Human Dimensions of Environmental Change Graduate Certificate Program

The Department of Human Ecology coordinates an interdisciplinary graduate certificate on human dimensions of environmental change. The program is open to any student enrolled in a Rutgers University graduate program. The certificate program represents a collaboration among faculty from several graduate programs, and allows students to examine the political, cultural, economic, historical, and other human dimensions of environmental change while carrying out studies an existing graduate program. The certificate is designed to help students access theoretical perspectives, skills, and/or other resources provided by various programs and departments at Rutgers while simultaneously creating spaces for interdisciplinary interaction. 

Students must fulfill the following requirements for the certificate:

1.  Seminar on Human Dimensions of Environmental Change (16:378:501) 
This Nature and Society seminar is the foundational course for the graduate certificate. It is designed to provide students with a survey of theories and concepts in environmental studies. The course examines how perspectives and arguments of oft-cited theorists (e.g. Foucault, Haraway, Marx) have been taken up in nature-society scholarship in geography, anthropology, development studies, environmental studies, and other disciplines. To do so, students read selected writings from social theorists as well as empirical applications, making sense of writing and concepts through collective discussion and debate.

2.  Topics Seminar (16:378:502) 
This course focuses on a particular topic with respect to human dimensions of environmental change. The seminar changes from year-to-year based on faculty availability and student interest. In recent years, 502 seminars have included: Interdisciplinary Research Design, Long-term Risk Assessment, Organizing for Change, Climate and Society and Environmental Sociology. Please consult the Graduate Director for current 502 seminar offerings.

 At least one course outside the major.
In addition to coursework in their own graduate program, certificate students must complete one course outside their major. Recent elective courses satisfying the course requirement from outside the major include those listed below.

070:503           Social/Cultural Anthropology
070:511           Anthropology of Gender
070:542           Environmental Anthropology
070:544           Environmental Anthropology in a Changing World
070:545           Anthropology of Development
070:547           Neoliberalism and Globalization

Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
970:618           Environmental Planning and Management
970:672           Energy Policy and Planning
833:680           Energy, Sustainability and Policy

Ecology and Evolution
215: 510          Conservation Ecology (requires prerequisites)
215: 520          Landscape Ecology (requires prerequisites)
215:598           Foundations of Ecology

Environmental Science
375:534           Environmental Sustainability

450:522           Tourism Geography/Tourism Planning
450:606           Rethinking Economy
450:516           Urban Geography
450:606           Cities & Environment
450:609           Geographies of Globalization
450: 509          Uneven Development
450:508           Environment & Development

833:686           Climate Governance (Syllabus)

920:571           Health, Environment, and Society
920:577           Environmental Sociology
920:575           Case Study Methodologies

For more information about the Certificate Program in Human Dimensions of Environmental Change, or a list of participating faculty, contact the department's Graduate Certificate Director.

To Apply: Please contact the HDEC graduate director (Rachael Shwom at who will review and approve your application file for the HDEC certificate. Once approved, the graduate director will submit the application to the Senior Administrator for Degree Certification at the School of Graduate Studies. 

For general infomation about the Rutgers Graduate School: