Frequently Asked Questions

What is the benefit of pursuing a certificate vs. another degree?

Certificates are ideal if you want specific, practical knowledge in a particular field. They offer a focused course of study balancing theory and practice with an emphasis on real-world experience. By contrast, many graduate degrees focus on theory. Because completing a certificate program can take less time and significantly less money than a graduate degree, it’s also an ideal way to quickly improve your professional skills, gain practical training, or explore alternate careers. In addition, UCLA Extension’s Certificate in Sustainability offers open enrollment, meaning you will not have to take preliminary standardized tests, compete for enrollment, or have a certain GPA for admission.

How do employers perceive certificates?

Employers worldwide are recognizing the importance of lifelong learning as the most valuable tool that individuals can use to keep current in their field and ensure their ability to grow and face change successfully. To manage this career development, adults turn to leading continuing education programs, like UCLA Extension, as the source for updating their skills and managing change. Certificate programs are focused sequences of study in disciplines that individuals may select and that combine the important practical and theoretical knowledge necessary for these individuals to succeed in their desired fields.

Are there prerequisites for entry into the Certificate?

No prerequisites are needed to enter the program. International students must contact the International Student Office to ensure that all test and Visa requirements are met.

International Student Office

UCLA Extension
10995 Le Conte Avenue, Room 113
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1333
Phone: (310) 825-9351
Fax: (310) 267-2088

How much will the entire certificate program cost?

The nonrefundable candidacy fee is $200.

Courses are paid for as you enroll each quarter. Consult the current UCLA Extension catalog for individual course fees. Also, factor in the cost of textbooks and parking. In total, the program approximately costs $3,900.

Is financial aid available for the Certificate?

Unfortunately, no.

Is the Certificate available to international students?

Yes. Please contact the International Student Office at (310) 825-9351 or to ensure that all test and visa requirements have been met. Also visit the “international students” tab on the right for more information on a recommended course schedule.

Is the Certificate offered online?

Yes, the Certificate can be completed entirely online. In fact, currently, the four courses are only offered online. It is expected that several of the courses will be offered both on-ground and online in the future.

How do I enroll in the Certificate?

Simply enroll via Student Services at (310) 825-9971 or online (MODIFY) by clicking “Enroll Now.” A nonrefundable $200 application fee is due at the time of enrollment.

We encourage students to enroll in the certificate program before or after the first course. The benefits of doing so include advance notice of the next quarter’s schedule and tracking of progress.

How long does it take to complete the Certificate?

You can complete both the Sustainability Certificate and this Certificate in 3 quarters. The Environmental Studies Certificate alone can also be completed in 3 quarters since not every required course is currently being offered every quarter. As the program grows, it is expected that at least two of the four courses will be available each quarter, allowing you to complete it in two quarters.

Can I take courses without being a candidate for the Certificate?

Yes, UCLA Extension courses are typically “open enrollment” for all students; exceptions are noted in course descriptions.

Can I take a course “Passed/Not Passed”?

No, all courses taken towards a certificate must be taken for a letter grade and a grade of “C” or better is required,

Do these courses apply toward an undergraduate/graduate degree?

If you wish to transfer UCLA Extension courses to another college or university, check with that institution to see how many units, if any, will be accepted for credit. This is always determined by the receiving institution, not UCLA Extension. Typically, the XL courses are transferable to all UC schools.

Do these courses apply toward an undergraduate/graduate degree?

You will need to discuss and get preapproval from the Sustainability Certificate Advisor to take any course outside the established curriculum.

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Do you provide job placement?

No, we do not provide formal job placement services. However, you will have the opportunity to network with instructors and other students who are working professionals in the field.

Sustainability Certificate students and graduates have access to BruinView, UCLA’s job board.

Whom should I contact if I have more questions?

For more information, call the Environmental Studies Certificate Advisor Joseph Blancas at (310) 825-7093 or email