School of
Integrative Biology

Undergraduate Academic Programs

Certificate in Biology of Global Change

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described global environmental change as the “defining challenge of our time.” The impacts of altered environmental conditions on human health and well-being are largely mediated by biological processes. For example, climate change is impacting food production by crops and animals, infectious diseases, as well as provision clear air and water by natural ecosystems. Therefore, understanding of global change biology is paramount for efforts to understand, mitigate and adapt to environmental change.

The Certificate in Biology of Global Change is open to all undergraduate students at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The certificate provides students with a credential that demonstrates their competency in the biology of global change. Careers for which a Certificate in Biology of Global Change may be appropriate: medicine and human health, agriculture and forestry, clean energy production, environmental policy, conservation and land management, education, environmental consulting, sustainability, urban planning.

For completion of the certificate, students must do the following:
  1. Declare their intention to complete the certificate and develop a plan of study in by completing the online form.
  2. Choose which certificate track you intend to follow:
    1. Complete four courses selected from the list below.
    2. Complete three courses selected from the list below and participate in at least one practicum to be approved by an IB advisor.
  3. Complete the online checklist no later than the final day of classes in the student’s final term to affirm that the requirements for the certificate have been met.

Students opting to complete the certificate with a practicum must receive approval from an IB advisor prior to undertaking the practicum. Options for a practicum may include, but are not limited to, the following: volunteering, research, experience abroad, internships, or job shadowing. Practicums should comprise at least twenty supervised hours of experience aligned with the certificate. Students need to complete the online practicum approval form prior to undertaking the experience.

Students completing the certificate will be presented with an official certificate document. Although the certificate will not appear on a student’s transcript, students will be free to use this credential on any resumé or application for advanced study.

  • Students are not guaranteed a seat in a course required by the certificate but are welcome to enroll in courses where seats are available after any restriction, which may have been placed, has been removed.
  • Courses selected may not be used to satisfy requirements of more than one IB Certificate.

Certificate in Biology of Global Change requirements:

Required (Choose one, 4-5 hours)

  • IB 203 Ecology
  • IB 372 Ecology and Evolution (restricted to IB Honors)

Choose two of the following,
    plus a practicum experience approved by an IB advisor (6-8 hours)
OR choose three of the following with no practicum (9-12 hours)

  • IB 335 Plant Systematics
  • IB 362 Marine Biology
  • IB 439 Biogeography
  • IB 440 Plants and Global Change
  • IB 444 Insect Ecology
  • IB 451 Conservation Biology
  • IB 452 Ecosystem Ecology
  • IB 453 Community Ecology