Our Undergraduate Certificate

Starting in September 2014, SENS will be offering the Undergraduate Certificate of Proficiency in Sustainability - the first of its kind at a Canadian university.

Housed in SENS, the certificate will give students theoretical, methodological, strategic, and substantive exposure to sustainability‐related concepts and practice. Within the certificate are two foci areas of great importance: Natural Resources and Sustainability, and Sustainability and Community. Scholarship is interdisciplinary and encompasses the social, natural, and physical sciences, business, arts and humanities. 

Two of our courses ENVS 201 and ENVS 401 – are team-taught and hands-on, addressing the complexities of the human-environment system and the interdependencies of the economic-environmental-social systems. 

For more information about the program and how to enrol contact sens.info@usask.ca.

The certificate is outlined in the course calendar here.

Certificate Requirements
  1. 21 credit units of which nine credit units would be completed through three common courses. The Certificate in Sustainability is intended to give students theoretical, methodological, strategic, and substantive exposure to sustainability‐related concepts and practice. Twenty‐one credit units are sufficient to provide broad‐based exposure and depth of understanding. This structure also allows undergraduate students to begin in their second year, provides a sense of cohort within the certificate by bringing students together at key points in the program, allows students to gain substantive knowledge and skills without requiring an increase in the total course credits for undergraduate degree programs, and offers opportunities for contributing units to increase enrollments in their undergraduate courses.
  2. Students must meet residency requirements as stipulated by their degree‐granting college. Students taking the certificate must take ENVS 201 and ENVS 401. Transfer credits from other institutions cannot be substituted for these courses. The purpose of this is to create coherence among certificate cohorts.
  3. Graduation standard: The minimum cumulative weighted average for the certificate is 60.0%. All courses attempted, which may credit toward the certificate, will be used in the calculation of the graduation average. In some cases this may mean that more than the minimum number of credit units will be included. This aligns with the practice used in the College of Arts and Science for calculating subject and overall averages, which is followed to disallow opportunity to choose only the highest grades, which favours students who have the means to take additional courses.
  4. Common required courses include three new undergraduate courses:
    • ENVS 201: Foundations of Sustainability;
    • NS 107: Introduction to Canadian Native Studies; and
    • ENVS 401: Sustainability in Action.

The remaining 12 credit units would be comprised of pre‐existing courses in other units (see below) within one of two focal areas: Natural Resources and Sustainability, and Community and Sustainability. Each area is comprised of a tools and techniques course, as well as courses from each of the 200, 300 and 400 levels. 

Required Courses

ENVS 201.3 – Foundations of Sustainability: The intention of this course is to provide foundational knowledge about sustainability science and concepts while also exposing students to the key foci areas they can pursue with the certificate. A final class group project will emphasize collaborative interaction based on sustainability themes.

ENVS 401.3 – Sustainability in Action: This course combines seminars and project‐based activities to examine local and global sustainability issues, integrating perspectives and knowledge from both the social and natural sciences. Students will work in interdisciplinary, collaborative groups to address sustainability challenges.

NS 107.3 – Introduction to Canadian Native Studies: Aims to develop students' critical reading, writing, and thinking skills and provide the background necessary for advanced Native Studies courses. Through course lectures and seminar discussions this course presents an overview of Aboriginal societies across Saskatchewan and Canada by linking processes of the past with contemporary issues.

Total: nine credit units

Electives: Natural Resources and Sustainability Focus

Techniques and Tools for Sustainability – choose one of:

  • EVSC 203.3: Sampling and Laboratory Analysis
  • GEOG 290.3: Field Methods and Laboratory Analysis
  • GEOG 385.3: Analysis of Environmental Management and Policy Making
  • GEOG 386.3: Environmental Impact Assessment
  • NS 210.3: Indigenous Knowledge
  • RRM 321.3: Resource Data and Environmental Modelling
  • SOC 225.3: An Introduction to Survey Research and Data Analysis in Sociology
  • SOC 232.3: Methods of Social Research
  • SOC 333.3: Introduction to Qualitative Research

Choose one of:

  • BIOL 228.3: An Introduction to Ecology and Ecosystems
  • ECON 275.3: Economics of Natural Resources
  • ECON 277.3: Economics of the Environment
  • EVSC 210.3: Environmental Physics
  • EVSC 220.3: Environmental Soil Science
  • ENVE 201.3: Principles of Environmental Engineering
  • GEOG 280.3: Environmental Geography
  • PHIL 226.3: Environmental Philosophy
  • PHIL 231.3: Ethical Problems
  • PHIL 236.3: Ethics and Technology
  • PLSC 213.3: Principles of Plant Ecology

And one of:

  • BIOL 373.3: Community Ecology
  • BPBE 330.3: Land Resource Economics
  • ECON 376.3: Energy Economics
  • GEOG 329.3: Watershed Planning and Management
  • GEOG 351.3: Northern Environments
  • RRM 312.3: Natural Resource Management and Indigenous Peoples
  • TOX 301.3: Environmental Toxicology

And one of:

  • BIOL 410.3: Current Perspectives in Environmental Biology
  • BIOL 410.3: Limnology
  • BIOL 470.3: Conservation Biology
  • BIOL 475.3: Ecological Toxicology
  • BPBE 430.3: Natural Resource Economics
  • EVSC 421.3: Contaminated Site Management and Remediation
  • EVSC 430.3: Agroforestry for Environmental Management
  • PLSC 422.3: Rangeland Ecology and Management
  • PLSC 423.3: Landscape Ecology and Vegetation Management

Total: twelve credit units

Electives: Community and Sustainability Focus

Techniques and Tools for Sustainability – choose one of:

  • EVSC 203.3: Sampling and Laboratory Analysis
  • GEOG 290.3: Field Methods and Laboratory Analysis
  • GEOG 385.3: Analysis of Environmental Management and Policy Making
  • GEOG 386.3: Environmental Impact Assessment
  • NS 210.3: Indigenous Knowledge
  • RRM 321.3: Resource Data and Environmental Modelling
  • SOC 225.3: An Introduction to Survey Research and Data Analysis in Sociology
  • SOC 232.3: Methods of Social Research
  • SOC 333.3: Introduction to Qualitative Research

Choose one of:

  • ANTH 240.3: Cultural Landscapes and Environments
  • ANTH 244.3: Political Ecology, Anthropology, and Global Environmental Issues
  • ECON 275.3: Economics of Natural Resources
  • ECON 277.3: Economics of the Environment
  • GEOG 208.3: World Regional Development
  • GEOG 240.3: Sustainable Cities and Regions
  • GEOG 280.3: Environmental Geography
  • HIST 257.3: The Canadian Prairie to 1905
  • HIST 258.3: The Canadian Prairies Since 1905
  • HIST 263.3: The Canadian North
  • HIST 290.3: Topics in Environmental History
  • INTS 203.3: Cultivating Humanity
  • PHIL 226.3: Environmental Philosophy
  • PHIL 231.3: Ethical Problems
  • PHIL 236.3: Ethics and Technology
  • POLS 226.3: Canadian Public Policy
  • SOC 204.3: Rural Sociology
  • SOC 206.3: Community
  • SOC 227.6: Critical Issues in Canadian Society
  • WGST 210.3: Gendered Perspectives on Current Events

And one of:

  • ANTH 329.3: Environmental Anthropology
  • ARCH 357.3: The Archaeology of Prairie Settlement
  • BIOL 312.3: Life in the North
  • BPBE 330.3: Land Resource Economics
  • GEOG 340.3: European Heritage of Our Built Environment
  • GEOG 342.3: Community Planning in Canada
  • GEOG 346.3: Introduction to Urban Design
  • GEOG 364.3: Geography of Environment and Health
  • GEOG 381.3: Geography of Northern Development
  • NRTH 331.3: Contemporary Issues of the Circumpolar World I
  • NRTH 332.3: People and Cultures of the Circumpolar World II
  • POLS 326.3: Introduction to Comparative Public Policy
  • POLS 328.3: Public Policy Analysis
  • SOC 344.3: Sociology of Women, Gender, and Development

And one of:

  • BPBE 430.3: Natural Resource Economics
  • CHEP 402.3: Global Health and Local Communities: Issues and Approaches
  • GEOG 445.3: Planning with Indigenous Communities
  • GEOG 446.3: Advanced Urban Design
  • GEOG 464.3: Geography of Health
  • HIST 459.6: Great Plains History
  • INTS 400.3: Critical Perspectives on Social Justice and the Common Good
  • POLS 403.3: Advanced Topics in Public Law and Public Policy
  • POLS 422.3: Aboriginal Development Strategies
  • SOC 409.3: Sociology of Development
  • WGST 411.3: Situated Transnational Feminisms


Total: twelve credit units