Leaders in Sustainability Graduate Certificate Program

The Leaders in Sustainability program aims to provide a mechanism for graduate students at UCLA to pursue their interests in sustainability and collaborate with students from different fields.

Aleksan Giragosian

The LiS program brought together graduate students from different academic backgrounds to explore complex environmental issues. I encourage any graduate student with an interest in the environment to consider participating in the LiS program.

Aleksan Giragosian, Class of 2015

National Award-Winning, Model Sustainability Certificate Program

Leaders in Sustainability (LiS) is a national award-winning program that provides a large value add, with no additional tuition cost, to the experience of enrolled UCLA graduate students. Unique to UCLA, LiS is a model sustainability certificate program for the nation. LiS facilitates multi-discipline knowledge breadth to enhance the subject matter depth provided in graduate school. LiS students have a career edge by developing leadership and collaboration skills as well as a broad knowledge of sustainability topics that are increasingly relevant to employers.

Preparing the Upcoming Generation of Leaders

Sustainability, defined as the simultaneous consideration of economic, environmental and social factors, has become a key element in decision making in many areas of the public, private, and non-profit sectors. By definition, sustainability requires a multi-disciplinary perspective.

Over 190 students from 24 distinct disciplines across UCLA participate in the LiS program. Students can tailor the certificate program to best further their interests in sustainability and enhance their educational and career trajectories through collaboration and knowledge sharing with students, faculty, and professionals from different fields.

Tailor Made Value Adds for Students and Alumni

Specifically, students take a core course in sustainability as well as electives of their choosing to provide both breadth and depth to their sustainability related training and education. In addition, students have a positive community impact as they work with other students, faculty, and professionals on a self-initiated leadership project, guided by UCLA instructors, that measurably advances sustainability. For many LiS students, their LiS leadership project is a jumping off point to their careers after graduate school.

LiS students and alumni alike benefit from their LiS network. Mentoring and resource connection is provided to LiS students by program staff, affiliated faculty, other LiS students, the growing network of LiS alumni, and a broader network of sustainability professionals who view the LiS program as a breeding ground for the upcoming generation of sustainability leaders.

Stephanie Vezich

Participating in LiS was an instrumental part of my time in graduate school – it allowed me to take classes far outside my discipline, which exposed me to new and valuable research methods, and it also helped me build a community independent from my department.

Stephanie Vezich, Class of 2015

Program Overview

Download LiS Kick-Off presentation.

If you would like to receive announcements about the LiS program, join our listserv.

Alumni Profiles

Nicholas Nairn-Birch

Nicholas Nairn-Birch
D.Env, LiS Class of 2009
ESE Class of 2012

Cassie Gardner

Cassie Gardner
MPH, LiS Class of 2012

Bob Eidson

Bob Eidson
MBA, LiS Class of 2009


LiS Application Deadline

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Leaders in Sustainability Petition to Graduate

LiS Petition to Graduate Spring 2016

Deadline May 1, 2016.

Student Coordinator

Ariana Vito
Ariana Vito

Student Coordinator, LiS Program

To contact us please send email to: UCLALeadersInSustainability@gmail.com

For more information please contact

Natalie M. Garrett
ESE/LiS Program Administrator