Sustainable Design

Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate


The Sustainability Leadership certificate at Thomas Jefferson University prepares forward-thinking professionals to design and deliver sustainability initiatives in their current or future organizations. With our curriculum’s project-based approach, you will build vital skills in problem scoping, systems modeling, solution framing, and change management and immediately apply them to the sustainability challenges facing your own organization or an assigned client.

As you progress through the program, your project advances with you, moving through stages from identifying and prioritizing key environmental challenges to developing and pitching an implementation plan for addressing them. Our faculty are prominent sustainability professionals ready to share their conceptual knowledge and practical experience as you master the strategies and tools needed to produce positive change in your field. Scholarships are available.

This program is best suited to working professionals with at least 5 years of experience. Other applicants will be considered on a case by case basis. 

All applicants to the Sustainability Leadership Certificate Program will automatically be considered for Jefferson’s Climate Leadership Scholarship! Selected students who receive this award will benefit from a 25% tuition reduction for each course taken in their first certificate program (4 Courses). There is no separate application required, so once the Office of Admissions receives an applicant’s university application, official transcripts and resume, recipients will be notified. Awards are limited – so apply now! Please understand that students currently enrolled at Jefferson are not eligible for this scholarship. For more information regarding the Climate Leadership Scholarship, please contact Graduate Admissions at 215-951-2943.


Fall 1

  • Principles of Sustainable Design:  – 3 credits
  • Environmental Impact Analysis – 3 credits

6 Credits

Spring 1

  • Models and Metrics for Sustainable Organizations – 3 credits

3 Credits

Summer 1

  • Sustainability Advocacy and Change Management – 3 credits - 6-week summer immersion course (Saturdays and one weeknight)

3 Credits


Principles of Sustainable Design

What is sustainability and why is it essential for the future of humanity? Learn how to analyze and articulate the sustainability imperative across four dimensions—ecology, economy, experience, and equity—while examining sustainability considerations at multiple scales in the built environment, from cities and regions to individual buildings and interiors.

Environmental Impact Analysis

Learn how to apply systems thinking and modeling to analyze the dynamics of various environmental issues and to identify leverage points for effective interventions. Selected case studies provide an overview of current patterns of global environmental degradation and allow students to practice systems modeling. After developing these analytical skills, students are ready to complete a final assignment defining the dimensions of a real-world environmental issue facing their own organization or a client selected by the faculty.

Models and Metrics for Sustainable Organizations

Review and assess a variety of current business strategies and models for reorganizing companies, organizations, and governments around more sustainable practices. Students consider how strategies such as B Corporations, circular economies, and Triple Bottom Line Accounting and metrics such as life cycle assessment and greenhouse gas inventories can be combined to produce and measure progress towards sustainability. Drawing on these concepts and assessment options, students design a strategic approach to an environmental challenge facing their own organization or a client selected by the faculty.

Sustainability Advocacy and Change Management

Master the concepts, tools, and practices needed to advance a sustainability initiative from an initial plan to tangible results. After training in topics that range from project management to intrapreneurship to behavioral economics, students develop a detailed implementation plan and a compelling pitch to gain the support of key stakeholders in their own organization or of the clients in their assigned project.

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