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Environmental Law Certificate Program

Widener Law students interested in earning an Environmental Law Certificate can undertake a course of study in conjunction with the Law and Government Institute and the Environmental Law and Sustainability Center designed to explore the impact of the legislative process on environmental law.

Video Link: Environmental Law Opportunities

Required Courses

In order to meet requirements for the Environmental Law Certificate, you must successfully complete the Government Law Colloquium and Environmental Law. You must also successfully complete at least one Elective Course, one Seminar, and one Skills Course from the following list: 

Elective Courses that meet the requirement when offered

  • Natural Resources Law 
  • Animal Law 
  • Land Use and Planning 
  • Oil and Gas Law 
  • Climate Change 
  • International Environmental Law 
  • Sustainable Development Law 
Skills Courses
  • State Administrative Law and Practice
  • Legislative Drafting 
  • Sustainability Law and Practice

The Environmental Law and Sustainability Center Director may approve other courses or seminars for any of these requirements. 

Externship Requirement 

In addition to the required classes, you must complete one of the following externships

  • Environmental Hearing Board 
  • Game Commission 
  • Pennsylvania Clean Air Council 
  • Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future 
  • Department of Environmental Protection 
  • Department of Conservation and Natural Resources 
The Environmental Law and Sustainability Center Director may approve other environmental externships for this requirement.

Writing Requirement

You must also complete a scholarly paper on an environmental law subject. This paper may be submitted to satisfy the upper class writing requirement that all students must meet. You may undertake this paper in conjunction with any seminar that satisfies the credit requirements for the Environmental Law Certificate. You may also undertake this paper as a separate, independent research course on an environmental subject. If you undertake this paper as in a separate course, you must obtain prior approval of your paper topic from the Director of the Environmental Law Program.

Graduating GPA Requirement

A Juris Doctor candidate must earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.6 in the required certificate courses to be awarded the Environmental Law Certificate. 

Certificate with Honors

A student earning a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or more in certificate courses will receive a Certificate in Environmental Law with honors.


If you are interested in obtaining an Environmental Law Certificate, you should fill out an Expression of Interest form in the semester that you begin to take environmental law courses. After submitting the form, you should contact Professor Dernbach for advice concerning the program. Graduating students who wish to certify meeting the requirements for a Law and Government Certificate should fill out the Application for a Law and Government Certificate.

Certificate Learning Outcomes

Video: Environmental Law Opportunities

Contact Information

Director: John C. Dernbach
Phone: 717.541.1933
Email: [email protected]