Sustainable Urban Planning Graduate Certificate

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With the rise of both the megalopolis and small cities alike, the global trend of urbanization shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. As people continue to gravitate towards urban living worldwide, we must contend with new challenges: Questions of local vs. national authority, the tensions and tumult of scarce resources, inequality and environmental degradation, among many others. Beyond their roles on infrastructure projects, urban planners are engaged in work that leads to cities that have a more socially stable, prosperous future.

Designed for working professionals, the Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Urban Planning is tailored to students seeking a credential in the field but who are not in need of a complete master’s degree. Taught by expert practitioners in the field who can provide you with firsthand insight on projects they have conducted with government agencies and private firms alike, you will learn how to leverage your knowledge into forward-looking economic, environmental and social frameworks and sustainable policies and actions for metropolitan regions all around the world.


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Program at a Glance


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Required Courses

There are six required courses for the program — four required and two electives


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Relevant Areas of Study

Key areas of study include urban growth, land use, agricultural impact and transportation engineering



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Where You'll Study


graduate education center in Arlington, VA

You’ll take your classes at the GW Education Center in Arlington, Virginia which is conveniently located near the Ballston Metro stop.


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What You'll Study


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In this program you will learn the fundamentals of urban planning with a keen focus on sustainability across economic, environmental and social frameworks. Key areas of study include urban growth, land use, agricultural impact and transportation engineering.

The certificate consists of six courses - a sequence of four required courses and two electives, which facilitate flexibility by enabling you to fine-tune your study and engage with the broader Sustainable Urban Planning Program.

The required classes are:

  • PSUS 6201: Principles of Sustainable Urban Planning (3 credits)
  • PSUS 6202: Urban and Environmental Economics (3 credits)
  • PSUS 6210: Transportation Planning in City Systems (3 credits)
  • PSUS 6211: Regional Development and Agricultural Economics (3 credits)

Your elective courses may be fulfilled by any of the courses in the Sustainable Urban Planning Program.


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Admissions Information 

To apply to the program you must have:

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education
  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher


Students are admitted for the fall and spring semesters. Applicants that have complete applications are eligible to request an application fee waiver by 11:59 p.m. on the Priority Deadline.* To request an application fee waiver, contact your program representative before submitting your application. Fee waiver details. Applications received after the Final Deadline will continue to be processed, space permitting.  


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Fall Admissions

In-person program

  • Fall Priority Deadline: February 1*
  • Fall Final Deadline: May 1


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Spring Admissions

In-person program

  • Spring Priority Deadline: August 1* 
  • Spring Final Deadline: October 1


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Summer Admissions

In-person program

  • Not offered


GW tuition and fees are comparable to the national average for private universities. These costs are set by the GW Board of Trustees and generally increase year to year, variable by program and location. Please use this information as an estimate based on current tuition rates and fee structures. Total tuition and fees will vary according to the courses taken and the timeframe in which you complete your coursework.

Financial Aid


 Rates in Effect for Summer 2022, Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 Terms

Tuition: 18 credits @ $1,885/credit hour  $33,930
Registration fees: 3 registration sessions @ $35 each $105
TOTAL tuition + fees: $34,035


Other costs to consider: Application Fee: $80; Matriculation fee: $200 (one time); Books approximately $100-150/course.

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Sandra Whitehead




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Request Information

Information Sessions

We periodically offer online and in-person information sessions about the Sustainable Urban Planning Program. Contact the program representative to learn more about upcoming events.