Learn to Put Green Practices into Action

The Graduate Certificate in Applied Sustainability at Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET) provides a unique interdisciplinary perspective on what it takes to make urban and economic development compatible with the natural environment.

A recent International Finance Corporation Report from the World Bank estimates that cities in emerging markets alone have the capacity to generate cumulative climate-smart investments to the tune of more than $29.4 trillion. By 2030, six key sectors, including green buildings, public transportation, electric vehicles, waste, water, and renewable energy, will attract a majority of this investment. This strong focus toward green values makes it an opportune time to add to your credentials in the field of sustainability.

Coursework in BU MET’s Applied Sustainability program guides you through the foundations of ecology; current theories of sustainability; methods for optimizing important resources such as energy and water; building management techniques; and the politics, law, and economics of the global green movement.

Program at a Glance

  • On Campus
  • Part-Time Study
  • 16 Credits
  • 8–12 Months to Completion
  • Tuition & Fees Range—Part-Time Study*: $12,320-$15,720

*Based on 2024–2025 Boston University tuition and fees.

Apply Sustainable Solutions to Urban Development

BU MET’s Applied Sustainability graduate certificate is appropriate for individuals currently in roles as sustainability professionals as well as those seeking to enter this expanding and high-demand field. Architects, facilities managers, city planners, and IT experts have the opportunity to fill gaps in their existing knowledge, whereas those just beginning careers in these and related fields will gain the foundation to make green thinking central to their work from the outset.

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Why Earn a Graduate Certificate in Applied Sustainability at BU?

  • Active Learning Environment: BU’s Applied Sustainability courses focus on practical, hands-on approaches, ensuring that you are immersed in all aspects of the topic—education you can apply on the job.
  • Engaged Faculty: In BU’s Applied Sustainability graduate certificate program, you benefit from working closely with highly qualified faculty who provide interdisciplinary perspectives on urban sustainability issues, sharing valuable expertise that will help you advance your career in the burgeoning sustainability economy.
  • Extensive Network: Study complex issues alongside peers with solid experience in sustainable practices, learn from faculty who have valuable contacts in the field, and benefit from an alumni community with strong professional connections.

Learn to Solve Challenges in Planning, Urban Management, and Public Policy

The Graduate Certificate in Applied Sustainability is offered through BU MET’s Department of Applied Social Sciences, which oversees several graduate programs focusing on the challenges of the urban environment, including the Master of City Planning (MCP), the Master of Urban Affairs (MUA), the Graduate Certificate in Applied Urban Informatics, and the Graduate Certificate in Urban Policy & Planning.

BU’s Urban Affairs & City Planning programs prepare future leaders, practitioners, and innovators for the myriad challenges that arise in urban planning and policymaking. Students consider the political, social, and technical implications of each facet of planning and policymaking, and thus grapple with the fact that there are few, if any, simple solutions or approaches to urban issues.

Graduates can pursue a wide range of professional careers in town, city, and regional planning; sustainable management; community and economic development; transportation planning; public-sector/nonprofit management; and policy research, among others.

Graduate with Expertise

Boston University’s Applied Sustainability graduate certificate will equip you to:

  • Analyze and assess the economic, environmental, political, social, and equity issues around urban environmental sustainability to prioritize and develop sustainable solutions.
  • Lead and work effectively with socially diverse stakeholder groups to evaluate and create sustainable and equitable planning and policy options.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the legal and political dimensions of environmental protection and regulation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between human and environmental systems and environmental sustainability.
  • Incorporate broad resources and use evidence-based approaches to evaluate and create sustainable planning and policy options.

Certificate-to-Degree Pathway

BU MET graduate certificate programs can serve as building blocks to a master’s degree. The Graduate Certificate in Applied Sustainability shares specific courses with the Master of Urban Affairs and Master of City Planning degree programs. Students currently enrolled in a graduate certificate who are interested in transitioning into a master’s degree should contact their academic advisor to declare their interest in this pathway. A new master’s degree application is not required. Connect with a graduate admissions advisor at apssadmissions@bu.edu to learn more about this option.

In addition to the below courses, students are also required to maintain an e-portfolio of the work they produce throughout the program. For more information, please visit this page.

Please Note: If a required course is not offered within the academic year (fall, spring, and summer sessions), students may request to take a replacement course. The request must be permitted, reviewed, and approved by the program coordinator in conjunction with representatives of the participating MET academic departments.

Required Courses

(Two courses/8 credits)


(Two courses/8 credits)

The two elective courses can be selected per student interest from a list of pre-approved courses, across different disciplines, offered at MET or University-wide. Additional courses may be approved in consultation with the academic advisor. A complete list of approved electives for the certificate can be obtained from the department.

Sample Electives:

City Planning & Urban Affairs Faculty

Tuition & Financial Assistance

Competitive Tuition

Our part-time rates are substantially lower than those of the traditional, full-time residential programs yet provide access to the same high-quality BU education.

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Comprehensive Financial Assistance

Our services include scholarships, graduate loans, and payment plans.

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Tuition, fees, and total program cost are determined by enrollment status. Course enrollment in this certificate program is 1–2 courses (4–8 credits) in a semester, and tuition is charged the part-time per-credit rate.

Applied Sustainability Graduate Certificate (On Campus)

Enrollment Status Part Time
Courses per Semester 2 courses
(8 credits)
Time to Degree 2 semesters
(8 months)
Tuition* $550-$975
per credit**
Fees per Semester* $60
Total Degree Cost* $12,320–

*Based on 2024-2025 Boston University tuition & fee rates.
**Cost per credit is determined by course number (100–599 = $550/credit, 600–999 = $975/credit).

Questions? Please contact us to hear from an Admissions Advisor who can help you determine the best enrollment pathway. For information regarding financial aid, visit BU MET’s Financial Aid page.

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Please visit the BU MET admissions page for details on how to apply, financial assistance, tuition and fees, requirements for international students, and more.

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