Minor in Sustainable Energy

Energy is central to human existence. Indeed, human history can be told in terms of the history of energy. The discovery of fire, the domestication of animals, the discovery of fossil fuels, the electrification of cities, the oil wars in the Middle East, and advances in nuclear physics are all pivotal points in human history.

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 and Environment
  • Uday Pal, College of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Paul McManus, School of Management, Department of Strategy & Innovation

    Administrative Support and Student Advising:

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

    Requirements for Minor in Sustainable Energy

    The minor in Sustainable Energy consists of seven courses (26 credits), all of which must be completed with a grade of C or higher:

    Principal Courses (4 required):

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

    Practicum (1 required):

    1. SMG SI 430 Multidisciplinary Sustainable Energy Practicum (approved new course) (4 credits) Note: Students must complete GE 150, EK 225, and SMG SM131 prior to taking the Practicum.

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

    • CAS GE 375 Introduction to Quantitative Environmental Modeling (CAS MA 115 or CAS MA 213)
    • CAS GE 302 Remote Sensing of the Environment (CAS GE 100 or CAS GE 101 or CAS GE 104 or CAS GE 110 or CAS ES 101 or CAS ES 105; or CASBI117 or CASPY105 or consent of instructor)
    • CAS GE 365 An Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (CAS MA 113 or CAS MA 115)
    • CAS GE 550 Modeling Environmental and Social Systems (CAS GE 375 or consent of instructor)
    • CAS EC 414 Introduction to Econometrics (CAS EC 305; or equivalent)
    • SMG QM 450 Business Analytics (SMG FE 323; SMG IS 323 ; SMG MK 323 ; SMG OM 323)
    • SMG QM 323 Analytics

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

    • CAS GE 250 The Fate of Nations: Climate, Resources, and Institutions
    • CAS GE 304 Environmentally Sustainable Development
    • CAS GE 460 Resource Economics and Policy (CAS GE 309 and CAS MA 121; MA122 recommended)
    • 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 Environmental Law and Policy
    • CAS GE 555 World Oil Markets (junior, senior, or graduate standing. CASEC102 or equivalent recommended)
    • CAS GE 560 Energy Transitions (CAS GE 309, which can be take concurrently; or graduate standing)
    • CAS IR 536 European Environmental Policy (junior standing or consent of instructor)
    • CAS IR 594 Global Environmental Policy and Negotiation
    • CAS IR 599 Science, Politics and Climate Change
    • CAS EC 571 Energy and Environmental Economics (CAS EC 201 or CAS EC 211 or CAS EC 501)
    • ENG EK 133 Wind Energy
    • ENG EK 335 Introduction to Environmental Engineering
    • ENG EK 408 Introduction to Modern Energy Generation and Storage Technologies
    • ENG ME 430 Energy Conversion (ENG ME 304)
    • ENG EC/ME/SE 543 Sustainable Power Systems: Planning, Operation, and Markets (Graduate/Senior status and consent of instructor)
    • 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; graduate or junior/senior standing)
    • ENG EC/MS 573 Solar Energy Conversion (ENG EK 408; Graduate standing or permission of the instructor. ENG EC471 is suggested)
    • SMG SI 480 The Business of Technology Innovation (junior standing, ENG students only)
    • SMG SI 453 Strategies for Environmental Sustainability (SMG SI 422 previous or concurrent)