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Green Chemistry

Undergraduate Certificate

Green chemistry, also known as sustainable chemistry, is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. Green chemistry focuses on understanding how chemicals affect human health and the environment, and on lessening the toxicity and hazards of chemicals.

Program Overview

The courses required for the certificate in green chemistry will enhance your understanding of sustainability and green, benign chemistry concepts. This certificate is a strong curricular addition to your degree. Students must be degree-seeking in order to complete this certificate.


Students are required to complete 13–14 credits, including research/lab experience. Coursework can include:

  • Synthetic polymers: life cycle and emerging sustainable technologies
  • Environmental pollution
  • Global environmental change
  • Green chemistry for sustainable environment
  • Introduction to geochemistry
  • Natural resource policy
  • Environmental and resource economics

Career Options

The certificate in green chemistry provides an advantage to applicants entering the job market. It will also augment career opportunities in public, private, and nonprofit organizations interested in environmental issues and sustainability. Opportunities include:

  • Research and development
  • Chemical analysis
  • Sustainability assessment
  • Process control

Why Study Green Chemistry at Grand Valley?

  • Grand Valley State University offers one of the few green chemistry certificate programs in the country.
  • Access to state-of-the-art laboratory equipment.
  • One-on-one interaction with faculty members.
  • Opportunities for hands-on experience via internships and research opportunities available with faculty members and local businesses.
  • The Chemistry Department at Grand Valley received the 2009 Michigan Green Chemistry Governor Award for green chemistry education.
  • Grand Valley was among the first to sign the national Green Chemistry Commitment, June 2013, an agreement that states all chemistry majors, by the time they graduate, will have proficiency in green chemistry.

For More Information

Chemistry Department


“Being certified in green chemistry set me apart from others when I was building my resume and interviewing for jobs. I'm a chemist with a new sustainable skill set that the job market rarely sees.”


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