Make a difference. Work hands-on with organizations to solve climate challenges locally and globally. Learn about multifaceted challenges of climate change and related issues.
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January 08, 2024
You see climate change as among the greatest and most urgent issues facing humans today. As an environmental professional, you’re also concerned about associated issues like biodiversity loss and air pollution. Or perhaps you’re already working in another field, but feel committed to bringing climate action into your career portfolio.
The new Graduate Certificate in Science and Policy of Climate Change is the first of its kind in Canada. It gives you an efficient and engaging way to break into the climate science field, or to build on your current knowledge.
You'll begin your program by examining current science and policy innovations. You'll develop an interdisciplinary knowledge base about climate change causes and impacts.
You’ll also build practical skills that will empower you to identify climate challenges and solutions, and to act on them locally, and globally.
To apply your learning, your final course includes a placement with a government, civil society, or Indigenous or community organization. You'll address their specific climate-related issues.
Not only will you gain the knowledge you need to understand climate challenges, but you'll gain the ability to do something about them.
You can build from here
You can complete the certificate as a stand-alone credential, or you may take individual courses as electives for the following Royal Roads programs:
- MA in Environmental Practice
- MSc in Environmental Practice
- MA in Environmental Education and Communication
- MA in Environment and Management
- MSc in Environment and Management
- MA in Interdisciplinary Studies
- MBA in Executive Management
The Graduate Certificate in Science and Policy of Climate Change is offered as part of the partnership between Royal Roads University and the Environmental Careers Organization of Canada (ECO Canada).
The content in the certificate reflects the National Occupation Standard (NOS) developed by ECO Canada. The NOS informs the skills and competencies required for the Environmental Professional in-training (EPt) Certification and the Environmental Professional (EP) Certification.
Once you have completed this program, you'll have skills to respond to climate imperatives by applying science and developing policy innovations. You’ll know how to develop, implement, and evaluate mitigation and adaptation strategies to address climate change, and to effectively communicate climate issues to the public, policymakers and the media. You can use these skills to work in a broad range of sectors including government, industry and non-governmental organizations.
This program is delivered entirely online.
Online courses consist of assigned readings, synchronous or asynchronous lectures, interactive discussions, and individual and team assignments.
You’re expected to meet deadlines and contribute meaningfully to your class. Your contributions are a big part of everyone’s learning.
The first two take approximately 10 weeks each, with a brief break in between. The third course takes 20 weeks and includes a placement with a government, civil society, or Indigenous or community organization.
Each online course requires approximately 10-15 hours of work per week.
You'll start your program with a non-credit, but required, course about academic integrity.
Work while you learn
Online courses allow you to learn without having to give up your current employment. You'll want to check with your employer about your course schedule and any time off you might need. In many cases, employers may support and mentor you in your studies.
- Four-year (or comparable) undergraduate degree in a related field, with a minimum GPA of 'B' (3.00/4.33), from a recognized post-secondary institution.
- At least two years of relevant work or volunteer experience.
- Applicants who meet the degree requirement, but not the GPA requirement, will normally be required to complete "Academic Writing and Critical Thinking" and obtain a minimum final grade of B (73%).
Applicants who do not meet the standard admission requirements will be considered for flexible admission and assessed as follows:
- Normally, six years of relevant work experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
- All flexible admission applicants will normally be required to complete "Academic Writing and Critical Thinking" and obtain a minimum final grade of B (73%).
English language proficiency
- If English is not your primary language, please review our English language requirements.
All applicants will be required to submit:
- a personal statement;
- a detailed resume;
- a minimum of two letters of reference;
- official transcripts for all post-secondary credit courses and/or programs previously taken.
Learn more about the application requirements.
All applications to this program require submission of the following information and supporting documents before your file can be assessed for admission:
In order to apply online, you will be required to create a log-in account using your email address. You will be required to list all credit courses and/or programs you have completed or are currently enrolled in. An application fee will be required. If your application fees are being paid by a third party, review sponsored student information. Once submitted, you may check the status of your application at any time.
Applicants are responsible for arranging for the submission of official transcripts from ALL post-secondary (higher education) institutions currently or previously attended, for all credit courses and/or programs. Transcripts are not required for non-credit programs or courses, though some programs may require proof of professional certifications or designations.
Transcripts are considered official only if submitted directly by the Registrar or other recognized authority of the providing institution in the institution's original, sealed envelope. If the envelope has been opened, the transcripts are no longer official and new (official) transcripts will be required to complete your application.
All international transcripts or credentials are subject to an international transcript and/or credential evaluation.
Your personal statement should be no less than a one-page letter indicating your motivation for seeking entrance to the program. Your statement should comment upon your personal and career goals, the expectations you have for the program in relation to the achievement of your goals, and the strengths you feel you can bring to the program.
It is ideal if one reference letter is based on your work experience and the other based on either your academic performance or community service that you have undertaken; however, two work-related references are acceptable in certain cases. There is no set standard format for letters of reference. The length and level of detail in each letter may vary.
Content of the reference letters should illustrate and support your suitability for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Science and Policy of Climate Change program. Content may include how your referee feels you will succeed in the program (and why) and how the program will benefit you. Indication of demonstrated skills, competencies and aptitudes and other relevant information about which the referee can comment is beneficial. The context in which the referee has come to know you should also be mentioned.
Your detailed résumé should include the following:
- Education: List all post-secondary education, degrees, diplomas, and certificates you have achieved.
- Work experience: (You should expand on this point in case you wish to take advantage of Flexible Admission.)
- Voluntary/unpaid work experience: List and describe any voluntary/unpaid post-secondary employment and/or community service experience. Please include the name of the organization, length of service, and a brief description of duties. List positions you have held in this service. (You should expand on this point in case you wish to take advantage of fexible admissions.)
- Information technology training and experience: Briefly describe your level of training and experience in the use of information technology including computers, software, and telecommunications networks as tools for business, education, teaching, and personal use.
- Professional memberships/affiliations: List memberships and positions you hold/have held in professional associations, service clubs, community/volunteer sector.
- Other relevant information : Provide any other information which you believe is relevant to your application and will be of assistance to the review committee.
- Applicants declaring permanent resident or Convention Refugee status in Canada must submit a copy of their Permanent Resident Card (PR card) along with their application.
- Transcript evaluation fee or credential evaluation report, if submitting international transcripts.
- An official English language proficiency score report or other evidence of proficiency if English is not your primary language.
- Other information or documents as may be requested to determine your eligibility.
For information on how and where to send your supporting documents, please refer to the document submission guidelines.
Financial aid and awards
RBC Community Integrated Learning Grants
Funding for students completing a required career learning and development (CLD) work term in the community of at least 420 hours with an organization that cannot provide wages or compensation.
Up to $8,500
ACT WEST Community Foundation Fund
The ACT WEST Community Foundation helps support single mothers build better lives for themselves and their children.
up to 4 years tuition
Admiral John Charles and Mary Charles Scholarship
Awarded annually to a second year School of Humanitarian Studies student who is currently serving or retired military.
Active students (In-course)
The Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) works to improve the lives of blind, deafblind and partially sighted Canadians...
From $1,500 to $2,500
Allan Cahoon Global Advancement and Diversity Award
Assist students in underrepresented populations who wish to promote diversity.
Active students (In-course)
Allan Cahoon Scholarship
This scholarship aims to encourage academic excellence, supporting students who excel both academically and through their leadership.
Active students (In-course)
Andrea Fallan Memorial Bursary
Provides financial assistance to a second year BCom student for exceptional leadership, community involvement, and dedication to promote a cohesive team environment.
Active students (In-course)
Asper Foundation Communications Award
Awarded to students in communications-related degree working in, or seeking to work in the communications industry.
Active students (In-course)
ECO Canada partnership
The Environmental Careers Organization of Canada and Royal Roads University are the founders of the Canadian Centre for Environmental Education.
Housed at Royal Roads, the CCEE aims to provide advanced education, training and professional development tailored to the Canadian environmental sector, aligned with the National Occupational Standards for Environmental Employment.
The Graduate Certificate in Science and Policy of Climate Change is one of the programs we offer through the CCEE. Learn more about our formal partnerships with ECO Canada.