This specialization track is intended for those interested in energy policy or wanting a career in the energy sector, including in both renewable and conventional energy. The track provides a pragmatic, rigorous, and interdisciplinary understanding of energy from three perspectives: science and technology, policy, and business.

Students graduating from this track might pursue careers in energy policy or management in the private sector, state or federal regulatory agencies, or in the nonprofit sector.

Course Requirements

The energy system is at the early stages of a global transformation from fossil-based energy to renewable and sustainable energy sources. This course provides a solid understanding of the fundamentals of energy science and technologies. The course starts with a review of basic energy concepts, measures, and units. The course then examines how energy is currently produced, transformed, and consumed. The course then assesses sustainable options, including renewables and energy efficiency, to better understand their potentials and limitations. The overall goal of the course is to give students the skills and knowledge to play a part in the global energy transition. No technical background is required.  

Examines energy policy and the problem of sustainability through a variety of disciplinary and topical perspectives: historical, political, behavioral, techno-economic, and legal.  A critical approach is applied to arguments about energy policy processes, systems, and desired outcomes, with special emphasis on the role of renewable and sustainable energy in the changing global energy system.  This course prepares students to deal with real-life energy problems by examining and critiquing common and often unexamined beliefs about energy policy, and sharpening analytical, argumentative, and writing skills for the policy world. 

Develops a method for creating new renewable and sustainable energy products, markets, and services, including opportunities and challenges with renewable electricity and energy efficiency. Topics include assessing energy markets, opportunity identification and development, economic analysis, policy impacts, and feasibility analysis of sustainable and renewable energy business models.

This course has an applied economics orientation towards energy and natural resources. The curriculum includes supply and demand of energy resources, private versus common pool energy resources, and the market equilibria outcomes of government energy policies.

Course Sequence

Term Courses
  • Student Orientation
  • The Scientific Basis of Environmental Change (MENV core; 4 credit hours)
Fall Semester I
  • ​Foundations of Environmental Leadership (MENV core; 3 credit hours)
  • Socio-Environmental Systems (MENV core; 3 credit hours)
  • Energy Science & Technology (R&SE Specialization requirement; 3 credit hours)
  • Energy Policy in the 21st Century (R&SE Specialization requirement; 3 credit hours)
  • Capstone Innovation Lab I (1 credit hour)
Spring Semester
  • Business Fundamentals for Environmental Professionals (MENV core; 3 credit hours)*
  • Environmental Statistics (MENV Core; 3 credit hours)*
  • Ethics and Values in Environmental Leadership (MENV core; 3 credit hours)
  • The Business of Sustainable Energy (R&SE Specialization requirement; 3 credit hours)
  • Capstone Innovation Lab II (1 credit hour)
  • Elective (3 credit hours)
  • Elective (optional; 3 credit hours)
Summer Semester
  • Capstone Project (5 credit hours)
Fall Semester II
  • Environmental & Energy Economics (R&SE Specialization requirement; 3 credit hours)
  • Capstone Innovation Lab III (1 credit hour)
  • Elective (3 credit hours)
  • Elective (3 credit hours)

* Students choose one of these two core courses