Online Certificate Programs in Environmental Policy

Due to the tremendous impact humanity has on the environment, there is a growing need for individuals that understand the nature of environmental policy. Government agencies and private organizations seek qualified individuals to create policy and advocate for it at various municipal, state, and federal levels. Online graduate certificate programs in environmental policy enable students to produce ethical and responsible solutions for human and nature-related issues.

Certificate programs in environmental policy require much less time and money than a master's degree. The certificate may be used to land a high-paying position, or it may serve as a concentration for a master's of business administration (MBA) degree. Many environmental policy certificate programs online allow MBA transfer credits; if the certificate is from an accredited institution, some or all courses may transfer to other universities.

General Certificate

In addition to ethics as they relate to natural ecosystems, online graduate certificate programs in environmental policy guide incorporate natural sciences, business management, and economics. Certificate holders help employers integrate improved practices into all business decisions and organizational operations. Students learn how to clearly explain the roles of government and business policy in terms of protection and management of land and natural resources.

Certificate holders acquire critical thinking skills that are often considered in high demand by various hiring organizations. Certificate programs also enable the student to educate the public and institute collaborative decision-making on issues involving degree of risk, intensity of change, and implementation of new regulations.

Many environmental policy certificate programs online require a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Additionally the following requirements typically apply:

  • Completed application
  • Official bachelor’s degree transcript
  • Resume
  • At least two letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional sources.
  • Personal statement or letter of intent.

Top environmental policy graduate programs typically include required courses that cover law, sustainable development, policy analysis, management, and values and ethics. Elective courses include wetlands management, ocean policy and law, global environment, and natural resources energy management. Many certificate programs typically offer pre-approved interdepartmental electives as regular classes or as seminars in a variety of topics, including hazardous waste remediation, conservation biology, negotiation and conflict resolution, and public policy analysis. Some students opt to create a customized, interdisciplinary schedule that also includes courses in law, economics, and/or political science; in order to qualify for the certificate syllabus, these tailored schedules must be approved by head department officials.

What's Next for Environmental Policy Certificate Holders?

Certificate holders often earn positions as environmental scientists or environmental specialists. Many graduates work to rehabilitate land that has been damaged by pollution. Others work on projects that analyze data from wetlands, urban land under development, and other areas to assess environmental risks of new projects and the overall impact on local ecosystems. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projectsjob growth of 11% from 2014 through 2024; environmental policy specialists earned a median salary of $66,250 in 2014.

Environmental scientists may specialize in three areas: health, protection, or chemistry. Health specialists focus on the impact of ecosystems on human livelihood and development. Protection specialists monitor the effect that humans have on their natural surroundings; they investigate sources of pollution in order to formulate control, prevention, and remediation plans. Chemists study the effects of chemical substances on nature and human populations; they work with waste management agencies and often lead projects to restore contaminated ecosystems.