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Graduate Certificate in Socially Responsible and Sustainable Apparel Business

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Graduate students conducting research in South Africa

​Graduate students conducting research in South Africa

The Department of Fashion & Apparel Studies offers a graduate certificate in Socially Responsible and Sustainable Apparel Business that addresses labor and environmental problems in the global supply chains for the apparel, textile, and footwear industries. The certificate is comprised of nine, one-credit courses that are offered through the Internet.


The graduate certificate provides a foundation of knowledge needed to manage international production and sourcing, design, product development, buying, promotion, sourcing, and production of apparel, textiles, and footwear in ways that are socially responsible and sustainable. The competencies and skills embedded in the courses are based on research with industry leaders and professionals who lead non-governmental organizations and civil society groups with a stake in the global apparel business.

The coursework is grounded on principles of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, a voluntary international initiative bringing together companies, labor and civil society groups, and various UN agencies in support of human rights, labor, and the environment. The following learning goals have been established for students completing the certificate:

  • Evaluate how apparel, textile, and footwear businesses address the "Global Compact" principles for human rights, labor standards, and environmental stewardship and how they can more effectively address them in the future.
  • Analyze the moral and ethical responsibility of business and individuals toward human rights labor standards, and environmental stewardship, and
  • Recommend various strategies for effecting change in the industries.

The courses and learning materials for the certificate were developed by a team of faculty from the University of Delaware, Cornell University, and Colorado State University based on work supported by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Award No. 2006-01405. Project Director: Marsha Dickson, University of Delaware. Instructors for the courses are drawn from all three universities.

Students completing the requirements for the graduate certificate will be awarded a certificate that is signed by the Department Chairperson and the Department's Graduate Studies Committee Chair. Additionally, a notation of receipt of the certificate will be made on the students' transcripts.

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Admission Requirements

Certificate Requirements

Certificate Course Descriptions


For questions about the graduate certificate program, please contact:

Dr. Huantian Cao


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Graduate Certificate in Socially Responsible and Sustainable Apparel Business
  • Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies
  • 211 Alison Hall West
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-8713
  • United States Fashion Industry Association