Frequently Asked Questions

Who should take these courses?

If you are new to sustainability and the built environment, learning modules contain extra interactions to help build your foundational knowledge to bring you up-to-speed and teach you about authentic sustainability.

If you have some built environment experience, this course will help you make the leap from "superficial greening" to "authentic sustainability."

How much time is required to complete each course?

There are three levels of participation in the course:

Casual learner (2 hours per week)

  • 2 hours of video watching per week

Working professional  (5 hours per week)

  • 2 hours of video watching per week
  • 1.5 hours per week interacting with learning modules
  • 1.5 hour per week occasionally engaged in discussion board

Taking the full course (10.5 hours per week)

  • 2 hours of video watching per week
  • 1.5 hours per week interacting with learning modules
  • 4 hours per week of readings (necessary to get good grades on the assignments/be prepared for assignments)
  • 4 hours per week completing the assignments

What are the assignments?

The courses include a variety of assignments including short 2-page papers posted for peer evaluation, some short quizzes and midterm and final projects. The midterm is a case study that becomes part of a larger data base of sustainability projects that are organized, compared and contrasted through the four lenses of Integral Theory.

How do I register?

To register for either course, please select one of the links here.

Will I receive CEU Credits?

At this time the courses have not been approved by GBCI for LEED® CE credits. However, students may self-report the hours for the class. Please follow all guidelines as listed on the GBCI website. The number of hours that can be claimed will vary on the level of involvement in the course.

At this time, this course does not have AIA CEU’s available.

What books are required?

There are no required books.

The online learning modules and PDF readings are stored within the OOEd platform. However, the following books are highly recommended for deeper study:

  • Design Education for a Sustainable Future by Rob Fleming
  • Plan B 4.0 by Lester Brown
  • The Integrative Design Guide to Green Building: Redefining the Practice of Sustainability by the 7 Group
  • Integral Sustainable Design by Mark DeKay
  • Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber

Course History

The courses had their beginnings 10 years ago as it became the foundational education experience for the M.S. in Sustainable Design program at Philadelphia University. Over that time, more than 300 students have taken the course both on-campus and on-line. Because the course has traditionally included students from any major it is purposely broad in scope. The course has evolved into a survey of sustainability values followed by a presentation of corresponding sustainable design methodologies (introduced in the second MOOC course beginning in the Summer of 2017). Each week remains broad in scope with opportunities for students to take a closer lookinto the content with the support of the course instructor and online discussion facilitators. The M.S. in Sustainable Design Program has received awards from the United States Green Building Council and the National Institute of Building Science. Over 200 students have graduated from the program since 2006.

Want More Information?

To request more information fill out our form.

Or reach out to us by calling 215-951-2943 or email us at GradAdm@philau.edu.

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