Development and Sustainability in Africa, Certificate

Program Code: DSAFR_UCT

Program Description

The African continent is the most ecologically and geographically diverse region in the world. It is the most resource rich, yet it is considered, at least in the Western world, the poorest and most “in need of help”. Why is this so? This 12-credit certificate in Development and Sustainability in Africa will engage students with the issues, debates, and analyses related to sustainable, equitable, and decolonial development in Africa. Students will learn about relationships between development and the different environments on the continent, Students will consider the inter-relationships between development and equality, as well as the key drivers of change. This certificate will provide students an opportunity to engage with current topics from a specifically African perspective. Students will receive training in development theory and practice to understand the place of Africa in global environmental change. Students will learn to critically analyze the complex interrelationships and trades offs between development and environmental costs. Students can choose to focus on an area of study such as: resource extraction and governance (e.g. mining), food and agriculture, water, renewable energy (e.g. solar), and, development practice. This certificate will include an optional study abroad opportunity. Learning Outcomes: By the end of the certificate, students will be able to: - (PO1) Identify, describe, and compare key issues in sustainability and development in Africa; - (PO2) Think critically and discuss the drivers of development and environmental degradation; - (PO3) Understand and interpret the ways the continent is embedded in global systems that impact sustainability and development locally and globally.

Program Requirements

To earn an undergraduate certificate in Development and Sustainability in Africa, a minimum of 12 credits is required.

Required Courses
AFR 105African Biodiversity and Conservation Keystone/General Education Course3
AFR 205Development and Sustainability in Africa Keystone/General Education Course3
Select 6 credits from the following (relevant African Studies course, or focal topic course taught by an affiliated faculty member):6
Globalization and Its Implications
Resource Governance in Africa
Extractive Industries in Africa
Special Topics
Geographic Perspectives on Environment, Society and Sustainability
Human Use of Environment
Agroforestry: Science, Design, and Practice
FOR 488Y
Upper-level independent study with approved faculty

Non-Course Requirements:

Per University policy, all credit courses for a certificate require a grade of 'C' or higher, and at least two-thirds (2/3) of the credits used to complete a certificate must be earned at Penn State.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.


University Park

Liberal Arts Academic Advising
Use the Liberal Arts Meet the Academic Advisers web page to see the contact information for the specific adviser(s) of this program


University Park

133 Willard Building
University Park, PA 16802