Graduate Certificate in Engineering for Developing Communities

Admission Requirements

Any student currently enrolled in a graduate degree program offered by the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder may apply for concurrent enrollment in the Graduate Certificate in Engineering for Developing Communities (EDC). CVEN 5919 is available to any engineering graduate student on a space available basis, however, enrollment in CVEN 5929 and 5939 is limited to EDC students only.

Students interested in completing the Graduate Certificate in EDC must submit a Certificate Enrollment Form to the certificate program advisor at the time they wish to enroll in CVEN 5929. Students who satisfactorily complete the four required courses will earn the certificate upon graduation. Please contact Robyn Sandekian, Managing Director of the Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities and graduate certificate program advisor, for further details.

Course Requirements

Students who satisfactorily complete these four required courses with a grade of B- or higher in each course, will earn the certificate upon graduation:

CVEN 5919: Sustainable Community Development I (SCD I, fall only, 3 credits)
SCD I provides a background and multiple frameworks for sustainable community development based on context-relevant models. Through lectures, readings and class discussion, the challenges facing the world’s poorest 4 billion people, along with potential solutions are discussed.

CVEN 5929: Sustainable Community Development II (SCD II, spring only, 3 credits)
Covers the principles, practices, and strategies of appropriate technology as part of an integrated and systems approach to community-based development. Course content areas include technical issues in development, environmental health and communicable disease, appropriate and sustainable technologies with hands-on workshops, and global cooperation in development.

CVEN 5939: Sustainable Community Development Field Practicum (offered every semester, 3 credits)
This intensive program provides an opportunity for students to gain insight into the field of international development, experience the reality of working in developing communities, and apply theoretical foundations of SCD classes to real world experiences. Field-based experiences are an important component of the EDC program. A true understanding of humanitarian engineering requires students to actively engage in a significant field-based experience in a developing community. For this reason, SCD III is required of all EDC Certificate students.

CVEN 5565: Life-Cycle Engineering of Civil Infrastructure Systems (spring only, 3 credits)
Philosophical and analytical issues for lifetime design and operation of civil systems. Optimization tradeoffs of construction, management, and sustainability. Utility of operation and service, including present-value economic analysis. Decision-making alternatives of safety and performance, including hazards consideration. Recommended prerequisite includes design experience and a course in Probability and Statistics (CVEN 3227 or equivalent).


ATLS 5250: Practitioner Fieldwork Methods (spring only, 3 credits)
This course introduces students to myriad methods and frameworks that can be invaluable in project development and deployment. Students learn ways to identify community priorities through a variety of assessment methods, integrate community feedback into iterative design processes, and conduct thorough testing, monitoring and evaluation of their projects. Using a variety of qualitative, quantitative, participatory and technology-based methods and tools, students learn how to apply these approaches to practical issues of cross-discipline data gathering and analysis, value-centric design, sustainability and scale. The overarching goal of this course is to build student confidence in using existing frameworks and methods, while advancing multi-method approaches to designing and evaluating development initiatives

Once Certificate Coursework is Completed

Upon completion of the four required courses, students must request the certificate by contacting Robyn Sandekian, graduate certificate program advisor, at sandekian<at>colorado<dot>edu or by calling (303) 735-6708. Mortenson Center staff will check to ensure that the requirements have been met and will then notify the Registrar's office so that the designation is added to the student's transcript.

Robyn Sandekian, Managing Director & certificate program advisor
(303) 735-6708