The TCD Program is designed to “add value” to graduate education by incorporating innovative methods that integrate problem-centered research, field application and practice, and skills development. TCD complements disciplinary knowledge gained from a students’ home department by providing the opportunities and space for students to learn across disciplines and develop leadership skills critical to working in conservation and development.

To that end, TCD offers a graduate-level certificate at the University of Florida. Certificate requirements include TCD core courses (intended to bring students together from diverse disciplines into the same classroom) and coursework in tropical ecology and the social sciences.

TCD core courses fit in three different categories: tropical conservation and development concepts, conservation and development skills, and research methods. An additional core course, Tropical Conservation and Development Practicum, offers academic credit for professional experience outside the classroom.

TCD students are expected to attain the following professional competencies upon graduation:

  • Holistic understanding of integrated social, cultural and ecological systems, with the ability to discuss key concepts or problems from different perspectives.
  • Ability to evaluate critically the scientific and other evidence resulting from work in biodiversity conservation, sustainable resource use, and human well-being in the tropics.
  • Collaboration and communication skills and strategies needed to work with diverse actors and build partnerships, including the ability to work in multidisciplinary teams and effectively communicate in diverse ways with diverse audiences.

Please see the specific curriculum requirements for Ph.D. and Master’s students from TCD affiliate departments as well as MALAS (M.A. in Latin American Studies) and MDP (Masters in Sustainable Development Practice) students.

To apply to the TCD Program, please see the How to Apply, which includes Step by Step procedures to have the certificate appear on your final transcript and to officially register for the certificate within UF’s administrative system. In addition, please fill out the TCD Enrollment Form and send to the TCD Coordinator, Patricia Sampaio so that TCD can also keep track.

If you have any questions about which courses might be best for your individual TCD course plan, please contact the TCD Academic Advisor, Karen Kainer, to schedule an appointment.