Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to providing students with the highest quality education possible while offering immersive learning experiences designed to equip students with the tools necessary to find solutions to complex problems facing the Richmond community and the world. Sustainability is a growing focus of many courses, degrees and certificate programs with an emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration, community engagement and systems thinking. 

VCU's dedication to academic programs related to sustainability and environmental topics uphold the following priorities:

  • Provide leadership and a face for sustainability academics, with full university sanction, by creating a faculty fellow in sustainability academics.
  • Implement the undergraduate certificate in Sustainable Innovation as the core for the undergraduate effort.
  • Implement a sustainability academics web information repository.
  • Begin development of an online professional degree, Master of Sustainable Innovation.
  • Establish a Sustainability Academics Summer Institute to expand sustainability offerings.
  • Branding of the Sustainability Academics effort as the N’ovation Initiative.
  • Implement a sustainability study abroad program.

Sustainability certificates

Certificate in Sustainable Innovation

The Certificate in Sustainable Innovation – offered by VCU Life Sciences – provides undergraduate students with the unique opportunity to learn about the foundations of sustainability and uses a systems-thinking approach to explore sustainability topics across all academic disciplines.

Certificate in Globalization and Sustainability 

The Certificate in Globalization and Sustainability – spanning a ten-week period and offered by the VCU School of Business – examines how global forces are changing how organizations make decisions, produce goods and deliver services. Sessions cover long-term changes, emerging trends, new business models, case studies, and a host of examples of change-driven innovation presented by recognized business leaders or international experts to allow students learn to recognize opportunities where they may have previously seen obstacles.

Sustainability and environmental courses

VCU offers a variety of sustainability and environmental courses. For a full list of courses, visit the VCU Schedule of Classes.