Graduate Certificate Program in Industrial Ecology

The primary objective of the Program in Industrial Ecology (PIE) ( is to provide University of Michigan graduate students fundamental skills in, and knowledge of, industrial ecology methods and applications. PIE's certificate complements any field of study by providing specialization in technological and industrial innovation, consumer behavior and consumption patterns, policy and regulatory issues, and economic factors and market forces to achieve more sustainable systems. Participating students will be better prepared to design and manage natural and industrial systems to meet human needs in an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable manner.

Due to the interdisciplinary emphasis of the Program in Industrial Ecology, required courses are offered from a variety of University of Michigan units, including Natural Resources and Environment, Engineering, Public Health, Public Policy and the Business School.

Program in Industrial Ecology Requirements

Five courses totaling 15 credit hours selected from a group of core courses and includes fulfillment of the core PIE curriculum.  The 5 core areas are listed below: 

Program in Industrial Ecology Core Course (required)

  • NRE 557/CEE 586 Industrial Ecology

System Analysis and Sustainability (one course from this section is required)

  • NRE 501.037                               Urban Sustainability
  • NRE 501.087                               Technology and Community Sustainable Development
  • NRE 514/EHS 572                        Environmental Impact Assessment
  • NRE 523                                      Ecological Risk Assessment
  • AOSS 467                                    Biogeochemical Cycles
  • NRE 550/STRAT566                     Systems Thinking for Sustainable Development and Enterprise
  • MECHENG 589                             Sustainable Design of Technology Systems
  • NRE 597                                      Environmental Systems Analysis
  • NRE 573                                      Environmental Footprintgint and Input-Output Analysis
  • EHS 672                                      Life Cycle Assessment: Human Health and Environ Impacts

Energy Systems  (one course from this section is required)

  • NRE 501.091                             Renewable Electricity and the Grid
  • NRE 574/PUBPOL519                 Sustainable Energy Systems
  • NRE 567                                    Transportation Energy & Climate
  • CEE 567                                     Energy Infrastructure Systems

Environmental Policy and Economic Analysis (one course from this section is required)

  • NRE 475                                    Environmental Law
  • NRE 532                                    NR Conflict Management
  • NRE 513/STRAT564&565          Strategy for Sustainable Development
  • UP 532                                      Sustainable Development: Resoliving Economics and Environ Conflicts
  • NRE 686/PubPol 563                 The Politics of Environmental Regulation
  • NRE 527/BE 527                        Energy Markets and Energy Politics
  • EHS 508                                    Principles of Risk Assessment 
  • NRE 570 & NRE 501.060/059    Environmental Economics: Quantitative Methods and Tools and one other Environ Econ Topics course*
  • NRE 668/ECON 661                  Advanced Natural Resource Economics
  • NRE 669/ECON 662                  Environmental Energy and Resource Economics
  • ECON 437                                 Energy Economics and Policy
  • *NRE 570 and NRE 501.060/059 (topical courses) are half term courses.  Taking NRE 570 and either 501.060 or 059 are considered as one full time course for PIE.


Experiential Learning Requirement* (one activity to be approved by one of the co-directors)

  • Participate in Sustainbility Without Borders projects

  • Sustainability internship

  • Other to be defined with program co-directors

*One additional course from the above list can be taken to fulfill experiental learning requirement, if approved by one of the co-directors.


Application Information

                                  DEADLINE:  For Fall admission is February 1, for Winter is October 1.

Other Important Information

The following general rules apply:

  • Only graduate level courses may be used to meet certificate requirements; no transfer credit or undergraduate courses may be applied. All credits must be completed on the home campus, i.e., the campus on which the degree program is administered.
  • Not more than one-sixth of the credits required for a master’s degree may be double-counted with a certificate.
  • Not more than half of the credits necessary for a certificate that requires 10 or more credits of coursework may be double-counted with a master’s. If a certificate requires 9 credits of coursework, only 3 credits can be double-counted. Double-counted credits may not be used to fulfill requirements of other degrees or certificates. No double-counting is permitted for free-standing certificate programs.
  • Dual degree students who are pursuing a certificate program can not double-count any credits; the certificate program is considered free-standing.
  • The student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 point scale) in courses for the certificate program. Only courses eligible for Rackham credit may be used to meet certificate requirements.
  • A person who is not a student in another Rackham program and who has been admitted to a free-standing certificate program must complete requirements within four years from the date of first enrollment in the program.

Graduation Requirements

  • Upon admission to the program, meet with the certificate program co-directos (Greg Keoleian and Ming Xu) to clearly outline a plan to fulfill all of the certificate requirements in accordane with the conditions outlined in this document.
  • Complete Rackham's dual degree election form prior to graduation, and submit to Registrar's at both programs.
  • Apply for graduation of certificate program through Wolverine Access, similarly as one applies for graduation of degree program.


Application Codes

Applicants will need the following codes to complete their application:

  • Program of Application: Industrial Ecology
  • Numeric Code: 01584
  • Plan (Subplan): 4720 CGR
  • Program Level: Certificate