Introduction to Sustainability

Introduction to Sustainability


Course Description

Introduction to Sustainability is one of three courses in the Sustainable Engineering Certification (SEC) program. This course introduces the basis of human well-being and the role of goods and services obtained from nature, society, and the economy in sustaining our well-being. It provides an overview of the the status of ecosystems, since ecosystem goods and services form the foundation of all societal and economic activities on earth. This course can be taken individually, or as one of three courses required to receive the SEC certificate of completion.

The main reason why sustainability is a formidable challenge is because the problem is able to shift between disciplines and types of flows, and across space and time.  We will understand these characteristics. Lastly, this first course will provide insight into the role of existing methods and disciplines in encouraging unsustainability. This will focus on the role of economics, engineering, industry, and society and the resulting insight will form the foundation of methods to assess and design for sustainability that will be covered in the next two courses. 

4 CEUs are granted upon successful completion of the course.

You will learn how to:

  • Understand ecosystem goods and services and their role in sustaining all human activities
  • Know the definitions of sustainability and the challenges in meeting its goals
  • Appreciate how environmental problems tend to shift outside system boundaries and identify necessary conditions for sustainability
  • Understand how unsustainability of human activities can be encouraged in conventional economics, business, science, engineering, and society
  • Identify the characteristics of approaches from multiple disciplines including engineering, economics, and social science for assessing and designing sustainable systems.


An engineering degree or background would be helpful and is recommended but is not required. Students should possess the ability to do simple calculations, use computer software, and have a background of high school level advanced physics.

Click Here to learn more about how this course is delivered 100% online!

Text Book

The content of these courses is from the book Sustainable Engineering Principles and Practice by Dr. Bhavik R Bakshi ISBN-13 : 978-1108420457. Purchasing the book for these courses is optional and not required.

Course Grading

The course is graded pass/fail. Students who pass receive a certificate of completion for the course. 

Expected Time Commitment to Complete this Course

Each course is equivalent to a one semester credit hour class. Therefore each class consists of approximately 40 hours of class time that includes 12-15 hours of recorded faculty lectures and 22-25 hours of additional course work. This course is seven weeks in length and is delivered 100% online and asynchronously. Students may progress through the course at their own pace but they must complete all of the course work within the seven-week period. 

Cancellations and Refunds

A full refund minus a $75 administrative fee will be made if cancellation is received three weeks prior to the start of the course. No refunds within three weeks of the course start date. 

Course Offering Dates

Each course offering in this program is faculty lead, therefore it operates with a specific start date and end date. Students must complete each course during the specific time frame. 


Registration is closed. 


Course Fee:

$599 per person

Early Bird Discount:

$525 per person if registered & paid by September 12, 2022. 


If you have questions regarding this course, please contact:

Professional & Distance Education Programs


Call: 614-688-3663