Graduate Certificate in Global Sustainability (GCGS)

The Graduate Certificate in Global Sustainability is a 9-credit certificate program offering students an opportunity to gain valuable international experience and awareness while earning graduate credentials from Virginia Tech. With all courses offered virtually, the Graduate Certificate in Global Sustainability is ideal for students from all professions and disciplines, and from around the world, looking to gain experience in global sustainable development.


The Graduate Certificate in Global Sustainability is a 9-credit program that can be completed in less than a year.  A defining element of the certificate program is participation in a CLiGS Global Project through NR 5114 – Global Issues in Natural Resources.  All NR courses are offered online for three credits unless otherwise noted.

Requirements Hours
NR 5114 – Global Issues in Natural Resources (includes one International Field Experience)
Total Semester Hours Required

International Field Experiences

As part of our mission to build leadership for global sustainability, International Field Experiences (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. IFEs are currently taking place in:

  • India
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Morocco
  • Indonesia
  • South Africa

Application Requirements

Students can apply for the GCGS as a Virginia Tech degree-seeking or Commonwealth Campus student, or as a visiting student. If you are not currently a VT student, you must apply for graduate admission through the Virginia Tech Graduate School.

The VT Graduate School requires students to submit a Plan of Study with their Graduate Certificate application, so we strongly recommend that applicants schedule an advising appointment with Dr. Kieran Lindsey (see below) before starting the application.

  • Requirements for admission include:
    • Completed undergraduate degree
    • Current resume/ CV
    • Personal goal statement
    • Completed application
    • No GRE required; TOEFL may be required for international students

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