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Global Sustainability
Virginia Tech Research Center, 900 North Glebe Road
Arlington, VA 22203
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GCGS Overview

The 9-credit Graduate Certificate in Global Sustainability (GCGS) is designed for students and professionals seeking training and experience in international sustainable development, with a particular emphasis on environmental sustainability in emerging economies. The GCGS consists of 2 electives and 1 required course, NR 5114 Global Issues in Natural Resources, that includes a 10-day International Field Experience (IFE).  The GCGS is a good option for graduate students and professionals looking to gain formal international experience while earning graduate credits.

How to Apply:
Fill out the online application for participation in the certificate program.
Upon processing of the application, you will be contacted
with information about the submission of additional
required materials. Thank you for your interest.

GCGS Admission Requirements

Students can apply for the Graduate Certificate in Global Sustainability as a (VT) degree-seeking student, non-degree seeking student, or visiting student. If you are not currently a VT student or a graduate student at another institution (visiting student status) you must apply for graduate admission through the Virginia Tech Graduate School as a Graduate Certificate status applicant. Requirements for admission include:

  • Completed undergraduate degree
  • 2-3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Current resume/ CV
  • Personal goal statement
  • Completed application
  • No GRE required; TOEFL may be required for international students

Course Requirements

The GCGS can be completed in a single academic term or over the course of several. A defining element of the certificate program is participating in an International Field Experience (IFE) through NR 5114 Global Issues in Natural Resources. All NR courses are offered online for three credits unless otherwise noted.

 Required coursework:
  • NR 5114 Global Issue in NR (with IFE) - 3 hours
  • NR Elective - 3 hours
  • NR Elective - 3 hours
As part of our mission to build leadership for global sustainability, IFEs explore challenges to sustainable development and the innovative cross-boundary strategies being developed to address these challenges. IFEs entail 10 days of face-to-face fieldwork in the region of focus, with the remainder of the project work conducted virtually, providing students the opportunity to travel and gain valuable real-world international and cross-cultural experience. Upcoming IFEs are scheduled for:
  • Morocco (Fall 2017)
  • India (Spring 2018)
  • Croatia (Summer 2018)
  • China (Fall 2018)
  • South Africa (Spring 2019)
  • Bali, Indonesia (Summer 2019)