Leaders in Sustainability Program Kick-off Event and Information Session

Information session for graduate students interested in pursuing careers in sustainability.

Thursday, October 11, 2012
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA
Los Angeles , CA 90024


Leaders in Sustainability

The Leaders in Sustainability program aims to provide a mechanism for graduate students at UCLA to pursue their interests in sustainability and collaborate with students from different fields.


Preparing students to be leaders in their professional fields

Sustainability, defined as the simultaneous consideration of economic, environmental and social factors, has become a key element in decision making in many areas of business and public policy. By definition, sustainability requires a multi-disciplinary perspective.

Leaders in Sustainability allows students to create a program tailored to their needs and background, by choosing among the sustainability related opportunities at UCLA. Students take a core course in sustainability and relevant electives and participate in leadership training. Additionally, students have a positive impact on the community as they learn experientially by collaborating on client projects for local businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies. Leaders in Sustainability students also give themselves a career edge by developing a broad knowledge of topics that are increasingly relevant to employers.

Who is eligible to participate?

The Leaders in sustainability certificate program is aimed at graduate students (masters and doctoral) who will become decision-makers in various types of organizations (businesses, non-profits, governmental, etc) and who will have to address the three dimensions of sustainability. The emphasis is open to all graduate students at UCLA. Currently there are over 100 students participating in the program from departments as diverse as the Anderson School of Management, the School of Law, the School of Public Affairs, the School of Public Health, the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Arts & Architecture, Geography, Economics, and others.

Program requirements

This certificate program is meant to supplement the existing graduate school programs. No separate degree program is proposed, although the program is now a recognized UCLA certificate program, and an official certificate of completion of the emphasis requirements will be provided. The requirements for successful completion of the program are:

  • All students must take the LiS core course plus at least 3 other sustainability-related courses; of the latter, at least 1 must be outside the home department.
  • All students will participate in a “core” course on sustainability offered by the Institute of the Environment during Winter quarter (Tuesdays 4-7pm). This course counts as one of the 4 courses required for the program. This course will include a module on leadership skills.
  • All students will participate actively in relevant events organized by the Institute of the Environment and the Sustainable Resource Center, including seminars, conferences, etc.
  • All students will demonstrate leadership on a project related to sustainability. Students may work individually or collaborate with other LiS students, ideally from other disciplines and departments. These projects may originate as part of the students’ regular graduation requirements. However, the LiS leadership requirement must be something above and beyond already requirements for a student's degree. For example, research alone does not fulfill the requirement, but going a step further and using research to promote policy does. Students must demonstrate the outcomes and impacts of their leadership. The faculty will try to identify suitable projects but teams may also identify their own projects, subject to the Director’s approval.  Guidelines for leadership project

Students who are interested in sustainability but unable to complete all the requirements, for instance due to restrictions from their home departments on the number of out-of-department courses they can take, are welcome to participate in as much of the Leaders in Sustainability program as they can.


UCLA Sustainability, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability