Sustainability Studies COGS

Sustainability Studies COGS

Sustainability Studies Graduate Certificate

The Certificate of Graduate Study (COGS) on Sustainability Studies is being offered by the Department of Geography, Planning, and Sustainability at Rowan University. The COGS requires 9 semester hours.

What is the Sustainability Studies COGS?

The Sustainability Studies COGS offers students a credential demonstrating their understanding of applying sustainability concepts in the ‘real world’. Research in STEM fields has resulted in amazing advances in our societal ability to generate solutions to environmental challenges, but there is frequently a disconnect between the solutions and their implementation. The COGS in Sustainability Studies, and the courses that comprise the program, are aimed at helping STEM students understand avenues for implementing comprehensive sustainability solutions. Similarly, the University lacks a pathway for students pursuing graduate degrees in business, education, social sciences, humanities, or communication arts to include coursework on sustainability and environmental issues as a part of their education. The COGS in Sustainability Studies is also a useful avenue for these non-STEM students to strengthen their environment and sustainability skill set. 


Declaration Requirements

Students must have completed a bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited
college or university.

Curriculum Requirements

Students must take three of the four courses below – 9 s.h. total:

  • ENST 94501 Sustainable Commerce (3 s.h.)
  • ENST 94502 Sustainability Assessment (3 s.h.)
  • ENST 94503 Perspectives on Environmental Regulation, Policy, and Law (3 s.h.)
  • ENST 94504 Topics in Sustainability Innovation and Problem Solving (3 s.h.)

Though the courses are numbered sequentially, the order the courses are taken in does not matter. None of the courses have prerequisites.

Course Descriptions

ENST 94501: Sustainable Commerce 3 s.h.

Students will examine the historical and philosophical origins of sustainability and competing/related concepts like sustainable development, resilience, ecological modernization, de-growth, the pollution-as-externality concept, and environmental justice. These critiques of market capitalism are examined as an entry point for understanding not only environmental problems themselves, but also the positive contributions to sustainability that business and commerce can make, if properly structured. The impacts of "green" industries, products, and business practices are also examined. This course may be offered online.

ENST 94502: Sustainability Assessment 3 s.h.

Students will learn different approaches for setting sustainability goals, measuring progress towards sustainability outcomes, and managing so-called "sustainability transitions." Students will learn about the increasingly important role of sustainability officers in different firms, and gain exposure to concepts and practices in sustainability reporting for both shareholder, regulatory, and scientific purposes. This course may be offered online.

ENST 94503: Perspectives on Environmental Regulation, Policy, and Law 3 s.h.

Students will engage in an intensive overview of state, federal, and international environmental policies, regulatory structures, and laws. Students will learn the history of environmental law and policy in the US and around the world, as well as the environmental regulatory toolkit and how it relates to commercial activity. Topics will include command-and-control regulation, market-based incentives, consumer education, and 'nudges' towards behavioral change. This course may be offered online.

ENST 94504: Topics in Sustainability Innovation and Problem Solving 3 s.h.

Students in this seminar/practicum type class will study the implementation of sustainability transitions, in the context of current events and emerging ideas related to sustainability studies. Students will identify industries and/or societal challenges that could benefit from sustainability thinking and develop plans for implementing a new product, system, or structure. This course may be offered online.