The Energy concentration is designed to prepare you to contribute in one of today’s most critical areas of global public concern: energy generation, use and impact. Students in this concentration focus on energy policies and technologies, exploring the socioeconomic and environmental consequences of both. They learn the life cycle of energy resources and study the economics of energy production and consumption.
In this concentration, you will explore the critical, cutting-edge approaches now being taken in energy conservation and environmental progress, including: tools and techniques for mitigating carbon emissions, new ways to diversify the energy sector, and the development of innovative energy technologies.
By taking an interdisciplinary approach — one that explores the interconnected nature of science, technology, economics and public policy — the Energy concentration positions you to help meet the challenges posed by an increasingly energy-dependent world.
Professor Rupp's Natural Gas class visits Vectren Corporation in Bloomington.
Careers in Energy
As global energy needs increase and the required environmental expertise to manage those needs continues to grow, alumni of SPEA’s Energy concentration can expect to find a wide variety of opportunities with organizations in both the public and private sectors, including energy companies, policy organizations and regulatory agencies
Though the Energy concentration is technically new this year, SPEA has always prepared graduates for energy-related careers. In fact, several recent SPEA graduates have landed attractive jobs in the energy sector — including positions with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Edison Electric Institute, and the Solar Energy Industries Association.
Students begin to develop needed technical tools with the MSES core competencies (18 credit hours).
The Energy concentration also includes the following required courses:
- Energy Analysis and Markets (E 574)
- Energy Economics and Policy (V 674)
And, 12 credit hours of electives that allow a student to tailor their individual program towards their interests. Students must choose 2 courses in the natural sciences and 2 course in economics, public policy and law. Students may also enroll in courses in Geography, Law, and other departments after consultation with a faculty advisor.
Natural Science Courses
- Fundamentals of Air Pollution (E 515)
- Vector-based Geographic Information Systems (E 518)
- Coal Utilization and Carbon Sequestration (E 555)
- Natural Gas: Technical and Policy Challenges ( E555)
- Physical Meteorology and Climatology (GEOG-G 532)
- Geographic Information Systems (GEOG-G 538)
- Sustainable Energy Systems (GEOG-G 542)
- Climate Change (GEOG-G 575)
- Principles of Petroleum Geology (GEOL-G 571)
- Organic Geochemistry (GEOL-G 587)
- Environmental Physics (PHYS-P 510)
Economics, Public Policy and Law Courses
- Human Behavior and Energy Consumption (E 501)
- International Environmental Policy (E 535)
- Benefit-Cost Analysis of Public and Environmental Programs (V 541)
- Public Natural Resources Law (V 550)
- Seminar in Climate Change Law and Policy (V 550)
- Sustainable Development (V 596)
- Environmental Economics and Policy (V 625)
- Natural Resource Management and Policy (V 643)
- Environmental Law (V 645)
- Seminar in Energy Law and Policy (LAW-L 644)
Students pursuing the thesis options will sign up for Research in Environmental Science (E625) to fulfill some portion of their concentration electives.
Students pursuing the non-thesis option generally complete an appropriate internship during the summer between their first and second year in the program. The coursework in each concentration culminates in a project-oriented course (capstone) that integrates knowledge gained throughout the program and applies it to issues related to the student’s concentration.
Dual concentrations with Energy and other concentrations offered by SPEA—such as Environmental Chemistry, Toxicology, and Risk Assessment—offer unique advantages for those wanting to make a difference in particular areas of environmental science. Our faculty work to accommodate these specialized professional interests in the design of student programs.