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Renewable Energy Certificate


Geothermal springs

Designed for professionals in the energy industry, including administrators, engineers, and others impacted by new policies and practices relating to renewable energy, the online graduate certificate in renewable energy covers energy technologies, energy markets and business, and energy policy.

The certificate is multidisciplinary, featuring courses taught by instructors from several engineering disciplines as well as the Colleges of Science and Liberal Arts. Instructors are experts in their respective fields at Nevada and other research institutions.

Certificate requirements

The four course (12-credit) certificate program allows you flexibility in your specific coursework while providing a breadth of understanding in different aspects of renewable energy. Selecting four courses from the nine-course certificate curriculum gives you the opportunity to take courses suited to your interest areas.

The courses are designed and taught by top faculty from the University of Nevada, Reno and other research institutions. Courses are designed to facilitate participation in online discussions, case-study analysis, and problem-based learning. The online format accommodates the schedule of working professionals and also allows you to benefit from diverse geographic perspectives of your classmates.

Courses may qualify as professional development hours for Professional Engineers (PE) licensed by the State of Nevada and as professional development education for teachers.

Admissions requirements

The program is designed for students who hold a bachelor's degree in engineering, management or a related field. If you are not currently enrolled in a graduate degree program, you must complete a graduate special application in addition to your application to the Renewable  Energy Certificate Program.

The program is funded in part by Nevada Renewable Energy Consortium / DOE (DE-EE0000272), NV Energy, and Extended Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Contact Us

For more information please contact Jill Wallace, Ph.D., program coordinator, at or call (775) 682-7774. Appointments with Dr. Wallace can be scheduled by phone or email.


Students with laptops

"The Alternative Energy Fundamentals course provides students with a holistic and interdisciplinary experience that prepares them for other courses within the Graduate Renewable Energy Certificate program. The course's focus on the political, economic, social, and technical aspects of alternative energy appeals to a wide breadth of student backgrounds and meets the needs of today's working professional."

          -- Mike Moltz, Chris Simon

"The classes and instructors were amazing; the whole program was great. To point out a single aspect would not do the program justice."

      -- Amber Mann, first certificate graduate

The Graduate Renewable Energy Certificate is a unique program that investigates the topic of renewable energy from several multidisciplinary and related perspectives, including science, policy, engineering, community, and business.

Certificate Requirements and Course Format

To complete the certificate, students must successfully complete four 3-credit GREC courses, 12 credits total. Recommended preparation (or co-requisite) for all GREC courses is ENGR 600 Alternative Energy Fundamentals.

Students may select four classes out of the nine certificate course offerings that best suit their interest and background. All courses and exams are delivered in an online format with course offerings available in the fall, spring and summer semesters.

MBA Renewable Energy Emphasis

Students enrolled in the on-campus MBA program may add an emphasis in renewable energy to their program by completing three of the GREC courses.

The on-campus MBA emphasis in renewable energy requires a total of 9 credits offered through the Online Graduate Renewable Energy Certificate program.

Semester start dates for GREC courses

  • Spring 2016: January 25
    • Summer 2016: May 23
    • Fall 2016: September 5

    Course Schedule

    ENGR 600 Alternative Energy Fundamentals X X
    ENGR 610 Renewable Energy Policy X
    ENGR 620 Renewable Energy in the Local Community & Home X
    ENGR 630 Wind Energy X
    ENGR 650 Solar and Renewable Energy Utilization X
    ENGR 660 Fundamentals of Biofuels X
    ENGR 670 Geology of Geothermal Energy Resources X
    CEE 611/PSC 603/NRES 612 Environmental Law X

    Textbooks and Required Materials

    Required textbooks and corresponding ISBN numbers are listed at the Nevada Wolf Shop. Textbooks may be purchased from the Wolf Shop or an off-campus vendor.

    Course exams are administered online via ProctorU and specific hardware is required (i.e., a webcam, microphone, speakers). Please visit ProctorU's  technical requirements page for details.


    William Patrick Arnott, Ph.D.

    William Patrick Arnott

    Dr. Arnott holds a B.S. in physics from the University of Southern Colorado, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from Washington State University. His current research involves development and use of novel instruments for particulate air pollution measurements in the atmosphere, and he holds two patents associated with various instrument designs. These patents have been licensed by Droplet Measurement Technology.

    Dr Arnott has 23 years of experience teaching physics and atmospheric science courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and he is currently the director of the undergraduate Atmospheric Science Program at the University. He is also a member of the graduate faculty in both physics and atmospheric science.

    Dr. Arnott's postdoctoral research involved numerical simulation and experiments for novel thermoacoustic refrigerators that use simple climate-benign gases like Helium and Helium/Xenon mixtures. These gases do not destroy the ozone layer or contribute to global warming as do common refrigerants like chlorofluorocarbons.

    David R. Boden

    David Boden

    Dave Boden is currently Professor of Geoscience at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada. Since 2007, he has taught a course on the geology of geothermal resources as part of the college's certificate and applied associate of science degree programs in renewable energy (geothermal emphasis). Prior to coming to Truckee Meadows Community College in 2004, Dr. Boden worked in the minerals industry for about 20 years looking for base and precious metal deposits-the fossil analogs of today's geothermal systems.

    Dr. Boden has earned degrees in geology and geological engineering from UC Davis, Colorado School of Mines, and Stanford University and is currently involved in writing an introductory textbook on the geology of geothermal resources. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and skiing to backcountry hot springs with family and friends.

    Amber Broch

    Amber Broch

    Amber Broch is an associate research engineer at the Desert Research Institute. Her focus of research is on renewable energy related technologies. This has included alternative-fueled vehicles conversion, testing and modeling (CNG and hydrogen); biofuels research including life cycle modeling, land use changes, and environmental impacts; and biomass-to-fuel conversion technologies.

    Ms. Broch also serves as the lab manager in DRI's energy lab, and is an instructor in the University's Mechanical Engineering Department.

    Derek Kauneckis, Ph.D.

    Derek Kauneckis

    Derek Kauneckis is an associate professor at Ohio University's Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, where he teaches in the Environmental Studies program, and affiliated associate research professor at the Desert Research Institute, Division of Earth & Ecosystem Sciences. He received a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Indiana University at Bloomington.

    Dr. Kauneckis' research focuses on governance and institutional design as applied to environmental and science/technology policy. His current work focuses on climate change adaptation and local governance, the resilience of socio-ecological systems, and policy innovation and the science/policy interface. He is the co-author of "Evaluating transferable development rights at Lake Tahoe and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency: The evolution of collaboration."  Dr. Kauneckis has received teaching and mentoring awards from Indiana University and the University of Nevada. His work has been supported by the Fulbright Scholar Program; the National Science Foundation (NSF); the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    Curtis Robbins

    Curt Robbins

    Curtis Robbins is an assistant research engineer at the Desert Research Institute, working in the Bio-Energy Group within Atmospheric Sciences. He is the PI on DRI's REDD (Renewable Energy Deployment and Display) Facility, which consists of a house and workshop run off of solar and wind for electricity, heating, and cooling.

    His main focus areas are currently solar energy and biomass with an emphasis on system design and integration. He has worked on projects that include solar air collectors, solar hot water systems, PV cell testing, Syngas sampling and analysis, gasification, hydrothermal carbonization, hydrogen combustion, and thermoelectrics.

    Michael Moltz, M.Ed.

    Michael Moltz

    Michael Moltz received his M.Ed. and B.A. in political science from the University of Nevada, Reno. He was one of the first graduates of the university's undergraduate renewable energy program and is an NSF research award recipient for research into climate change and alternative energy policy.

    Michael has served as an instructor for courses in political science and secondary education at the University of Nevada, Reno. His research interests include STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education, alternative energy policy, and interdisciplinary education.

    Guadalupe Paredes-Miranda, Ph.D.

    Guadalupe Paredes-Miranda

    Lupita Paredes-Miranda received her M.S. and Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of Nevada, Reno and a bachelor's degree in physics from the University National Autonomous of Mexico (UNAM).

    She has taught Introduction to Atmospheric Meteorology at the University, and made extensive use of WebCampus for delivering portions of her course. Her research is associated with the role of atmospheric aerosol in air pollution, atmospheric radiation transfer, and cloud properties.

    Ravi Subramanian, Ph.D.

    Ravi Subramanian

    Ravi Subramanian is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 2004.

    His research is the field of alternate energy with emphasis in materials. He has more than 10 years of experience in solar energy materials synthesis, characterization, and application. He mentors students in master's and Ph.D. programs and has several publications to his credit. He has also spearheaded the teaching of alternate energy courses at the University of Nevada, Reno for several years.

    Christopher A. Simon, Ph.D.

    Christopher Simon

    Christopher A. Simon is professor of political science and director of the MPA program at University of Utah. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in political science from Washington State University and undergraduate degrees in political science and history from Oregon State University.

    Dr. Simon teaches graduate courses in public administration at University of Utah and is the author of Alternative Energy: Political, Economic, and Social Feasibility (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007).


    Dates and Deadlines

    • January 8, 2016: Application deadline for the Spring 2016 semester

    semester dates

    • Spring 2016: January 19 to May 11 (GREC classes begin on January 25)

    The Online Graduate Certificate in Renewable Energy is open to all students who hold a bachelor's degree in engineering, business management, liberal arts or a related field.

    Students must have a B (3.0) or better grade point average in the program to earn the certificate, and all course work must be completed within five years of matriculation.

    The certificate program may be used to fulfill the renewable energy emphasis area of the University of Nevada, Reno's on-campus MBA degree program.

    Please note: Due to federal regulations and state authorization requirements, the online certificate may not be eligible to residents of certain states. Please contact Jill Wallace if you reside outside of Nevada,

    Application and Admission Process

    Step 1: Apply to the Graduate Renewable Energy Certificate (GREC) Program

    Please submit the following application materials to Jill Wallace,, Coordinator of GREC Program:

    1. Renewable Energy Certificate Application
    2. Written Personal Statement indicating educational and career objectives
    3. Resume detailing professional experience
    4. Transcript copy of Bachelor's degree
    5. Program of Studies

    Application materials should be emailed to Jill Wallace at You will receive notification of acceptance to the certificate program from the College of Engineering.

    Step 2:  Apply to the University

    Please complete the following three requirements for admission to the University of Nevada, Reno:

    1. Apply to the University as a Non-degree Graduate Student. After you have been accepted to the GREC program, Jill Wallace will send you instructions for applying to the university.
    2. When your non-degree graduate application has been approved, submit the following documents that apply to your status:
    • If you qualify as a Nevada Resident, go to the UNR Forms page and download the Residency Application (link to document is listed in the Residency section). After completing this form, FAX it to 775-784-4283 OR mail it to: Admissions and Records, University of Nevada, Reno/MS 120, Reno, NV 89557. The Residency Application must be submitted and approved in order for you to qualify for resident tuition costs.
    • If you reside in Washoe County or within 100 miles of Reno, FAX your Immunization records to 775-784-4283 OR mail them to: Admissions and Records, University of Nevada, Reno/MS 120, Reno, NV 8955. If your residence is 100 miles or greater from Reno and you do not plan to be on the UNR campus, send Jill Wallace,, an Immunization Waiver.

    Once steps 1 and 2 have been completed, you will be able to register for your classes.

    If you have any questions or need assistance with your renewable energy certificate application, please contact Jill Wallace or (775) 682-7774.

    International Applicants

    Due to federal regulations, those students who are in the U.S. on an F-1 visa cannot take more than one class (3 credits) per semester. There is no semester course limit for students pursuing the certificate while residing outside of the U.S.

    For international applicants seeking a visa to study within the U.S., please note, different application procedures apply. Please contact the Office of International Students and Scholars at (775) 784-6874.  For international applicants studying online from outside the U.S. (no residence in the U.S. at time of study) please use the application process outlined above.

    Tuition and Fees

    Solar energy panels

    Fall 2015 and Spring 2016

    If a third party will be paying for your courses, please contact Becca Ogden at the Cashier's Office ( or (775) 682-7044) to arrange third party payment; failure to do so may result in late fees and/or an administrative drop for non-payment. Students are responsible for paying any fees not covered by their third-party payment.  Fall Session 2015 fees due August 21, 2015.

    In-state fees for Nevada Residents
    Fall 2015 and Spring 2016
    Graduate registration fee $264 per credit
    Engineering differential fees (ENGR only) $100 per credit
    Technology fee $7 per credit
    Total per course fee
    $1,113 per Fall/Spring Semester Course
    Fees for non-residents (Fall and Spring semesters only)
    In-state fees $1,113 per course
    Distance Education Tuition $132 per credit or $396 per course
    Total per course fee
    $1,509 per course

    Additional mandatory fees

    These fees are not included in course fee total and can vary depending on the number of credits taken each semester and residency status.

    FeeApplies to students who are enrolled in:Amount
    Union fee (7 or greater credits) 7 or greater credits $97
    Union fee (6 or less credits) 6 or less credits $49
    Health Center fee 6 or greater credits $90
    Counseling fee 6 or greater credits $35
    Performing Arts fee All students $5
    Academic Success fee All students $5

    Certification Completion Fee

    Students will be assessed a $75 "Graduation Fee" during their final semester of the Graduate Renewable Energy Certificate (after 4 courses/12 credits have been successfully completed and a certificate issued).

    Additional information

    Totals listed do not include cost of textbooks. Fees, tuition and other charges are subject to change without notice. Notwithstanding currently posted tuition and fees, all fees, tuition or other charges which students are required to pay each semester are subject to increase by action of the Board of Regents at any time before the commencement of classes (primarily due to budgetary shortfalls). The amount you are charged at the time of registration is not a final bill and may be increased. You will receive a supplemental invoice for any additional amounts which the Board of Regents may impose. Fee changes put in place less than 30 days before commencement of classes will not be subject to late fee penalties. Please see the Board of Regents Procedures and Guidelines Manual for more information

    Related Degrees and Programs

    Contact Jill Wallace, Ph.D.

    Phone (775) 682-7774
    Location Scrugham Engineering and Mines
    Address University of Nevada, Reno
    Reno, NV 89557

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