Sustainable Practices Program | University of Colorado Boulder


Q:Who should enroll in the online Professional Non-credit Certificates in Sustainability Management?

A: The program is a perfect fit for either current sustainability professionals looking to expand their skill-set or those who are looking to move into this dynamic, in-demand field. Our students have come from a wide variety of organizations, with some aiming to become independent consultants and others looking to fill (or create) a sustainability officer role at their current place of work. Individuals from all sectors of the economy and all academic backgrounds are encouraged to enroll in the program, and can benefit from the practical, relevant curriculum.

Q: I have a sustainability certification already (LEED, ISSP, etc.). Would the program still be a good fit for me?

A: Yes. While specialized certifications are widely recognized and signify expertise in a defined area, CU-Boulder’s online program is designed to help students learn how to approach sustainability projects in a wide variety of industries and settings. Earning either of the certificates (or both) can make a strong addition to your resume, building a practical foundation of knowledge to support your certifications and develop a new, expanded way of thinking about sustainability.

Q: I have a master’s degree in a sustainability or environmental discipline. Do I still have to take all of the core seminars, including the introductory seminar, to earn a non-credit certificate?

A: Yes. Many of our previous students have come to us with professional experience in sustainability and/or a master’s degree in an environmental discipline seeking greater practical knowledge. The seminars within the program are designed to be sequential, with content that builds on previously explored topics. In general, students find that even the introductory seminar helps them learn foundational sustainability concepts that they have not learned in prior experience or academic courses.

Q: How often do I need to log in to my seminar each week?

A: It is recommended that you log in to your online classroom and participate in discussions regularly. You will typically spend an average of 10 hours per week completing work for your seminars.

Q: Do I have to log in at specific times of the day?

A: No. Except for the one live webinar portion of each course, the learning environment at CU-Boulder’s online Professional Non-Credit Sustainability Certificates in Business or Community Management is 100% asynchronous, meaning that there are no set meeting times unless special arrangements are made with the instructor.

Q: What is the lecture format?

A: You will receive lectures through platforms such as e-lectures, podcasts, interactive web groups, and synchronous and asynchronous discussions.

Q: How is the program graded?

A: The program operates on a pass/fail system. A score of 80% or higher on a seminar’s final exam is required to pass.

Q: Will I be required to complete a thesis at the end of my program?

A: No. There are no traditional theses required in any of the programs.

Q: Can I enroll in both the non-credit sustainability certificate in business management and the sustainability certificate in community management?

A: Yes. By completing only one more seminar in addition to the four required for one non-credit certificate, students can successfully earn both. The supplementary cost of the fifth (specialty) seminar is $1000.

Q: I want to enroll in seminars individually now. Can I decide to get the full non-credit certificate later and still get a discount?

A: Those who enroll in seminars individually can still choose to pursue one or both non-credit certificates later and receive the published discounted rates available at the time they communicate their intent to switch. In these cases, students will not be due any refund of past payments made no matter the published discounted rates. Students must have taken all previous seminars in sequence. This decision must be communicated to an Enrollment Representative before the start of their third seminar.

Q: How quickly can I expect my instructor to answer any question I may have?

A: It is guaranteed that your instructor will respond to your questions within 72 hours of receiving your message unless noted otherwise, although in most instances you can expect a response in 24 hours.

Q: Is the online non-credit sustainability certificate the only option, or is there an opportunity to attend a live program?

A: Yes, there is a live, in person program, the Sustainability Bootcamp offered once per year in the summer. For more information on this live program, please contact an Enrollment Advisor at .

Q: If needed, am I allowed to take a break from the program?

A: Yes, you are able to take time off from your program. Simply do not register for seminars that term.

Q: Am I required to complete my program within a certain time frame?

A: Yes. You must complete the program within 3 years of enrolling in your first seminar.

Q: What is the program’s cancellation policy and can I transfer to another non-credit class instead?

A: The enrollment cancellation deadline for a full refund is seven days before the start date of each individual seminar. An 80% refund will be granted up to seven days after the seminar start date. After the seven day post-start deadline, the student will be considered as “attending” for that seminar and tuition will be due regardless of future attendance or activity in that seminar.

Students will receive the appropriate refund for paid tuition attributed to all unattended seminars cancelled by their respective deadlines. Students will never receive a larger refund than they have paid to the Sustainable Practices Program.

Any money owed to the Sustainable Practices Program by the student is due upon the student’s cancellation. Any money owed by the Sustainable Practices Program will be reconciled within 30 days.

The established price per attended seminar is $2,000 each for the first, second, and third seminar and $1,000 each for their fourth and fifth seminar.

Other Notes Regarding Cancellation

Any fees incurred separate from tuition, such as the late enrollment fee (if applicable), are non-refundable.
At the discretion of the program, and under VERY limited and extenuating circumstances, a student may be eligible to cancel their enrollment or transfer their enrollment to another seminar after the post-start seven day deadline.

To proceed with cancellation from any seminar or non-credit certificate program you must contact your Enrollment Representative via phone at (866) 604-7790 or email at and submit all necessary paperwork by the applicable seven day deadline.

If you have more questions about online Professional Non-Credit Certificates in Business and Community Sustainability, please call an Enrollment Advisor at or fill out the request information form and we’ll be in touch.

Request Information

To learn more about the University of Colorado’s online non-credit sustainability certificate, download a free brochure and career guide, fill out the fields below. You can also call to speak to one of our Enrollment Advisors.