Education

Overview

CU-Boulder offers a growing number of energy education programs and options for CU students and the larger community.  RASEI and the Environmental Studies Program (ENVS) have partnered to provide a variety of transdisciplinary educational offerings that focus on integrated problem-solving specific to the challenges of global energy system transformation.  

Ranging from flexible distance-learning courses for working professionals, to interdisciplinary certificate programs for current undergraduate and graduate students, to immersive professional masters degree programs, RASEI education programs emphasize a comprehensive, practice-oriented understanding of 

  • Energy science and technologies; 
  • Sustainable energy laws, regulations, and policies around the world; and
  • Energy and entrepreneurial business practices and skills.  

RASEI education program students have gone on after graduation to work in the renewable and conventional energy industries, state, local, and federal government, the non-profit sector, and academia, and our alumni network allows numerous opportunities for current RASEI students to network in the sector and pursue internships and employment.  RASEI is also a proud supporter of the CU Energy Club, one of the largest student groups on campus, which brings together graduate and undergraduate students from every discipline for talks, networking, and job fairs.  

Students and wind turbines

RASEI / ENVS Programs

RASEI and ENVS offer four mutually-exclusive energy program offerings, each designed for different student cohorts.  Please review the descriptions carefully in order to determine which program is appropriate for you.  Each program involves an application process, and admission to programs are dependent upon prior academic performance and a demonstrated interest in renewable and sustainable energy. Please read the program page thoroughly before contacting us with questions.      

Coming Soon! -- Coursera Online Specialization in Renewable Energy

Check back regularly for progress on RASEI's new open online specialization in renewable energy, available to anyone with a computer and internet access.         

RASEI Professional Certificate in Renewable and Sustainable Energy

Designed for working professionals, the professional certificate program is a 3-course (9 credit hour) continuing education program delivered through state-of-the-art Boulder Connect distance learning technology.  It can be completed anywhere in the world, and students may attend and participate in classes synchronously (through realtime videoconferencing) or asynchronously (watching recorded lectures and classroom discussions).  This program is for students who are (a) not currently seeking a degree from CU-Boulder or (b) currently pursuing the Master of Engineering in Engineering Management.  Participants must possess a bachelor's degree or equivalent from an accredited institution of higher education in order to be eligible.  No technical background is required, and credits earned in the professional certificate may be applied to eligible CU-Boulder degree programs, such as the Masters of the Environment Specialization in Renewable and Sustainable Energy.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.       

Masters of the Environment -- Specialization in Renewable and Sustainable Energy  

The Masters of the Environment (MENV) is an intensive 42-credit in-residence professional graduate degree program that prepares students for a wide variety of management and leadership careers related to energy and the environment.  Students complete a 17-month capstone project throughout the program with a partner organization in the private, public, or non-profit sectors.  RASEI coordinates the Renewable and Sustainable Energy specialization within the MENV program.  This program is designed for recent graduates with 2-5 years of professional experience.  Applications are accepted July 15th - May 1st, with priority deadlines of December 1st for international students and December 15th for domestic students.             

    RASEI Graduate Certificate in Renewable and Sustainable Energy

    The graduate certificate program is available to all current degree-seeking CU-Boulder graduate students from any department, and typically draws students from MA, MS, PhD, JD, and MBA programs with a special interest in renewable and sustainable energy.  The certificate consists of 18 credit hours (9 credits core, 9 credits electives).  Elective course credit is available for appropriate coursework in your existing degree program.  Applications for the graduate certificate program are only accepted in the Fall of each academic year, and are due by November 30th.   

    RASEI Undergraduate Certificate in Renewable and Sustainable Energy

    The undergraduate certificate program is available to all CU-Boulder undergraduate students of any major.  Similar to a minor but spanning multiple departments, the certificate consists of 18 credit hours (9 credits core, 9 credits electives) and culminates in a senior projects course where students work in groups on semester-long energy policy projects, often with outside organizations, government agencies, or energy companies.  Applications for the undergraduate certificate program are only accepted in the Spring of each academic year, and are due by March 1st.  

    CU Engineering Graduate Programs in Energy and Related Fields

    CU Boulder offers a variety of technically-oriented graduate programs for students with an interest in the engineering of renewable and sustainable energy systems as well as chemical and biological engineering related to renewable energy materials and renewable fuels.  Students in these programs may also pursue the RASEI Graduate Certificate as a supplement to their degree program.    

    Chemical and Biological Engineering Department (ChBE)
    ChBE is one of the top research departments in the nation and maintains sophisticated facilities to support research endeavors. Although research in the department spans many diverse fields, there is a particular emphasis on research in biological engineering, functional materials, and renewable energy.  The ChBE Department has an active program in renewable energy research. Studies range from the production and utilization of hydrogen to materials for photovoltaics to biorefining and biofuels research. A number of efforts focus on developing catalysts for converting water to hydrogen and CO2 into fuels such as CO and methanol. Another area of focus is the study of novel photovoltaic materials and structures involving organic, inorganic and hybrid structures for efficient solar energy harvesting.  

    Building Systems Program
    CU’s Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering (CEAE) Department offers graduate degrees in building systems engineering. The Building Systems Program (BSP) focuses on the design and operation of buildings to provide a comfortable, healthy, and productive indoor environment with minimal energy and environmental impact. The program is open to students in all engineering disciplines, as well as exceptional students in architecture, science, and mathematics.

    Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering Department (ECEN)
    CU’s ECEN Department offers a graduate curriculum on energy. As society moves away from an overwhelming dependence on fossil fuels towards more sustainable and environmentally friendlier alternatives, the need for electrical engineers ready to take on new challenges and bring innovations to present and future energy systems is expected to grow. The goal of the ECEE Department's Energy Program is to address the growing interests and technical engineering needs in renewable energy sources and efficient energy utilization.

    The ECEE Department hosts the Colorado Power Electronics Center (CoPEC), one of the leading research programs in power electronics and mixed-signal integrated circuit design for applications involving management or intelligent control of energy. Numerous research projects are supported by CoPEC industrial sponsors and agencies such as NSF, DARPA, DOE, DOEd.

    Mechanical Engineering, Energy and Environment Track
    CU’s Mechanical Engineering Department offers an Energy and Environment Track within its MS degree program, as well as PhD program focus areas in air quality, bioengineering, materials, mechanics of materials, micro/nano systems, thermo fluid sciences, and robotics & systems design.  

    Business and Law Degree Programs in Energy

    Colorado Law and the Leeds School of Business both offer specialized curricula related to sustainable energy.  Students in these programs may also pursue the RASEI Graduate Certificate as a supplement to their degree program.  

    Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law
    For more than half a century, environmental and natural resources law has been a key part of the Colorado Law curriculum. The school’s commitment to teaching and research in these areas complements the school’s physical location in the Rocky Mountain West—a region defined by its vast natural resources, public lands and parks, and many American Indian reservations. Ranked consistently among the very best in the nation, Colorado Law’s Environmental, Energy, and Natural Resources Program is one of the strongest and deepest programs of its kind.  

    MBA Sustainability
    CU's Leeds School of Business is ranked among the top 30 Global Green MBA Programs in the world for the quality of sustainability education. The Deming Center for Entrepreneurship, the Center for Education on Social Responsibility (CESR), and the CU Real Estate Center collaborate to enable Leeds MBA students to create a portfolio of sustainability-focused courses. The courses offered within the MBA curriculum can be supplemented by additional courses offered by other graduate programs on campus, and can be combined to produce a strong emphasis in sustainable business practices.

    Master of Engineering in Engineering Management
    The Master of Engineering is an excellent alternative to an MBA for engineers, scientists, and technical professionals who want to move into management. The Program facilitates technically minded people to learn and practice data-driven management, develop leadership capabilities, and apply proven principles for business performance improvement.  The core curriculum addresses the business basics of project management, finance and accounting, quality management and leadership. Specialty areas provide in-depth skills in areas such as leadership, project management, commercialization, quality sciences and research methods.