Discover contemporary strategies and challenges in this exciting field from the perspective of sustainability.

Eligibility: Current UIUC students
Degree requirement: None
Semester: Spring, fall
Program length: 3 semesters
Format: Hybrid (online and in-person)

The Certificate in Natural Resource Conservation is open to non-NRES majors from across the University and it is not necessary to have a background in natural resources to enroll.

The required courses provide a strong foundation in natural resource conservation and the diversity of elective course offerings will allow students to go deeper into a particular area of the field. This suite of required and elective courses also provides flexibility in terms of timing and integration with a given program of study.

Current UIUC students may use the Start Certificate button below or contact Susan Helmink, NRES Advising Coordinator (, to discuss adding this certificate. 


Estimated tuition and fees for the Professional Development Certificate depend on the number of courses and hours taken. See Illinois Online for tuition and fee information

Students with nets planning to clean the river

Program Highlights

Completion of the certificate will serve as a signal to potential employers that the student has expertise related to natural resource sustainability, thus broadening potential employment opportunities. Knowledge and experience gained in completing the Certificate in Natural Resource Conservation may also serve as a stepping-stone to additional coursework in an undergraduate minor or a graduate program.


  • Complete all:
    • NRES 100:¬†¬†Fundamentals of Environmental Science (3 credits, fall, spring)
    • NRES 219: Applied Ecology (3 credits, fall)
    • NRES 287: Environment and Society (3 credits, spring)
  • and complete one additional course from the following list
    • NRES 325: Natural Resource Policy and Management (3 credits, spring)
    • NRES 362: Ecology of Invasive Species (3 credits, spring)
    • NRES 418: Wetland Ecology and Management (3 credits, offered fall of even years)
    • NRES 419: Environment and Plant Ecosystems (3 credits, fall)
    • NRES 420: Restoration Ecology (4 credits, spring)
    • NRES 429: Aquatic Ecosystem Conservation (3 credits, offered fall of even years)
    • NRES 474: Soil and Water Conservation (3 credits, spring)
    • NRES 485: Stream Ecosystem Management (3 credits, spring)

Start Certificate

Express your interest in pursuing a certificate. Once accepted, you will receive an email with further instructions for registration.

Start certificate

Complete Certificate

Upon completing your required coursework, you will need to submit a completion request for your certificate. 

Confirm completion