As biodiversity is the life support system of our planet, it is important to prepare students for careers that require knowledge of both ecology and public policy. This certificate focuses in the fields of conservation biology, land use policy, conservation planning, and modern tools and approaches used in GIS to prepare students to tackle complex environmental challenges in a changing world.

This certificate is suitable for traditional students as well as for student-professionals (such as environmental scientists, managers, practitioners in government, and experts in non-governmental organizations) who wish to acquire further knowledge to advance their careers.

This certificate may be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis.


University-wide admissions policies can be found in the Graduate Admissions Policies section of this catalog.

Applicants for this certificate should hold a BA or BS in a related discipline from an institution of higher education accredited by a Mason-recognized U.S. institutional accrediting agency or international equivalent.

Applicants to this certificate program must submit a current résumé. GRE scores and letters of recommendation are not required but will strengthen an application, if available.

To apply for this program, please complete the George Mason University Admissions Application.


For policies governing all graduate programs, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Banner Code: SC-CERG-EGBC

Certificate Requirements

Total credits: 18

This certificate may be pursued on a full-or part-time basis.

Refer to the Admissions & Policies for policies specific to this program.

Core Courses

Geospatial Requirements
GGS 553Geographic Information Systems3
or GGS 692 Web-based Geographic Information Systems
Remote Sensing Requirements
GGS 579Remote Sensing3
or GGS 680 Earth Image Processing
Conservation Requirements
EVPP 518Conservation Biology 13
Statistics Requirements
GGS 560Quantitative Methods3
or CONS 625 Generalized Linear and Mixed Models in Ecology and Conservation Biology
Total Credits12

This course may be substituted with advisor approval.

Practice-oriented Conservation Coursework

Select 6 credits from the following:6
Species Monitoring Conservation
Estimating Animal Abundance and Occupancy
Special Topics in Conservation
Total Credits6