Minor in Sustainable Energy

Energy is now central to one of the preeminent challenges facing humanity: a sustainable human existence on the planet. Energy is a key driver of macroeconomic growth. In the environmental dimension, conventional energy sources are major sources of environmental stress at global as well as local levels. In terms of the social dimension, energy is a prerequisite for the fulfillment of many basic human needs and services, and inequities in energy provision and quality often manifest themselves as issues of social justice.

The Minor in Sustainable Energy allows a student in any four-year undergraduate School or College to complete a coherent suite of classes that reveals the interdisciplinary nature of energy studies. The curriculum includes the essential elements of energy from the business, economics, policy and engineering perspectives, as taught by faculty in those areas.

The minor in Sustainable Energy is a collaborative effort among faculty in the Department of Earth and Environment in the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Management, and the College of Engineering.

Faculty Contacts

  • Cutler Cleveland, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Earth & Environment
  • Paul McManus, School of Management, Department of Strategy & Innovation
  • Uday Pal, College of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering


    • Sayaka Yamaki, Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Department of Earth & Environment


    The minor in Sustainable Energy consists of seven courses (26 credits), all of which must be completed with a grade of C or higher. The seven courses comprise four required principal courses, one required practicum, one required related course, and one elective course.

    With the exception of QST FE 101 and CAS EE 395 and 396, all required courses are 4 credit hours.

    Principal Courses (4 required)

    1. GE 150 Sustainable Energy
    2. ENG EK 225 Introduction to Energy Conversion and Environmental Engineering [Note: For this requirement, ENG students should substitute one of the following: EK 335 Introduction to Environmental Engineering; EK 408 Introduction to Clean Energy and Storage Technologies; EC 417 Electric Energy Systems: Adapting to Renewable Resources]
    3. SMG SM 131 Business, Society, and Ethics
    4. QST FE 101 Introduction to Finance

    Practicum (1 required)

    1. QST SI 430 Multidisciplinary Sustainable Energy Practicum
      Students must complete CAS GE 150, ENG EK 225, and SMG SM 131 prior to taking the Practicum.

    Required Related Course (1 required)

    One course in quantitative environmental modeling, chosen from the following (prerequisites in parentheses):

    • CAS EC 204 Empirical Economics 2 (CAS EC 101 and 102; and CAS EC 203 or equivalent)
    • CAS GE 302 Remote Sensing of the Environment (CAS GE 100 or 101 or 104 or 110 or CAS ES 101 or 105; or CAS BI 117 or CAS PY 105 or consent of instructor)
    • CAS GE 365 An Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (CAS MA 113 or 115)
    • CAS GE 375 Introduction to Quantitative Environmental Modeling (CAS MA 115 or 213 or equivalent; and CAS GE 100 or equivalent; and CAS MA 121 or 123 or equivalent)
    • CAS GE 550 Modeling Environmental and Social Systems (CAS GE 375 and CAS EC 414 or consent of instructor)
    • SMG QM 450 Business Analytics

    Elective (1 required)

    One additional course chosen from the following, or from the modeling courses listed directly above (prerequisites in parentheses):

    • CAS EC 571 Energy and Environmental Economics (CAS EC 201 or 501)
    • CAS EE 395 and CAS EE 396 Earth House Practicum 1 and 2
    • CAS GE 250 The Fate of Nations: Climate, Resources, and Institutions
    • CAS GE 304 Environmentally Sustainable Development
    • CAS GE 460 Food, Water, and Energy Policy (CAS GE 420 or consent of instructor)
    • CAS GE 512 Climate Change Policy Analysis and Modeling (CAS EC 303; CAS MA 121; CAS CS 111)
    • CAS GE 519 Energy, Society and Environment (CAS GE 304 or equivalent)
    • CAS GE 521 Law for Sustainability
    • CAS GE 555 World Oil Markets (junior or senior, CAS EC 102 or equivalent recommended)
    • CAS GE 560 Energy Transitions (CAS GE 309, which can be take concurrently)
    • CAS IR 594 Global Environmental Policy and Negotiation (consent of instructor)
    • CAS IR 599 Science, Politics and Climate Change (junior or senior standing or consent of instructor)
    • ENG EC/ME/SE 543 Sustainable Power Systems: Planning, Operation, and Markets (junior or senior standing or consent of instructor)
    • ENG EC/MS 573 Solar Energy Conversion (ENG EK 408 or permission of the instructor; ENG EC471 is suggested)
    • ENG EK 335 Introduction to Environmental Engineering
    • ENG EK 408 Introduction to Modern Energy Generation and Storage Technologies (CAS PY 211 or 212 or CAS CH 131 or CAS MA 123 or equivalent)
    • ENG EK 546 Assessment of Sustainable Energy Technologies (CAS PY 105 or CAS CH 101 or CAS ES 105 or equivalent, CAS MA 121 or equivalent, junior or senior standing)
    • QST SI 453 Strategies for Environmental Sustainability (QST FE 323, MK 323, OM 323, and QM 323; or SI 480)
    • QST SI 480 The Business of Technology Innovation