Certificate Programs are administered by the graduate school and are intended for matriculated, degree-seeking students in graduate programs or for non-degree-seeking students at UNC-Chapel Hill whose objective is the development of specialization in the field of the certificate program. These programs signify accomplishment, specialization,and achievement. Certificates have a formal application process, require students to take additional courses (beyond the minimum required by the program) and are noted in the recipient’s transcript. The following three certificates are most relevant to Carolina Planning students, though a number of others are offered at UNC.

Natural Hazards Resilience Certificate

The natural hazards resilience certificate courses train researchers and practitioners who can help the public, non-profit and private sectors become more resilient in the face of natural hazards and disasters and adapt to the effects of a changing climate.

To apply to this certificate students must be admitted into a graduate program, preferably at UNC-Chapel Hill. This certificate program is hosted by the Department of City and Regional Planning.  To apply, students must complete and submit an application.

A maximum of 4 credits of the certificate courses may also be counted toward a planning degree. Students are therefore required to take six additional credit hours to complete the Natural Hazards Resilience Certificate. Carolina planning students who do not wish to take extra credits can complete the full sequence of courses without receiving a formal certificate.

Course Requirements

Plan 755

Planning for Natural Hazards and Climate Change Adaptation

Plan 756

Survey of Natural Hazards and Disasters

Plan 754

Natural Hazards Speakers Series (1 credit)

1 elective

Approved by advisor

Carolina Planning Faculty contact: Dr. Gavin Smith


Geographic Information Science Certificate

This certificate is designed to educate and train students in geographic information systems, remote sensing, quantitative methods, spatial analysis, global positioning systems, and data visualization. The track is intended to provide a mix of theory and practical knowledge having wide application in business, health, environment, planning, and in other areas.  The Program requires 21-hours of graduate-level university credit to obtain a Certificate of Achievement in Geographic Information Sciences. A maximum of 6 credits of the certificate courses can also be counted towards a planning degree. Thus planning students are required to take additional 15 credits to graduate with a planning degree and a GIS certificate.This certificate program is hosted by the Geography Department. More details.
Carolina Planning Faculty contact: Prof. Yan Song


International Development Certificate

This certificate allows students to step outside of the U.S. perspective when focusing on development; research and coursework; foster interdisciplinary approaches to development; and engage in peer learning.To apply to this certificate students must be admitted into a graduate program.

Requirements include

  • Enrolling in four graduate courses (total of 12 credit hours) on a topic related to international development and social change. At least two of these four courses must be external to the student’s home department or school. Only up to 4.5 credit hours of these four courses can also be counted toward a planning degree.
  • Participating in a bi-weekly workshop organized each spring by the Center for Global Initiatives.
  • Submitting to the Center for Global Initiatives a written piece of work (e.g., masters paper) on a topic related to international development and social change.
  • Demonstrating relevant language skills, international experience, or technical training.

This certificate is hosted by the Center for Global Initiatives. More details.
Carolina Planning Faculty contact: Prof. Meenu Tewari