Sep 19, 2020  
2011-2012 General Catalog 
2011-2012 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG Please see current catalog]

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Certificate

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College of Natural Resources

Department of Environment and Society

Director: Joanna Endter-Wada, Department of Environment and Society
Location: Natural Resources 355B
Phone: (435) 797-0922
FAX: (435) 797-3526

Program Administrator: Judith A. Kurtzman, Natural Resources 322, (435) 797-0922

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 Utah State University transcript will list the courses they attended to complete the program.

Admission Requirements

To apply and gain acceptance into the program, a person must complete and submit a NEPA Certificate Program application form to the Department of Environment and Society at USU, 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, 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:

  1. apply and be accepted into the NEPA Certificate Program;
  2. register for and successfully complete seven graduate-level courses taken for grades (four required courses and three elective courses);
  3. undertake an individual capstone experience for graduate credit that involves a negotiated project;
  4. maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA for program courses (grades below C will not be accepted);
  5. abide by the Code of Policies and Procedures for Students at Utah State University.

NEPA Certificate Program Courses

Courses for the program are offered at various locations around the country. To view the current schedule of courses, please go to the Shipley Group website Courses will be offered on a short-course basis through Continuing Education. A two-credit course requires a minimum of three full days in class; a one-credit course requires two full days in class. To receive graduate credit that can be applied toward completion of the certificate, all NEPA courses must be taken for a letter grade, which requires completion of 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.

Core Courses

Participants are required to take four of the following courses. The first three listed are required. However, participants may choose between the last two courses to fulfill the core course requirements.

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, will consist of a project that has been negotiated between the participant and the program faculty.

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