The interdisciplinary minor program in renewable energy is open to all students. The goal of this program is to provide students with the technical skills, economic and political background, and analysis and design skills needed to apply the knowledge gained in their major to the nationally important issues of alternative and renewable energy.
Students will be exposed to a broad range of technical and social/political disciplines necessary to understand the sources of renewable energy, technical and economic decisions involved in using alternative energy sources, and the policy and regulatory issues that influence adoption of alternative energy resources.
This minor has two tracks. Students may elect either track, but for most engineering students, track one will be preferable as it will enhance their degree to include a specialization in alternative energy. For most students majoring in other areas, track two will be most suitable.
Track I is designed for students in engineering who seek additional specialization in the interdisciplinary studies of alternative energy sources, improved generation technologies, energy policy and the economics of various energy sources. Students in chemical engineering, electrical engineering, materials science and mechanical engineering will find that this minor complements their major discipline and provides them with the background needed to address many issues associated with renewable energy. Students in environmental engineering, computer science and engineering, chemistry and physics may also find this track useful. Students in engineering and computer science and engineering should consult with their advisor to ensure that the maximum number of credits will count toward their degree.
Track II is designed primarily for students in disciplines other than engineering. These students will receive training in the basic technical aspects of renewable energy as well as learning about energy policy and the economics of various energy sources. This track may be particularly appropriate for students interested in science, environmental studies, political science and business. It may also be appropriate for those who are technically oriented with a focus on geothermal energy.
Students in both tracks must complete 18 credits for the minor, including the introductory course which covers current issues in renewable energy technology, public policy and feasibility. The remaining courses can be selected from a list of approved classes, depending on your track, on topics ranging from economics to environmental law to public policy, as well as more technical engineering courses for students in Track I.