions about this certificate, please contact:


Dr. Ruiliang Pu

As we proceed into the 21st century, the environment represents one of the most critical issues facing nearly all nations individually as well as the earth's community as a whole. Increased population, greater consumption and diminishing resources combined with technological advances and new scientific revelations all play an important role in the study of the environment. By now, we realize that the environment is a multidisciplinary field where neither problems nor solutions honor traditional disciplinary boundaries. It is a field where information is fast flowing and technologies are rapidly evolving.

The Graduate Certificate in Environmental Policy and Management fills this need by providing a broad-based, multidisciplinary educational program to professionals, practitioners, citizens and students who wish to acquire or strengthen their knowledge of the environment.

The Certificate is designed for:

  • Environmental professionals with science and engineering degrees who wish to seek a greater understanding of the political, economic and social context in which science is applied to the real world.
  • Public administrators who are not specifically trained in the environmental field but are currently working in this area.
  • Professionals in organizations that deal, either primarily or heavily, with environmental issues.
  • Environmental professionals who wish to strengthen their managerial skills.
  • Graduate students enrolled in other disciplines who wish to make the emerging environmental field the focus of their career.
  • Undergraduate students who are not ready to pursue a graduate degree but wish to strengthen their credentials.
  • Concerned citizens who wish to pursue the satisfaction of intellectual exploration in the environmental field.


The Environmental Policy and Management Certificate curriculum can include courses in environmental philosophy, environmental policy, environmental politics, environmental law, environmental ethics and environmental management. It requires a common core but also allows students to take electives based on their skills and needs.

GEO 6116 Perspectives of Environmental Thought
EVR 6922* Environmental Science and Policy Capstone Seminar
*(Capstone Course) Must be taken after completion of at least 3 courses.

CORE COURSES  Students must take at least two from the following list:
PAD 5605 Administrative Law
PHI 6934 Special Topics: History of Environmental Thought
EVR 6934 Environmental Management
POS 6933 Selected Topics: Seminar in Environmental Thought
GEO 6605 Contemporary Urban Issues
EVR 6216 Advances in Water Quality Policy and Management
EVR 6937 Seminar in Environmental Policy
EVR 6936 Seminar in Environmental Science

*Courses from the above list of core options, beyond the two required courses, can be taken as electives.

Other selected topic courses can be approved for the core course requirements with the permission of the Environmental Policy and Management Certificate Coordinator.

ELECTIVE COURSES Students are required to take two elective courses from the following list:
PHC 6357 Environmental and Occupational Health
GEO 6286 Water Resources
PHI 6405 Seminar in Philosophy of Natural Science
PUP 6007 Seminar in Public Policy
PHI 6425 Seminar in Philosophy of Social Science
ECO 6305 History of Economic Thought
ANG 6197 Cultural Resource Management
ANG 5937 Environmental Anthropology
GEO 6255 Weather, Climate and Society
GEO 6345 Technical Hazards and Environmental Justice
GEO 6347 Advanced Natural Hazards
GIS 6306 Environmental Applications of GIS
PAD 6307 Policy Analysis and Program Administration
ENV 6667 Environmental Biotechnology
*Additional courses may be taken to fulfill the elective requirement with the permission of the Environmental Policy and Management Certificate Coordinator.


* A program for the non-traditional and traditional student.
* Most classes are offered in the evening.
* Most classes meet once a week.
* Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is NOT required for admission.
* The curriculum is rigorous yet flexible to cater to individual needs.
* Courses taken under the Certificate may qualify for inclusion in graduate programs.


Faculty members are nationally known, have active research and publication records and are frequent speakers at international, national, regional and specialized professional meetings. Faculty members also are actively involved in the community, serve on various boards and committees relating to environmental awareness and education, and participate in a variety of different projects including environmental justice, wetlands restoration, alternative water sources, Brownfields restoration and ecosystem management.


1. Completed application.
2. Undergraduate degree and transcript.
3. Letter of recommendation from a colleague, supervisor or professor.
4. 200 - 250 word statement of interest.

Admission is granted upon the recommendation of the Graduate Certificate Committee.

Further information can be found at the Graduate Certificates web site.


For general questions about this certificate, please contact:


Dr. Steven Reader
Tel: 813/974-4943
Office: NES 214

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester

May 31

Spring Semester October 31

The Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems is directed at managers and administrators in the public and private sectors, technical professionals, decision-makers, and others involved in the planning, implementation and use of Geographical Information Systems. Individuals who have recently completed formal post-secondary education in GIS-related disciplines, as well as those individuals who have substantial relevant work experience and who wish to upgrade their skills, will benefit from this certificate program. The emphasis in the program is on the advanced applications of GIS and statistical methods to spatial problem solving.

Admission to the program is competitive and based on academic merit and/or relevant work experience. Students will be selected on the basis of information included in the application. Students who have not recently taken any GIS courses and do not have any relevant working experience are strongly encouraged to take GIS 5049, GIS for Non-Majors, prior to starting the program. This course is offered in Spring and Fall terms every year, and sometimes in Summer.

For further information, including a list of courses offered towards the certificate, please visit the Graduate Certificates website.

Admission Requirements (minimum)

1. Completed application.
2. A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university in a related field with minimum GPA of 3.0.
3. Completion of introductory GIS course within the last 5 years, or equivalent work experience.
4. Official transcripts showing a bachelor's degree has been attained.
5. Up-to-date resume
6. Statement of interest in the GIS Certificate Program and career objectives (250 words maximum).

An application may be obtained from the Innovative Education office, (813) 974-8031, or by visiting Innovative Education.

The application and above materials should be mailed to:

Graduate Certificates
University of South Florida
4202 East Fowler Avenue, SVC 1072
Tampa, Florida 33620


The School of Geosciences offers a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Hydrogeology. This certificate will broaden the knowledge base of practicing groundwater professionals, requires 15 hours of geology course work at the undergraduate or graduate level, and meets the education requirement for certification as a professional Geologist by the Florida Department of Professional Regulation. Details are available from the USF Innovative Education web site.

For more information about this Hydrogeology Certificate, contact