With rapid energy sector transformation from the integration of wind and solar energy, as well as electric vehicles bringing new opportunities for power and energy systems engineers, the Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering is expanding its professional course offerings to include a new a new track as part of our Master of Science (MS) degree — starting in fall 2020 — for students with bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering or related engineering or scientific backgrounds.

The Demand for Next-Generation Power and Energy Systems

Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, are increasingly being integrated into the electric power grid, while the power system becomes more tightly intertwined with other systems, such as buildings, natural gas pipelines, and the transportation sector.

Today’s rapid changes create industry demand for professionals who understand new power electronic interfaces, improved modeling and simulation capabilities, and knowledge of advances in communication, control, and optimization to mitigate the impacts of variability and uncertainty in power systems generation.

CU’s new master’s program helps engineers and decision makers prepare for this next generation — with deep foundational knowledge, modern technical skillsets, and the ability to effectively participate in multidisciplinary teams to solve new challenges. Adjoint professors from NREL teach program courses with CU faculty to bring practical industry knowledge to classroom discussions.

Students have opportunities to explore energy systems integration themes from the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI), a join program between CU Boulder and NREL that addresses important, complex problems in energy to expedite solutions that transform energy by advancing renewable energy science, engineering, and analysis through research, education, and industry partnerships.

Instructors from CU Boulder’s faculty and National Renewable Energy Laboratory research programs offer five core courses and numerous electives for the 30-credit hour program to prepare students with the specialized knowledge required to practice grid integration of renewable energy into integrated energy systems.

Many of the Next-Generation Power and Energy Systems courses offer distance-learning options through the Graduate School

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Who Should Apply?

The program is intended for students and engineers with a BS degree in electrical engineering or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field. Entering students must have adequate knowledge calculus, physics, computation, and of circuits and electronics, as taught in undergraduate courses intended for EE majors.

A small number of undergraduate courses in circuits and electronics may be required as prerequisites for students without a non-EE background, in addition to the 30 credits hours required for the degree.

Master's Courses

A total of 30 credit hours (normally 10 courses) are required for the MS degree. The curriculum is built around a core of five courses in power and energy systems.

  • Renewable Energy and the Future Power Grid
  • Introduction to Power Electronics
  • Power Systems Analysis
  • Distribution System Analysis
  • Power Systems Operations and Planning

Electives may be chosen from elective courses offered within the program or the power electronics program. A maximum of two elective courses (6 credits) can also be selected from the variety of courses offered within the Department of Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering and other departments on campus. Examples of relevant courses offered can found below:

  • Building Electrical Systems
  • The Business of Sustainable Energy
  • Distributed Electrical Generation
  • Energy Policy in the 21st Century
  • Power System Dynamics and Control
  • Grid-Connected Systems
  • Optimization of Energy Systems
  • Photovoltaic Power Electronics Laboratory
  • Data Analytics and Data-Driven Decision Making for Modern Power & Energy Systems
  • Power System Dynamics with Renewable Energy (spring)
  • Energy Systems Optimization (alternate Spring semesters)
  • Data Analytics and Data-Driven Decision Making for Modern Power and Energy Systems (alternate Spring semesters)
  • Special Topics (Power System Protection)

Students must first be admitted to the Graduate School with the Next-Generation Power and Energy Systems sub-plan for course credit towards the professional MS degree. Graduate students pursuing studies at CU Boulder are not required to matriculate into the Next-Generation Power & Energy Systems professional MS sub-plan to take courses, although degree-seeking students enrolled in the professional MS program will be given course registration priority.

To register for a graduate-level course through the Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering Department, contact Graduate Advisor Adam Sadoff. To register for a distance learning course through CU Boulder Connect, check their website for schedule and application information.