Courses and Capstone Projects

The course lists below are based on Yale College Programs of Study Fall and Spring Terms 2014–2015 and will be updated as new listings become available during the Academic Year.


COURSES The course requirements for Energy Studies consist of three core courses and three electives. The three core courses must be distributed across the three tracks in Energy Studies:

[1] Energy Science, Technology, and Systems,

[2] Environmental Impact of Energy,

[3] Energy and Society: Political, Economic, and Social Issues.

The three elective courses can be chosen from any of the remaining course offerings in Energy Studies. There is an overall distribution requirement that three of the courses taken (whether core courses or electives) must be outside the department of the student’s major. For double majors, this requirement is modified as follows: three courses from each of the student’s two majors can be used to satisfy program requirements, provided that other distributional requirements are met (that is, that the student takes one core course in each of the three tracks).

The curriculum is flexible in allowing students to substitute equivalent courses for either CORE or ELECTIVE courses in the lists below. As a general rule, it will be allowable to substitute a high-level course for a lower level course on the same, or a closely related, topic. An example is the substitution of comprehensive yearlong introductory courses in physics (such as Fundamentals of Physics, PHYS 200 and 201) or chemistry (such as Comprehensive General Chemistry, CHEM 114 and 115), which cover basic concepts of energy and their applications, for the CORE course in track 1. Equivalent or related courses may be substituted with the approval of the student’s Energy Studies advisor, or with prior approval from YCEI. Courses successfully completed by the student at the time of admission to Energy Studies may count toward satisfying program requirements (this includes qualifying courses not currently listed in YCPS). Many graduate-level courses qualify for meeting the requirements. Courses taken in summer study programs may also qualify, but normally must be approved in advance by the director of Energy Studies. 

The normal rule is that a student may not apply any course credit earned on the Credit/D/Fail basis toward satisfaction of the requirements in Energy Studies.  

Questions about course substitution, requests for approval of summer courses, and requests for acceptance of courses taken on Credit/D/Fail basis, as well as questions about internships or capstone projects, can be sent to YCEI@yale.edu with the subject line: ENERGY STUDIES.


CORE COURSES The core courses in Energy Studies consist of one course each from the three core areas. The following introductory level courses are recommended as the core courses, but as described above, higher level courses on similar topics can normally be substituted for these courses in meeting the distribution requirements. 

One of the following courses in Energy Science, Technology, and Systems (BOLD indicates available Fall 2015)

APHY 100a / ENAS 100a / EVST 100a / G&G 105a / PHYS 100a, Energy Technology and Society (D. Prober)
ENAS 101b / ENVE 101b / EVST 105b / MENG 101b, Energy, Engines, and Environment (not currently offered)

One of the following courses in the Environmental Impact of Energy

G&G 140a, Atmosphere, Ocean, and Environmental Change (R.Smith)
G&G 205b, Natural Resources and Their Sustainability
ENAS 120b / CENG120b / ENVE 120b, Introduction to Environmental Engineering

One of the following courses in Energy and Society: Political, Economic, and Social Issues

ECON 330b / EVST 340b, The Economics of Natural Resources
ECON 331a, The Economics of Energy and Climate Change (W. Nordhaus)


ELECTIVE COURSES

The following lists are courses that are offered this year in YCPS and are accepted for meeting the requirements of Energy Studies. (BOLD indicates offered Fall 2015)

Energy Science, Technology, and Systems

APHY 100a / ENAS 100a / EVST 100a / G&G 105a / PHYS 100a, Energy Technology and Society (D. Prober)
CENG 300a, Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics (C. Osuji)
CHEM 114ab and 115ab, Comprehensive General Chemistry I, II
CHEM 332a and 333b, Physical Chemistry I, II
CHEM 430b, Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics
ENAS 101b / ENVE 101b / EVST 105b / MENG 101b, Energy, Engines, and Environment
G&G 274a, Fossil Fuels and Energy Transitions (M. Oristaglio)
G&G 275b, Renewable Energy
MENG 211a, Thermodynamics for Mechanical Engineers  (A. Gomez)
MENG 365a, Propulsion and Energy Conversion 
MENG 389b, Mechanical Engineering IV: Fluid and Thermal Energy Science
PHYS 180a and 181b, University Physics
PHYS 200a and 201b, Fundamentals of Physics 
PHYS 260a and 261b, Intensive Introductory Physics 
PHYS 342a, Introduction to Earth and Environmental Physics (J. Wettlaufer)

PHYS 420a, Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

Environmental Impact of Energy

ANTH 409a / EVST 422a / F&ES 422a, Anthropology of Climate Change, Past and Present
ENAS 120b / CENG120b / ENVE 120b, Introduction to Environmental Engineering
ENVE 360b / ENAS 360b, Green Engineering and Sustainable Design
ENVE 373a / CENG 373a, Air Pollution Control (D. Gentner)
EVST 307a / F&ES 307a, Organic Pollutants in the Environment
EVST 473b / ANTH 473b / ARCG 473b, Abrupt Climate Change and Societal Collapse
G&G 010a / EVST 010a, Earth, Resources, Energy & the Environment
G&G 140a, Atmosphere, Ocean, and Environmental Change
G&G 205b, Natural Resources and Their Sustainability
G&G 215a, Global Warming: The Carbon Cycle
G&G 322a, Physics of Weather and Climate (T. Storelvmo)
G&G 323b, Climate Dynamics
G&G 327a / ENVE 327a / F&ES 327a, Atmospheric Chemistry (N. Unger)

Energy and Society: Political, Economic, and Social Issues

ANTH 409a / EVST 422a / F&ES 422a, Anthropology of Climate Change, Past and Present
ECON 330b / EVST 340b, The Economics of Natural Resources
ECON 331a, The Economics of Energy and Climate Change (W. Nordhaus)
ECON 452b / EP&E 300b / GLBL 302b, Contemporary Issues in Energy Policy
EVST 120a / AMST 163a / HIST 120a / HSHM 204a, Introduction to Environmental History
EVST 255b / F&ES 255b / PLSC 215b, Environmental Politics and Law
EVST 345a / F&ES 384a / ANTH 382a, Environmental Anthropology (M. Dove)
EVST 473b / ANTH 473b / ARCG 473b, Abrupt Climate Change and Societal Collapse
HIST 042a, Oil and Empire (R. Bsheer)
HIST 180Jb / EVST 443b, Energy in American History


CAPSTONE PROJECTS

The capstone of the Energy Studies Special Academic Program is an essay or project in one or more of the curriculum’s three tracks: (1) energy science, technology and systems, (2) environmental impact of energy, and (3) energy and society: political, economic and social impacts of energy.

The capstone will normally take one of the following forms: a senior essay or project in the student’s major, a senior project undertaken independently in the senior year, a group project undertaken in the senior year, or a summer internship undertaken after completion of the junior year.

All capstone projects must be approved by the faculty advisory committee for Energy Studies and documented in a written report submitted during the final term of senior year. Recommended guidelines for the different forms of the capstone project are given below.

(a) A senior essay in the student’s major can serve as the capstone project provided that a topic from one of the three tracks in Energy Studies is an integral part of the essay. The guideline is that the energy-studies topic should constitute at least 30% of the senior essay (or at least 4000 words, whichever is shorter). The senior essay itself can be submitted as the written report documenting the Energy Studies capstone project, after the student’s department has accepted the essay. The essay must be accompanied by a short cover letter from the student pointing out the sections of the essay intended to satisfy the capstone requirement. The cover letter should include the following statement: The senior essay enclosed with this letter is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Energy Studies Special Academic Program.

(b) A senior project in the student’s major can serve as the capstone project provided that a topic from one of the three tracks in Energy Studies is an integral part of the project. Many departments require submission of a written report documenting the senior project. The guidelines given above for senior essays also apply to the write‑up of a senior project intended to satisfy the capstone requirement. If the senior project for the student’s major culminates in a presentation, instead of a written report, the presentation file (PowerPoint or PDF) can be submitted as documentation of the capstone project, after the student’s department has accepted the presentation. The file must be accompanied by a short written report (400 to 800 words) explaining the relevance of the project to Energy Studies and pointing to the slides covering project work intended to satisfy the capstone requirement. The written report should include the following statement: The presentation enclosed with this report is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Energy Studies Special Academic Program.

(c) An individual independent study project undertaken in the senior year, and documented in a written report, can serve as the capstone project provided that the project treats a topic from one of the three tracks in Energy Studies. The guideline for the written report on an independent study project is an essay at least 4000 words in length, in the accepted style of a term essay for a credited independent study course in the department of the student’s major. The title page of the report must include the following statement:
A report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Energy Studies Special Academic Program.

(d) A group project undertaken in the senior year by no more than three students, and documented in a written report, can serve as the capstone project provided that the project treats a topic from one of the three tracks in Energy Studies. The guideline for the written report on a group project is an essay at least 6000 words in length, in the accepted style of a term essay for a credited independent study course in the department of the one of the students’ majors. The title page of the report must include the following statement: A report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Energy Studies Special Academic Program. The authors affirm that each has contributed equally to the project and the report.

(e) An internship undertaken after completion of the junior year, and documented in a written report, can serve as the capstone project provided that the internship is in a field closely related to one of the three tracks in Energy Studies. The guideline for the written report on an internship is an essay at least 4000 words in length, in the accepted style of a term essay for a credited independent study course in the department of the student’s major. The title page of the report must include the following statement: A report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Energy Studies Special Academic Program.

An individual or group project in a credited course at Yale, or in a summer academic program credited by Yale, can serve as the capstone project for Energy Studies, but the course itself cannot also be used to satisfy the course requirements for Energy Studies. The project must be documented by a written report as described in the above guidelines.