Certificate of Advanced Study in Sustainable Enterprise (CASSE)     


The Certificate of Advanced Study in Sustainable Enterprise (CASSE) is offered collaboratively by the Whitman School, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems. The CASSE integrates business, science, engineering, policy and practice, taking a transdisciplinary approach to sustainable enterprise.


Businesses and other organizations are keenly aware of the significant risks and potential benefits associated with environmental and social challenges. Thus, there is great demand for professionals who are skilled in sustainability issues and understand the economic, environmental, technical and social dilemmas presented by phenomena, such as climate change, volatile energy prices and explosive growth in developing economies. The Certificate of Advanced Study in Sustainable Enterprise (CASSE) was developed to meet this need.


Students who complete the certificate will be fluent in the economic, environmental, and social dimensions of sustainability and their interdependence; systems science and its relationship to sustainability, and the natural, financial, technical, legal and social drivers of sustainability strategy in businesses and other organizations. They will be prepared to engage in transdisciplinary collaboration to develop sustainable solutions to complex organizational challenges.


Financial Support

Students may apply for several loan programs to cover the cost of attendance (e.g., Federal Direct Loan, ProgramFederal PLUS Loans, Alternative Loan Programs). Part-time students must be enrolled for at least 6 credits (half-time status) to be considered for loan programs.

Additionally, there may be partial scholarships available for students who need to take additional courses above and beyond their graduate degree program to complete the CASSE program.



Admission to the program is available to all matriculated graduate students at Syracuse University and SUNY-ESF. CASSE candidates are required to complete three core courses and two electives. The core courses, described below, are designed to be relevant and accessible to a wide range of disciplines. Students articulate a rationale to support the selection of electives.



Students must complete 15 credits for the certificate.



View Courses


CASSE Candidate Capstone Preparation

The CASSE requirements include the completion of three core courses and two electives.  The learning objectives for the core courses, including BUA/ECS 759/EST 796, are set forth here. The core courses BUA/ECS 650 /EST 652 and BUA/ECS 651 are prerequisites for the 759 course. We would be happy to provide complete syllabi if this would be helpful. In both of these courses, the deliverables include one or more interdisciplinary team projects representing 25% to 30%. of the final grade. Each student has also completed two electives for the CASSE. Collectively, these cover a wide range of topics, from Advanced Principles of Wind Turbines to the Economics of Environmental Policy.

For information about CASSE courses

Contact Us

The SEP welcomes inquiries from individuals interested in learning more about:

  • The SEP's graduate and undergraduate curricula.
  • The CASSE certificate.
  • Research and grant opportunities.
  • The SEP Seminar Series.
  • General information about the SEP and its partners.

Please direct all inquiries to davidson@syr.edu.





Sponsor a CASSE Project

The SEP’s overarching objectives for capstone consulting engagements are to maximize the value our students provide to the client organizations and provide an outstanding learning experience for the students.

The CASSE capstone course (BUA/ECS 759/EST 796, Sustainability-Driven Enterprise) includes a semester-long strategic engagement between small teams of graduate students (3 to 4 per team) and companies, addressing an applied sustainability-focused business problem. The teams are cross-functional, with representatives from Whitman, SUNY-ESF, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Maxwell School and others. During the course of the semester, each team is expected to invest approximately 250 hours toward the completion of the project. Students are not compensated for their work. 

The key project phases are agreement on the scope of work, data collection, data summary and analysis, and feedback and recommendations. Clients provide a point person who works with the team to accomplish these steps. Teams have weekly contact with their point persons, ranging from a face-to-face meeting (live or online) to discuss and clarify the project parameters, objectives, and support/involvement that will be needed from the client to a concise email providing the status of data collection. We hope that one or more client representatives will attend the final presentations in early May. 

As an instructor of record for BUA/ECS 759/EST 796, Todd Moss works with the students throughout the semester. Moss is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Whitman School and the Faculty Director of the SEP.  Other faculty from Whitman, the College of Engineering and Computer Science and SUNY-ESF provide content-specific guidance and participate in two progress workshops. 

We invite you to submit a project proposal to be considered for an upcoming class: Form