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The Environment and Sustainability Certificate is a 16-credit hour, multi-disciplinary program open to all undergraduate majors in good standing.

This certificate will give students an opportunity to gain relevant experience in an environmental area of interest to them. Students will study the technical aspects of issues such as climate change and energy, and learn how our values, beliefs, and governmental policies affect how these issues are addressed. Students will also learn about sustainable practices and lifestyle choices that can reduce their ecological footprint.

Upon completion of the Environment and Sustainability Certificate, students should achieve the following outcomes:

  • Understand 21st century environmental issues within the context of humanities, social science, and science & engineering.
  • Learn how to address these challenges through sustainable lifestyle choices and practices.

Program Structure

The Environment and Sustainability Certificate at Mississippi State University requires the completion of six courses and a total of 16 credit hours.

Core Curriculum Classes Hours
ENS 2103 Introduction to Environmental Science 3
ENS 2101 Introduction to Environmental Science Laboratory 1
  Humanities Electives 3
  Social Science Electives 3
  Science and Engineering Electives 3
  Additional Electives 3
Total Hours:   16

Admissions Process

Undergraduate Admissions

If you have never attended Mississippi State University, please complete the online Undergraduate Admissions Application.

PLEASE NOTE

In general, students who are not admitted into a degree program are not eligible for student financial aid funds. For more information please visit Student Financial Aid to see if you will be eligible or not while taking courses for the Environment and Sustainability Certificate.

  1. If you are not seeking admission to an undergraduate degree program but want to take undergraduate level courses in the Environment and Sustainability Certificate, you will choose Undeclared or Special Non-Degree as your major and Online Education as your campus.
  2. Request that official ACT or SAT scores be sent to MSU.
  3. Request that your high school send your official transcript. Faxed transcripts will not be accepted.
  4. Submit a separate official final transcript from each college or university attended; faxed transcripts will not be accepted. An applicant may not ignore previous college attendance and must list all colleges attended on the application for admission. You must be in good standing at the last college or university attended.
  5. If you are able to submit official transcripts and other documentation electronically, you may send them to admit@msstate.edu.
  6. If you are unable to submit official transcripts and other documentation electronically, you may send them via U.S. Postal Service to:
    Office of Admissions & Scholarships
    P.O. Box 6334
    Mississippi State, MS 39762

Required Courses

For more information about the curriculum and the full list of classes you can take, please visit our program curriculum page.

ENS 2103 Introduction to Environmental Science. Three hours lecture. An introductory course to acquaint the student with the various issues, interdisciplinary contributions, scientific principles, and the foundations of environmental science.


ENS 2101 Introduction to Environmental Science Laboratory. Two hours laboratory. (Concurrent or prior enrollment in ENS 2103, or consent of instructor). An introductory laboratory course to acquaint the student with the various issues, interdisciplinary contributions, scientific principles, and the foundations of environmental science.

Humanities Elective Courses

HI 4193/6193 U.S. Environmental History. (Prerequisite: Any 1000 level history course) Three hours lecture. A survey of the impact of the environment in shaping the American culture, literature, politics, and economy from European colonization to the present.


HS 3673 Environments for Special Needs. Three hours lecture. Laws, attitudes, conditions, specifications, and environmental issues affecting private and public spaces. (Same ID 3673).

Social Sciences Elective Courses

AN 4173/6173 Environment and Society. (Prerequisite: AN 1103, SO 1003 consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. A study of the interaction between human society and the environment including the social aspects of environmental problems. (Same as SO 4173/6173)


BL 4263/6263 Environmental Law. (Prerequisite: BL 2413). Three hours lecture. An introduction to how environmental law interfaces with the legal system. Overview of the major statutes, cases, and regulations pertaining to the environment.


NREC 4353/6353 Natural Resource Law. Three hours lecture. A comprehensive study of the laws relating to natural resources and forestry with emphasis on tort law, real property law, environmental law, taxation law and contract law. (Same as FO 4353).


NREC 4413/6613 Natural Resource Policy. Three hours lecture. Current topics relating to natural resources policy which affect management decisions and practices in the public and private sectors of natural resources use. (Same as FO 4413)

Science and Engineering Elective Courses

BIO 2503 Environmental Quality. Three hours lecture. (Prerequisite: One course in biology). Relevance of ecological principles to environmental problems and relationships of humans with their environment with emphasis on preservation of environmental quality.


CE 4513/6513 Engineering Hydrology. (Prerequisite: grade of C or better in CE 3503; or consent of major advisor). Three hours lecture. Hydrologic processes; rainfall-runoff analysis; groundwater flow; frequency analysis; hydrologic design.


CE 4523/6523 Open Channel Hydraulics. (Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in CE 3503; or consent of major advisor). Three hours lecture. Continuity, energy and momentum principles in open channel flow, flow resistance, uniform and non-uniform flow, channel controls and transitions, unsteady flow routing.


CE 4843/6843 Environmental Engineering Chemistry. (Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in CE 3823 or consent of instructor; or consent of major advisor). Three hours lecture. Introduction to advanced theoretical concepts in sanitary engineering analysis with special emphasis on inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry.


CHE 4683/6683 Fund of Biofuels Production. Three hours lecture. Engineering and economic analysis of the chemical processes applied to produce biofuels.


CHE 4990/6990 Special Topics in CHE - Fund of Biorefineries. Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years).


IE 4543/6543 Logistics Engineering. (Prerequisite: IE 4613 and senior or graduate standing, Co-requisites: IE 4733 or MA 4733). Three hours lecture. Analysis of complex logistics networks. Integration of supply, production, inventory, transportation, and distribution. Strategies for reducing logistics costs and lead times. Customer-supplier partnerships.


FNH 4773/6773 Intro. to Environmental Health. (Prerequisite: FNH 3163, or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Examines the relationship of people to their environment, how the environment can influence physical well-being, and importance of environmental protection to overall community health.


NREC 3113 Forest Recreation Management. Studies of the management of forest resources for outdoor recreation. (Same as FO 3113).


NREC 4463/6463 Forest Hydrology and Watershed Management. (Prerequisite: PSS 3303, FO 3012, FO 4123/6123, or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Synthesis of current information on the fundamental properties and processes of forest soils, hydrology, and water quality with emphasis on watershed and ecosystem management factors. (Same as FO 4463).


FO 8163 Nonmarket Forest Values. (Prerequisite: FO 4113 or equivalent or consent of instructor). The course will deal with the valuation or nonmarket, non-timber outputs or amenities derived from the forest.


FO 8333 Silviculture for Multiple Ecosystem Services. Three hours lecture. Overview of ecosystem services history and theory and how ecosystem services frameworks can be applied to guide silviculture and forest management.


FO 8433 Ecological Silviculture. Three hours lecture. Overview of ecosystem services history and theory and how ecosystem services frameworks can be applied to guide silviculture and forest management.


FO 8443 International Forest Resources and Trade. (Prerequisite: consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. A study of the world's wood consumption, marketing arrangements, dynamics of deforestation, agroforestry and community forestry, country specific forestry issues, and forestry in economic development.


GR 4643/6643 Physical Climatology. (Prerequisite: GR 1603 Introduction to Meteorology). Three hours lecture. An investigation of the physical aspects of Earth’s climate, including interactions between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and land surface, and how they are affected by climate variability and change.


GR 4813/6813 Natural Hazards. (Prerequisites: GR 1114 or equivalent.) Three hours lecture. A survey of natural phenomena in geology, oceanography and astronomy as applied to meteorology. Detailed study of earthquakes, volcanoes, ocean movements, and solar activity.


GG 3613 Water Resources. (Prerequisite: GG 1113 or equivalent or consent of instructor.) Three hours lecture. Introduction to the location, use, recovery and environmental problems of surface and subsurface waters.


GG 8233 Environmental Geosciences. (Prerequisite: GG 6103 or consent of instructor). Three hours video and online. Study of current environmental problems associated with the earth science realms; atmosphere, bioshpere, hydroshpere, and lithosphere. Primarily for K-12 science teachers.


PSS 3303 Soils. (Prerequisite: One semester (preferably two) of inorganic chemistry, CH 1043.) Three hours lecture. General treatment of all phases of the subject including lime and fertilizers.


PSS/ABE 2543 Precision Agriculture I. (Prerequisite: Sophomore standing and MA 1313). Two hours lecture. Two hours lab. This introductory course highlights site-specific crop management techniques. Topics include: Best Management Practices, economic and physical farm production models, and measurement of variability (same as ABE 2543).


PSS/ABE 4543/6543 Precision Agriculture II. (Prerequisite: PSS/ABE 2543 and Junior Standing). Two hours lecture. Two hours lab. Site-specific management techniques are examined. Continuous decision-making processes of farm production are integrated using a whole-system, geospatial approach (same as ABE 4543/6543).


SBP 1103 Intro to Sustainable Bioproducts. Three hours lecture. A survey of biomass structure, anatomy, properties and chemistry, and the processes used to manufacture sustainable biomass-based products.


SBP 3123 Biomass to Bioproducts. (Prerequisite: CH 1213 or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Introduces students to chemical/physical properties of forestry & agro crops; provides overview of a large span of bioproducts derived from plant materials, their economic and environmental benefits; describes major components of biomass chemistry, comparing woody/non-woody plants.


SBP 4213/6213 Deterioration and Preservation of Biomaterials. (Prerequisite: SBP 1103 or consent of instructor). Two hours lecture. Three hours laboratory. Develop an understanding on biological and non-biological abiotic agents that cause wood deterioration; biological control methods; design considerations; wood preservatives and preservation systems; treatability of wood; treatment mechanics; preservative effectiveness; commodity standards.


SBP 4313/6313 Bioproducts and the Environment. (Prerequisites: SBP 2012, 2123, and 3123 or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. An introduction to environmental topics and laws, environmental impact, and control technologies associated with emissions from diverse sustainable bioproducts industries, including global and national issues.


SBP 8013 Advanced Wood Science and Technology. Three hours lecture. Introduction to properties of wood (anatomy, chemical, physical, mechanical) and manufacturing process of sustainable biomass-based products will lead to an understanding of the basic concepts and current topics related to sustainability, natural products, and technology development in forest products and wood science.


SBP 8133 Environmental Issues in SBP. (Consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Environmental impact, regulations, management of wood treatment by-products and chemical wastes; biodegradation microorganisms; bioremediation; biomass residues; soil, sediment, water, air contaminations; current clean-up technologies


WFA 4623/6623 Conservation Biology. Three hours lecture. Theory and applications of conservation biology, measures of biodiversity, ecological geography, measures and treatments of decline.

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Academic Advising

ENS Assessment Committee Information

After gaining admission to the university, you must contact one of your advisors to determine the courses that are most appropriate for you to take. Approximately two months prior to the upcoming semester, your advisor will send an email to your MSU email account, making course recommendations based on your program of study.

Mississippi State University uses email as its official means of communication with all MSU students. Please check your MSU email account (NetID@msstate.edu) daily. Information on setting up your MSU email can be found at the link for student services.

Photo of Jessica M. Graves

Jessica M. Graves

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean’s Office

  • Director of Academic Advising
Headshot photo for Paul Tseng

Dr. Te-Ming (Paul) Tseng

Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

  • Assistant Professor

Contact Information

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Mindy Wolfe

Online Education

  • Recruiting Coordinator
Photo of Jessica M. Graves

Jessica M. Graves

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean’s Office

  • Director of Academic Advising
Headshot Photo for Paul Tseng

Dr. Te-Ming (Paul) Tseng

Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

  • Assistant Professor