Jun 02, 2020  
2020-2021 General Catalog (Year Under Revision) 
2020-2021 General Catalog (Year Under Revision)

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) - Certificate

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study

S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources

Department of Environment and Society

Director: Joanna Endter-Wada, Department of Environment and Society
Program Administrator: Lisa Welsh
Location: Natural Resources 352
Phone: (435) 797-0922
FAX: (435) 797-4048
E-mail: lisa.welsh@usu.edu
WWW: http://qcnr.usu.edu/nepa/

Graduate Program Description

The Department of Environment and Society at Utah State University and the Shipley Group, Inc. have formed a partnership to provide a graduate-level certificate program that offers training related to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA is an important environmental law that requires analysis of impacts, alternatives, and mitigation measures for all major federal actions affecting the environment, both within the territorial boundaries of the U.S. and at foreign military installations. Government agencies, private businesses, public interest organizations, and other groups involved in the NEPA process need individuals who have been trained in decision-making, analysis, and documentation aspects of NEPA, as well as in the accompanying Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations and various agencies' NEPA implementing procedures.

The NEPA Certificate Program was designed to prepare natural resource and environmental professionals to meet the challenges of complying with the Act and working effectively on NEPA documents. Participants who successfully complete the program should have a solid understanding of both the spirit and the letter of the law, and will be more effective members of interdisciplinary teams responsible for developing NEPA documents.


Students who complete the program will receive a graduate-level certificate in the National Environmental Policy Act. Their USU transcript will list the courses and grades received to complete the program.

Admission Requirements

To apply for admittance to the program, a person must complete and submit a NEPA Certificate Program application form, as well as provide a transcript documenting the completion of a bachelor's degree. Students pursuing the NEPA Certificate are not required to be enrolled in a graduate degree program. However, academic credits obtained from the program may be applied toward a graduate degree.

Course Requirements

To receive the Certificate, a participant must complete the following set of requirements:

  • Apply and be accepted into the NEPA Certificate Program
  • Register for and successfully complete seven graduate-level courses (four required courses and three elective courses)
  • Complete an individual capstone experience for graduate credit
  • Maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA for program courses (grades below C will not be accepted)

Abide by the Code of Policies and Procedures for Students at Utah State University.

NEPA Certificate Program Courses

Courses for the program are offered in the short-course format at various locations around the country or as webinars. To view the current schedule of courses, please go to the Shipley Group website at www.shipleygroup.com. Courses are offered for 2 credits or 3 continuing education units (generally 3-day courses) or for 1 credit or 1.5 continuing education units (2-day courses). To receive graduate credit a participant must complete a written examination in addition to class attendance. All courses offered as part of the NEPA Certificate Program may be taken for university graduate credit, whether or not a participant in the course is enrolled in the NEPA Certificate Program.


Students must complete four core courses (2 credits each), three elective courses (1 credit each), and a capstone experience (1 credit) in order to fulfill the requirements for the NEPA Certificate.

Capstone Experience

After completing the coursework, participants are required to complete a NEPA Capstone Experience (NEPA 6370 ) before being awarded the NEPA Certificate. This experience will be individualized for each participant and will consist of a project that has been negotiated between the participant and the Director.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study