Graduate Certificate in Sustainability Leadership

Be a Leader in Preserving Our Planet

The graduate certificate in Sustainability Leadership was created in response to the colossal effects of climate change and growth in social inequality. The cross-disciplinary program engages students in master's level coursework and theories surrounding contemporary leadership and change interventions and explores the policies, technologies, and models that support sustainable development. Program participants conduct collaborative research on practices to achieve GW's commitment to carbon neutrality, historic carbon emissions, clean water, energy efficiency, and eliminating single use plastics.





Pursue Your Passion
Designed to prepare leaders who are dedicated to addressing climate change.


Don't Let Life Get in the Way
Courses are scheduled once a week in late afternoons and evenings (Monday-Thursday) to accommodate the schedules of working professionals, and for internship experiences.




The GW Advantage

Take advantage of our unique location in the heart of our nation’s capital. GW is one of a handful of organizations exploring how an institution can enhance ecosystem services. This is a rich opportunity to bring together the resources on campus, the energy and dedication of our students, the ingenuity of faculty researchers and the expertise of staff to use the platform a university provides for sharing insights and increasing the impact on and off campus.





 Program at a Glance

Degree Awarded:

Graduate Certificate in Sustainability Leadership


Human and Organizational Learning

Course Delivery:

Main Campus

Program Entry:


Our Mission

We aim to develop the next generation of leaders with the skills, competencies, and habits of mind to be able to catalyze transformative shifts in organizations and systems.

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 12 credits in required courses.
HOL 6702 Organizational Change
HOL 6704 Leadership in Organizations
SUST 6094 Sustainability Leadership Capstone I
SUST 6095 Sustainability Leadership Capstone II
Program Outcomes

The certificate challenges students to examine their own personal involvement and appreciate that change must be a global concern. Specifically, students will:

  • Build competency in global sustainability initiatives
  • Discover the mindset and behaviors of sustainability decision making
  • Take personal ownership of sustainability
  • Amplify inner leader development
  • Support the transformation of our campus and community
  • Commit to being a change agent and catalyze change

 Apply Now

The GC in Sustainability Leadership program is not currently accepting applications. For more information or to inquire about similar programs, contact the GSEHD Admissions Team at or 202-994-9283.

  Schedule Consultation with Admissions Counselor 

To be considered for admission, applicants must submit the online application form as well as the following required supporting documents. There is no application fee.

  • Prerequisite: Master's Degree

  • Resume

  • Statement of Purpose

  • Two Letters of Recommendation

  • Transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants.

View more details about requirements 

The GC in Sustainability Leadership program is not currently accepting applications. For more information or to inquire about similar programs, contact the GSEHD Admissions Team at or 202-994-9283.



 Tuition & Financial Aid


We know embarking upon graduate school is a big decision - due in part to the costs of attending. At GW, we understand the time and thought behind making graduate school work for you. Please take a moment to learn more about the options and opportunities available to help fund your graduate education.

Learn more about scholarships, grants & financial aid  

Graduate tuition is charged per credit hour, unless otherwise noted. Rates vary by program and location.

The tuition rate* for the Graduate Certificate in Sustainability Leadership program is $1,905 per credit hour.

This program requires 12 credits.

Please note: Additional fees may apply for international students, late fees, etc. Current tuition rates may be updated during the year.

*Summer 2024, Fall 2024 and Spring 2025

View the current fee chart   

Scholarships are available to eligible admitted students. Review eligibility requirements and learn more about funding your education >





 Career Outlook

Fighting climate change is a human capital challenge. Per the GreenBiz Group's annual report, current demand for sustainability professionals continues to outpace the supply of skilled workers in the field. As governments adopt new environmental regulations, employers need staff to ensure compliance with those regulations. They also need to have policy- and advocacy-skilled employees representing their interests as regulatory bodies determine the rules.

Environmental health and safety job titles are experiencing high growth across all career levels. Other new and existing job titles may not be sustainability oriented, but green skills are increasingly required to succeed in these roles, or job functions need to be performed in a more environmentally friendly way, particularly in areas such as infrastructure, construction, transportation, and energy.1

1GreenBiz Group, Brannigan, P., & Bycer, E. (2023). “The State of Green Jobs and Careers.” State of Green Business 2023. Retrieved February 14, 2023, from

Sustainability Leadership Career Opportunities
male working on laptop at desk with models of windmills sitting in front of him - photo credit: Freepik

Possible positions within the area of sustainability leadership include:

  • Sustainability Organization Development Consultant
  • Human Resource Sustainability Leader
  • Sustainability Project Manager
  • Community Sustainability Director
  • Environmental Health and Safety Leader
Potential Employment Settings
two males walking beside a large line of solar panels; one man wearing a suit, the other wearing a work vest and hard hat
  • Utility Companies
  • Large Corporations
  • Start-Ups
  • Universities



Sustainability Leadership Faculty

Tara Scully

Associate Professor of Biology & Director Sustainability Minor, Cellular & Molecular Biology

Dr. Julia Storberg-Walker

Associate Professor, Human and Organizational Learning

(571) 553-3787



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