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Certificate Programs
Environmental Decision Making

The Certificate of Graduate Study in Environmental Decision Making is designed is designed for graduate students at ESF and those enrolled in law, management, public administration, or information studies programs at Syracuse University. It provides an exposure to specialized environmental study that is relevant to students with related professional interests. The focus of this certificate is on environmental decision making, the processes by which stakeholders seek solutions to environmental problems.

Because students in each of these fields will engage important environmental policy, program implementation, and decision-making processes in the course of their professional careers, the environmental orientation of this certificate program will help students better understand the complexities of environmental decision making.

The focus of certificate study is on environmental decision making, which can be defined as the process by which stakeholders in environmental outcomes engage in communications to seek solutions to environmental problems. Familiarly, decision making can refer to environmental policy making by governmental institutions, but a meaningful understanding of the topic in today's world will also include processes such as information acquisition and dissemination and such notions as negotiation, mediation, information policy and public participation as part of the decision making lexicon. The decision making focus furthermore expands the scope of "stakeholders" to include not only the institutions and agencies of government, but also the large variety of citizen-based nongovernmental organizations and the business and industrial private sector.

Student Eligibility

Graduate students currently matriculated and in good academic standing in their graduate degree programs at SUNY-ESF and Syracuse University are eligible to apply for entrance to the certificate program.

Administrative Procedures

Application and admissions procedures, compliance with college requirements for successful graduate study and the awarding of certificates are all administered by ESF's Dean of Instruction and Graduate Studies, 227 Bray Hall. If enrollment limitations are established, acceptances will be made on a rolling basis, according to the date of receipt of applications.

Student applications are made by completing the application form found in the Advising Guide. This provides contact information for applicants and verifies their matriculated status at Syracuse University. Upon completion of program credit hour requirements, students file a Certificate Request Form, which identifies completed course work and initiates actions to produce official transcripts, leading to the award of the certificate.

Forms are available in ESF's Office of Instruction and Graduate Studies, 227 Bray Hall, and in the Department of Environmental Studies Office, 107 Marshall Hall.

Academic Advisement

Prospective students are encouraged to speak with their Syracuse University academic advisors about the advisability of and timing for entering this certificate program. To assist certificate students in making suitable course selections and to answer related program questions, an ESF faculty advisor is available at the Department of Environmental Studies.