Three students in a grassy field huddling together to take a picture of a native plant

Environmental Studies Certificate

The environmental studies certificate program offers a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to broaden their studies through interdisciplinary course work related to the environment. In this program students can learn about society’s environmental challenges; study environmental science, policy, and humanities; and take part in environmental research, fieldwork and case studies.

This 15-credit certificate program can be added to any undergraduate major and enhances the value of a bachelor’s degree. Students who complete both the certificate curriculum and an undergraduate degree program earn an environmental studies certificate with their degree and completion of the certificate program is noted on their academic transcripts.

Why Earn a Certificate?

Perhaps the best reason for pursuing an environmental studies certificate is an interest in learning more about the environment. Earning a certificate can also make a graduate more marketable.

Many academic programs, even in environmental fields, encourage students to focus on relatively narrow subject areas. Yet real-world problems often require understanding beyond a single academic discipline. For this reason, more and more employers seek people with interdisciplinary training.

Students in a lecture hall during the Environmental Studies 126 class

Four people looking through vegetables at a farmers market

The environmental studies certificate program exposes students to a broad range of knowledge. It helps put other courses into perspective. And it’s evidence to employers that the graduate has acquired not only depth in the major field, but breadth beyond the field — an excellent combination.

About 2,000 students from dozens of majors across UW-Madison have completed the program since its inception in 1979. Many have gone on to careers as environmental planners, analysts and scientists for government agencies; environmental consultants; environmental lawyers; researchers, writers and activists for private environmental organizations; or teachers and outreach specialists.


Any undergraduate student enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is eligible to participate in the Environmental Studies Certificate Program. Explore the certificate curriculum to see if this certificate is right for you. Students interested in the environmental studies certificate students should email and use subject line: CERTIFICATE. Be sure to include your full name, student ID number and anticipated graduation date. An advisor will review your record and follow up.