Complete the WSSS Certificate Online

The WSSS Online Graduate Certificate: "Integrated Water, Food, and Energy" is designed to allow students from across the world to develop knowledge and skills surrounding integrated water, food, and energy resources management. The WSSS Online Certificate is available to all learners that hold bachelor's degrees, even if the learners are not currently enrolled in a Tufts University graduate program.

If you are a current Tufts University graduate student, you should enroll in the on-site WSSS Certificate Program as a Research- or Practicum-Track student.

WSSS Online Certificate

Integrated Water, Food, and Energy


Purpose: The WSSS Online Graduate Certificate is designed to increase the skills and career marketability of its students. Whether you're looking for a change in career path, advancement in your company, or satisfaction for a curious mind, the WSSS Online Graduate Certificate will help you build expertise in practical resource management skills. Skills span the breadth of software, decision-making and negotiation, and statistical analysis.

Courses: WSSS Online Graduate Certificate students are required to complete three courses in the following areas:

  • Integrated Water Resources Management,

  • Integrating Food Security and Water Management, and

  • Energy-Water Policy and Tools.

Each course is taught by expert faculty members of Tufts University and is supported by Tufts graduate student teaching assistants. Certificate students may apply earned credits towards a Tufts graduate program with approval from that program's dean.

Duration: Each of the three online courses lasts one semester in duration. Students enrolled in the WSSS Online Graduate Certificate must complete the certificate within three years of the semester of enrollment.

Cost: For the 2015-2016 Academic Year, the WSSS Online Graduate Certificate charges $3,500 per course. Charges will be applied directly to a student's Tufts University bursar account.

Application: As part of the application, prospective students are required to submit undergraduate transcripts, a personal statement, TOEFL scores (if English is not native language), and one letter of recommendation. GRE scores are not required for the certificate application.

Application for the WSSS Online Certificate Program is open and is accepting students on a rolling basis for courses starting in September 2016. Apply here.

Want to learn more? Sign up for a virtual open house by submitting your name and contact information to the WSSS Program Coordinator. The WSSS Program Coordinator will contact you directly about setting up a time to talk to you about your interest in the program.


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get more information about your program? Signing up for a virtual open house using the form above will allow you to view a presentation by the program coordinator and ask questions. Furthermore, you can contact the program coordinator by phone or email.

Do you have any information sessions that I can attend? Yes. Virtual open house sessions are held approximately every two weeks. Information about the specific times/dates and a link to the web conference link will be emailed to you after you submit your name and email address using the form above.

Is this certificate available via online/distance learning? Yes. The courses of the WSSS Online Certificate ("O" track) are conducted entirely online, allowing students with full-time careers the flexibility to continue their education without having to leave their jobs or move to a new location.

Are there any prerequisites for this program? Yes. Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better.
International students who earned their degrees from univerisites in countries where English is not the primary language must submit either official TOEFL or IELTS scores directly as part of the online application. For the TOEFL, a score of 600 on the paper version, 250 on the computer-generated exam, or 100 on the internet-based exam is required. For the IELTS, a score of 6.5 is required.

Do I need a BA/BS degree in a specific discipline to pursue the WSSS Online Certificate? No. You do not need a BA/BS degree in a specific discipline to pursue the WSSS Online Certificate. Our online program is designed to meet the needs of working professionals and others interested in expanding their knowledge, enhancing their skills, or advancing their career.

Can I take one course, rather than the certificate as a whole? Yes. Students interested in taking a single course can do so, but they must apply to the certificate program as they would if pursuing the certificate.

How long is the certificate program? The certificate includes three courses. Only one course is offered each semester. Generally, students complete the certificate in one year, taking one course each semester (Spring, Summer, Fall) to complete the three courses. At maximum, the certificate can take up to three years to be completed. If the student does not complete the certificate within three years of the first enrolled semester, the student will need to reapply to the program.

How long is each course? Each course is 14 weeks long.

Is class held at a specific time every day? No. Students are not required to attend live classes, but they must have access to a reliable computer and a reliable internet connection to access their weekly assignments, online discussion forums, pre-recorded lectures, etc.

Are there any special technology requirements? There are no special requirements other than a reliable computer, a reliable internet connection, and an up-to-date internet browser (such as Google Chrome). It would be advantageous for students to have access to Microsoft Word and Excel and Adobe Reader softwares.

How much time during the week can I expect to set aside for the course? Specific requirements and activities for each course will vary, but, in general, students should expect to spend 8-12 hours per week on their course. This time may include that spent on pre-recorded lectures, required readings, videos, written assignments, quizzes, and/or online discussions in which students actively engage with faculty and fellow students.

Will there be interactions with other learners in the course? Absolutely! Students are required to engage in online discussions with their classmates and instructors as part of their coursework.

When do the programs/courses start? The courses follow the schedule of the Tufts Academic Calendar. Students may start the program at the beginning of either the Spring, Summer, or Fall semester.

Will I get a degree from the certificate program? The graduate certificate program is not a degree program, but students can earn graduate credite for each course. This credit may be applied to a future degree program with permission from that program's academic dean. Upon satisfactory (grade B or better) completion of three courses in this program, students will be granted a Tufts University certificate of graduate studies.

What can I do with this certificate? The purpose of our programs is to help working professionals advance in their careers. Therefore, most students use the certificate to enhance their resumes and improve their marketability in their current fields. Many remain in their current positions but will add responsibilities. Others are promoted within their companies or use the certificate in other ways to advance their careers.

When is the application deadline? Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis for courses starting in September 2016. For the Fall 2016 term, applications must be received by August 19th, 2016.

Where can I find the application? The application can be accessed at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences application page.

What should I include in my personal statement? For the personal statement, we simply want to know your reasons for applying to the program and how you think it will help you in your career and in the future. It does not have to be particularly long--a couple of paragraphs describing your background, current situation, and goals for the future would suffice. We are most interested in how this program is likely to help you reach your goals.

My overall grade point average (GPA) from my undergraduate degree is below the 3.0 minimum required by this program. Can I still apply? Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited university with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Applicants with a GPA below the minimum may apply for a single course as a conditional student and may become eligible for admission into the certificate program upon completing that course with a minimum grade of B.

Do I need to take the GREs? No. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required for admission to the certificate program.

What is the tuition for the online certificate? For the 2015-2016 Academic Year, tuition for the WSSS Online Certificate is $3500 per course.

Do you have a payment plan? A payment plan, administered by Sallie Mae, is available through our Bursar's office. Under this plan, you may budget all or a portion of your semester tuition over five monthly installments. Please contact Student Services for more information.

Can I pay with a credit card? Tufts University does not currently accept credit cards for tuition payments.

My employer is paying for me to attend. Can they pay for me at the end of the semester? Tuition for each course is due prior to the first day of class. Students can add other payers to their online billing account, including employers, spouses, and parents. Most employers require that students pay out-of-pocket and submit a reimbursement form once the course is completed. Please contact your employer's human resources department for their specific policies and procedures regarding tuition benefits.

I am a Tufts employee. Will tuition remission cover the costs of this program? Yes. Our program is eleigible for the Tufts University tuition remission program. Please follow up with Tufts Human Resources to learn more about this fantastic opportunity!

May I apply for a Student Visa/I-20 once enrolled? Since the graduate certificate program is not a degree program, certificate students are not considered matriculated students at Tufts University. For non-matriculated students, there is no assistance with visas, no eligibility for student loans or financial aid, or any of the benefits and privileges typically given to our matriculated students.

As a certificate student, will you provide me with work study or employment opportunities while I am enrolled in the program? In our certificate program, students are typically working professionals, and, therefore, we do not provide employment opportunities to them. Since the certificate program requires students take only one online course at a time, students may be able to maintain full-time employment while completing the program's courses.