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Sustainable Development Program | Faculty of Environment Simon Fraser University Calendar | Summer 2023

Sustainable Development

Post Baccalaureate Diploma

Admission to this program has been suspended effective Summer 2020.

The Post Baccalaureate Diploma (PBD) in Sustainable Development is a post-undergraduate program. This program is for people who have recently finished a degree and want to bridge to a Sustainability-related career or those with professional experience in Sustainability who wish to obtain an academic credential. It is also an excellent fit for people who are making a major change of field.

This PBD combines courses in Sustainable Development (SD) theory and guided practice, plus upper division electives from various disciplines, permitting students to shape the diploma to their own interests. The diploma focuses on the community or city scale, while making linkages to the global scale, and includes a required, student-designed practicum/project to address a particular problem in SD.

The program may be completed entirely in the classroom or partly in the classroom and partly by distance education.

Admission Requirements

Admission to this program has been suspended effective Summer 2020.

Admission is a two-step process: General undergraduate admission to the University and formal application for approval with the Sustainable Development Program is required. Students must complete a bachelor's degree or equivalent before applying to this program.

For complete application information:

Program Requirements

Students complete a total of 30 upper division units: core SD courses (16 units) and approved electives (14 units). Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on courses applied toward the diploma.

Students complete all of

SD 381 - Building Sustainable Communities (4)

Engages students in understanding how to plan and cultivate sustainability at the community and city level, taking into consideration the environmental, economic, and social aspects of development. Explores and analyzes policy instruments, planning tools, and strategies from around the world for engaging people and institutions in building sustainable communities. Prerequisite: One of PLAN 100, PLAN 200, REM 100, or SD 281; and 45 units. Students with credit for SCD 301 or REM 301 or REM 381 may not complete this course for further credit. Breadth-Social Sciences.

SD 481 - Sustainability Governance and Leadership (4)

Engages students in understanding critical concepts and issues of sustainability at different scales and how they related to policy, management, leadership, and governance in a range of context and across different sectors (thinking about how local movements can come to influence national and international governance). Explores and analyzes the history of sustainability action, how change happens, the role of different levels of governance, current sustainability initiatives, and prospects for how to create change in the future. Prerequisite: One of PLAN 100, PLAN 200, REM 100, or SD 281; and 60 units. Students with credit for SCD 401 or REM 401 or REM 481 may not complete this course for further credit.

SD 494 - Project in Sustainable Development (4)

Provides students an opportunity to apply ideas and models acquired in the program to a practical problem in sustainable development. Required for SCD PBD students. Certificate students must apply for special permission to take this course. Enrollment is limited. Prerequisite: Permission of the Director of the Sustainable Development Program. Students with credit for SCD 404 may not take this course for further credit.

and one of

SD 401 - Sustainable Development Studio (4)

Engages students in creating innovative solutions to real-world challenges of sustainability and development, using studio-based approaches. Explores mechanisms for effective social and environmental change and develops policies and strategies for implementing sustainability in different locations and at different scales. Prerequisite: SD 281; one of SD 381 or SD 481; and 75 units.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
B100 We 4:30 PM – 8:20 PM
WMC 3220, Burnaby
SD 499 - Special Topics in Sustainable Development (4)

A specific topic within the field of sustainable development, not covered by regularly scheduled, required courses in the program. The subject matter may vary from term to term. Prerequisite: 60 units or admission to the Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Sustainable Development. Students with credit for DEVS 402 or SCD 410 with the same topic may not take this course for further credit.

and 14 units of electives, chosen from

a list of approved elective courses, or with approval by the program director.

Some of the electives have prerequisites not included in the PBD requirements. Students are responsible for satisfying the prerequisites of all courses.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit may be approved toward program fulfilment provided it meets the program's requirements for sustainable development relevance and SFU's residency requirements.


General SFU post baccalaureate diploma regulations apply.

Units applied to one diploma may not be applied to another Simon Fraser University certificate or diploma or degree.

Those who complete the Post Baccalaureate Diploma (PBD) in Sustainable Development cannot enroll in the Sustainable Development Certificate.

More information available at