Environmental Changemakers Certificate

The Environmental Changemakers Certificate gives recipients a 360 degree window into the issues of climate change and sustainability by providing them instruction in the science of climate change, the technological responses, and the challenges of policy and behavioral change.  To earn the certificate, students will complete one course each from the Schools of Engineering, Physical Sciences, and Social Ecology, for a total of three courses.  Students who complete the certificate will be better positioned to obtain employment within industry, government, and nonprofits. 

This opportunity is available to all UCI undergraduate students.  Recipients will receive a certificate upon completion of the program.  Though the certificate will not appear on students' UCI transcripts, students can list this accomplishment on their resume

3 courses are required to complete this certificate.  

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Environmental Changemakers Certificate will be able to:

  • Explain the processes controlling Earth system stability and sustainability 
  • Apply this knowledge to minimize and mitigate environmental degradation 
  • Understand appropriate technological approaches to support effective policy and behavioral change. 


  • All courses require a C or better, or P, to count. (Subject to change)
  • Each area must be satisfied with a minimum of 4 units of coursework 
  • Two of the three areas must be satisfied with UCI coursework taken at UCI.
  • See the FAQs for more info

Select one from each of the following three Areas:

AREA 1 - School of Physical Sciences:

EARTHSS 1: Introduction to Earth System Science

EARTHSS 15: Introduction to Global Climate Change

EARTHSS 21: On Thin Ice: Climate Change and the Cryosphere

EARTHSS 23: Air Pollution: From Urban Smog to Global Change

EARTHSS 27: The Sustainable Ocean 

UNISTU H30B plus UNISTU H30C (both must be taken)

EARTHSS H30B plus EARTHSS H30C (both must have been taken, no longer offered)

AREA 2 - School of Social Ecology

UPPP 4: Intro to Urban Studies 

UPPP 5: Intro to Urban Planning and Public Policy 

UPPP 8: Intro Environmental Analysis and Design

UPPP 107: Urban and Regional Planning

UPPP 117: Environmental Justice

UPPP 131: Environmental Sustainability I

UPPP 132: Environmental Sustainability 2

UPPP 172: Latino Metropolis

UNISTU H30D plus H30E plus H30F (all 3 must be taken) 

SOCSCI H30D plus UPPP H30E plus UPPP H30F (all 3 must be taken, no longer offered)

AREA 3 - School of Engineering:

ENGRCEE 60: Contemporary and Emerging Environmental Challenges

ENGRCEE 125:  Transportation and the Environment  

ENGRCEE 198: (with Professor Olivares, only - 4 units) 

ENGRCEE 168: Microorganisms and Climate Change (plan to be offered AY 2023-34)   

Students must apply using the Qualtrics application, answer all questions to the satisfaction of the certificate administrators.  


Once you have COMPLETED all 3 areas, you may:

Apply Here

Is this open to all majors?

How do I apply?
  Once you have completed all coursework, fill out the application.

How will this help me?
  Recipients can post the digital certificate on their LinkedIn page or other website and can list the certificate on their resume. Be proud of your accomplishments and be sure that future employers and admissions committees are aware of this achievement. 

Will this be posted on my transcript? 

No. Rather, you will receive a certificate upon completion.  

How will I get my certificate?

Can I petition other courses for any of the three areas?

Can I use AP credit for Area 1 ESS 1?
  Yes, but two of the three areas must be satisfied with UCI coursework taken at UCI.

Can equivalent courses taken outside of UCI be applied?
  Yes, but two of the three areas must be satisfied with UCI coursework taken at UCI.

Can I overlap courses with degree/minor/other requirements?
  Yes. Reminder: degree required courses for your major must be taken for a letter grade.

Can I take any of the courses for P/NP?
  Yes. Reminder: degree required courses for your major must be taken for a letter grade.

If I have questions not answered, who can I contact?
  Please see an academic counselor in either Social Ecology, Engineering, or Physical Sciences.

Is there a minimum GPA requirement? 
  Students must receive a C or better, or P, for each course; as a reminder, courses that count for your degree must be taken for a letter grade. This GPA minimum is subject to change.