Course Schedule

The courses below are those offered for the term. (To view the course description, class dates & times, touch on accordion tab by the title.)

State-specific Information for Online Programs

Note: We currently are not accepting applications to the online Master of Science in Energy Policy and Climate from students who reside in Kansas. Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs.

  • Washington DC Center

    425.604.51 - Energy & Climate Finance

    Ashley Lawson

    Tuesday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/10 - 12/17

    This course introduces students to environmental markets and the policies that create them, focusing mainly on emissions trading systems to mitigate climate change. The course also provides an introduction to attributes of the financial sector through its analysis of markets for environmental commodities Students learn the economic theory behind market-based environmental policy instruments, such as tradable renewable energy credits, carbon offsets, and water rights in a semester of lectures featuring presentations from practitioners, including state and federal government, private companies subject to market-based emissions regulation, commodity brokers, and representatives from international institutions. Offered online on-site twice per year.

    425.605.51 - Introduction to Energy Law & Policy

    Kenneth Hurwitz

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/4 - 12/11

    This course will provide an overview of the major laws and policies that shape and regulate the complex energy system the United States and, to a lesser degree, the world. The goal is to provide students with a framework for understanding the energy laws and policies of today and those likely to be important in coming years. The course will review laws and policies for all major types of energy, including fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewables, as well as issues related to extraction, conversion, distribution, use, and conservation. Laws and policies ranging from local level to state, federal, and international levels will be included. Laws and policies will be presented again in the context of profound and rate changes occurring in the energy system, climate change and other environmental issues, economics, national security, and population growth. The course will be largely empirical, but attention will be given to major theories. Most aspects of the course will be illustrated by reference to contemporary issues, such as the recently unveiled Clean Power Plan, court decisions, climate change negotiations, and changes in state policies and federal tax policies for renewables. Offered on-site at least once every two years.

    425.636.51 - Emerging Energy Technologies and Applications

    Thomas Jenkin

    Monday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/9 - 12/16

    This elective course builds on a number of ideas covered in the core Principles and Applications of Energy Technology course (425.601) - and as with the first course uses and integrates a broad range of ideas from science, engineering and economics. The main focus of the course will be to broaden and deepen the coverage of the how some of the emerging energy technologies work, that were either not covered or only lightly covered in the core course. Electricity generation or storage related topics include (1) Fuel cells and batteries, including hydrogen fuel cells, batteries with different lithium-ion chemistries, and flow batteries, including integration with solar and wind (2) ocean wave devices, with an emphasis on the energy in traveling ocean waves, and how some of this wave energy can be absorbed and converted to electricity, through ideas related to natural frequency and forced damped oscillations, (3) new approaches to carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), such as the proposed Allam cycle - which is a type of closed cycle combustion turbine (CT), where the use of super-critical carbon dioxide rather air as the working fluid facilitates CCS (4) nuclear energy, from small modular fission to fusion. The course will also look at some important applications of electricity, including light emitting diodes (LEDs). The 2014 Nobel prize for physics went to inventors of the first blue LEDs using high band-gap semi-conductors, like indium gallium nitride which has made their widespread use for high quality white light applications possible. LEDs - as will be explained - are similar to (the p-n junctions in) PV cells but with higher band gaps, and operated to run backwards using an electrical source, so that electrical power is converted to visible light with much higher efficiency than with traditional incandescent light bulbs.

    425.800.51 - Research Design for Capstone Projects in Energy and Environmental Sciences

    Daniel Zachary

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/5 - 12/12

    The Capstone Project enables students to apply and synthesize the material learned in other courses, develop expertise on a specific topic related to climate change science or policy, work closely with experts in the field of study, and improve professional writing and presentation skills. In the semester prior to conducting the project, students must identify a proper topic and mentor who is both familiar with the chosen topic and willing to guide and oversee the project. The mentor must be a faculty member teaching in the program, a supervisor from the student’s place of work, or any expert with appropriate credentials. Formal proposals must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the start of the semester in which the project be completed. Prior to the enrollment in the course, the proposal must be reviewed and accepted by the course instructor.

  • Online Courses

    425.601.81 - Principles and Applications of Energy Technology

    Peter Saundry

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    The course examines energy supply and consumption, and how these activities impact the environment, with a focus on understanding the potential technology, market structure and policy implications for climate change. Students will gain a solid understanding of the science, economics, environmental impact associated with various electricity generation technologies, including renewable energy, conventional generation (existing and future), carbon storage and sequestration, and electricity storage. Transportation topics will address a variety of technologies, including hybrids and fuels cells, as well as the potential role for alternative fuels, including biofuels. Climate change and the potential impact and mitigation of carbon dioxide will be considered throughout the course. Offered online or onsite, twice per year.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    425.601.82 - Principles and Applications of Energy Technology

    Peter Saundry

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    The course examines energy supply and consumption, and how these activities impact the environment, with a focus on understanding the potential technology, market structure and policy implications for climate change. Students will gain a solid understanding of the science, economics, environmental impact associated with various electricity generation technologies, including renewable energy, conventional generation (existing and future), carbon storage and sequestration, and electricity storage. Transportation topics will address a variety of technologies, including hybrids and fuels cells, as well as the potential role for alternative fuels, including biofuels. Climate change and the potential impact and mitigation of carbon dioxide will be considered throughout the course. Offered online or onsite, twice per year.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    425.615.81 - Understanding Public Attitudes for the Communication of Climate and Energy Policy

    Jennifer da Rosa

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    The enormous gains in environmental protection achieved in the latter half of the 20th century in the United States can primarily be credited to legal policy instruments that targeted point-source pollution through legislation such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. However, that successful framework has been ill-equipped to handle the myriad sources of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, and passing new national climate change legislation has remained frustratingly out of reach. To meet these challenges, citizens will need to make both political and consumer decisions about climate change and energy. Public attitudes influence what is believed to be politically possible in passing new legislation, and consumer decisions contribute to as much as 40% of national emissions. These conditions have generated renewed interests in low-cost, non-regulatory “soft policy” approaches based on social science to inform public decision-making and behavior change. Communication? whether in the form of information provision, participatory decision-making, or social marketing ?is among the foremost of these strategies. This course will introduce you to a growing literature on the use of social science research in informing and evaluating climate change and energy policies. Understanding some of the terms and concepts used in social science research will help you critically evaluate research commissioned by the organizations for which you work, or even just survey toplines reported by the media. The course will challenge you not only to think about the varied communication factors that influence human decision-making and behavior, but to use that information in designing and evaluating programs. Offered onsite, at least once every two years.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    425.615.82 - Understanding Public Attitudes for the Communication of Climate and Energy Policy

    Jennifer da Rosa

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    The enormous gains in environmental protection achieved in the latter half of the 20th century in the United States can primarily be credited to legal policy instruments that targeted point-source pollution through legislation such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. However, that successful framework has been ill-equipped to handle the myriad sources of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, and passing new national climate change legislation has remained frustratingly out of reach. To meet these challenges, citizens will need to make both political and consumer decisions about climate change and energy. Public attitudes influence what is believed to be politically possible in passing new legislation, and consumer decisions contribute to as much as 40% of national emissions. These conditions have generated renewed interests in low-cost, non-regulatory “soft policy” approaches based on social science to inform public decision-making and behavior change. Communication? whether in the form of information provision, participatory decision-making, or social marketing ?is among the foremost of these strategies. This course will introduce you to a growing literature on the use of social science research in informing and evaluating climate change and energy policies. Understanding some of the terms and concepts used in social science research will help you critically evaluate research commissioned by the organizations for which you work, or even just survey toplines reported by the media. The course will challenge you not only to think about the varied communication factors that influence human decision-making and behavior, but to use that information in designing and evaluating programs. Offered onsite, at least once every two years.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    425.630.81 - Cities and Climate Change


    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    This course examines cities as the primary centers of energy demand; as major sources of greenhouse gases; as places most vulnerable to climate change impacts; and as logical focal points for mitigation and adaptation solutions. Local level government climate policy and financing options are also examined, including alternative energy production, resilient water systems, green buildings, energy efficient transport and sustainable infrastructure generally, local level offsets, and urban-based Clean Development Mechanisms. Analytical methods are introduced to understand current approaches to decision-making. Offered online at least once every two years. Prerequisites: Climate Change Policy Analysis.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    425.651.81 - The Electric Grid: Technology and Policy


    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    This course aims to introduce the students with an overview of electric power industry including the fundamentals of power system generation, transmission, and markets. Various power generation technologies and system network characteristics will be introduced. Key elements of power system operation such as unit commitment, economic dispatch, and optimal power flow will be discussed to provide the background for understanding how the power grid operates and to lay the foundation for understanding the environmental impact from power generation and system operation. An overview of grid planning will be provided. Students will also be exposed to power markets and complex relationship between market and system. Later, students will be exposed to the topics of US energy policy that particularly pertains to power industry. Relevant energy policies of certain countries on global setting for the electricity sector will also be discussed. The latest developments in power industry such as smart grid, microgrid, distributed energy resources and other topics will also be covered.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    425.651.82 - The Electric Grid: Technology and Policy

    Jeremy Lin

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    This course aims to introduce the students with an overview of electric power industry including the fundamentals of power system generation, transmission, and markets. Various power generation technologies and system network characteristics will be introduced. Key elements of power system operation such as unit commitment, economic dispatch, and optimal power flow will be discussed to provide the background for understanding how the power grid operates and to lay the foundation for understanding the environmental impact from power generation and system operation. An overview of grid planning will be provided. Students will also be exposed to power markets and complex relationship between market and system. Later, students will be exposed to the topics of US energy policy that particularly pertains to power industry. Relevant energy policies of certain countries on global setting for the electricity sector will also be discussed. The latest developments in power industry such as smart grid, microgrid, distributed energy resources and other topics will also be covered.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    425.800.81 - Research Design for Capstone Projects in Energy and Environmental Sciences

    Michael Schwebel

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    The Capstone Project enables students to apply and synthesize the material learned in other courses, develop expertise on a specific topic related to climate change science or policy, work closely with experts in the field of study, and improve professional writing and presentation skills. In the semester prior to conducting the project, students must identify a proper topic and mentor who is both familiar with the chosen topic and willing to guide and oversee the project. The mentor must be a faculty member teaching in the program, a supervisor from the student’s place of work, or any expert with appropriate credentials. Formal proposals must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the start of the semester in which the project be completed. Prior to the enrollment in the course, the proposal must be reviewed and accepted by the course instructor.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    425.800.82 - Research Design for Capstone Projects in Energy and Environmental Sciences


    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    The Capstone Project enables students to apply and synthesize the material learned in other courses, develop expertise on a specific topic related to climate change science or policy, work closely with experts in the field of study, and improve professional writing and presentation skills. In the semester prior to conducting the project, students must identify a proper topic and mentor who is both familiar with the chosen topic and willing to guide and oversee the project. The mentor must be a faculty member teaching in the program, a supervisor from the student’s place of work, or any expert with appropriate credentials. Formal proposals must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the start of the semester in which the project be completed. Prior to the enrollment in the course, the proposal must be reviewed and accepted by the course instructor.

    Technology Fee: $200.00