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Sustainable Landscapes Graduate Certificate


The field of landscape design is growing as people call for beauty that can both point to the future and call us back to our natural element. As the demand for sustainable landscaping continues to rise, so is the demand for professionals with the latest knowledge in urban ecology, stormwater management, soil conservation, native plants and more.

A sustainable landscape:

  • Follows ecological principles

  • Treats stormwater as a resource

  • Promotes biodiversity

  • Promotes healthy soils

  • Is inspired by native plant communities

  • Conserves wildlife habitat

  • Incorporates edible plantings

  • Rebuilds ecosystems services

  • Is healthy, beautiful and clean

…Sustains life!

Designed for landscape and allied professionals, the Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Landscapes 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 not only counsel you on improving your aesthetic acumen, but will also help you build your practice with the latest knowledge, sustainable design skills and solutions that achieve your clients’ goals and satisfy state and local regulations.


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Program at a Glance

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The program is made up of 9 courses (1-3 credits each) for a total of 18 credits.

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You will gain skills needed to implement creative and environmentally-responsible solutions, while satisfying the complex rules and regulations surrounding issues such as stormwater management and urban agriculture.

Where You'll Study

Where you'll study
GW Graduate Education Center in Arlington, VA

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

What You'll Study

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In this program you will gain the sustainable design skill sets necessary to implement creative and environmentally-responsible solutions, while satisfying the complex rules and regulations surrounding issues such as storm water management and urban agriculture. The program requires a total of 18 credits.

Courses include:

  • PSUS 6260  Intro to Sustainable Design (2 credits)
  • PSUS 6261  Ecology of the Built Environment (2 credits)
  • PSUS 6262  Tools for Sustainable Design (3 credits)
  • PSUS 6264  Native Plants I (2 credits)
  • PSUS 6265  Native Plants II (1 credit)
  • PSUS 6268  Sustainable Design Methods (2 credits)
  • PSUS 6269  Sustenance and the Landscape (2 credits)
  • PSUS 6266  Ecological Restoration (1 credit)
  • PSUS 6270  Sustainable Design Charrette (3 credits)



""Admissions Information

To be eligible to apply to the program you must have a:

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


Graduate Admissions Process


Fully completed applications submitted on or before the priority deadline will receive an application fee waiver. An application file is considered “complete” when academic transcripts, recommendations, test scores (if applicable), employment verification (if applicable), and the completed online application (including resume and statement of purpose) are received. Applications received after the priority deadline will continue to be processed, space permitting.




illustration of flowerAugust 1 – Priority Deadline (Spring)



illustration of flowerDecember 1 – Final Deadline (Spring)





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 Opportunities


Graduate Certificate
18 credits

Tuition (Summer 2018-Spring 2019 Terms):

(18 credits @ $925/credit hour) 

Registration fees: $105  
(3 registration sessions @ $35 each)
Tuition + fees

Other Costs to Consider

Application fee: $80
Matriculation fee: (one time) $200
Books: Approximately $100-$150/course









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Information Sessions

We periodically offer online and in-person information sessions about the Sustainable Landscapes Graduate Certificate. Contact the program representative to learn more about upcoming events.