Courses and Capstone Projects

COURSES

The course requirements for the Energy Studies Special Academic Program consist of six courses from a list approved by YCEI and by the Energy Studies advisory committee. There are no specific required courses for the program, but there are distributional requirements: Students must take at least one course in each of the three tracks of Energy Studies and can use no more than three courses from their majors to satisfy the six-course requirement. In addition, it is strongly recommended that three of the six courses be upper level courses (300 level or higher). 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. Qualified courses that are completed before a student is accepted into the program can count toward satisfying the course requirements.

For students seeking introductions to the three tracks in Energy Studies, the following introductory to intermediate level courses are recommended:

I Energy Science, Technology, and Systems

EVST 100a, Energy Technology and Society
ARCH 163b, Environment, Energy, Building

II Environmental Impact of Energy

G&G 140a, Atmosphere, Ocean, and Environmental Change
CENG 120b, Introduction to Environmental Engineering

III Energy and Society: Political, Economic, and Social Issues

ECON 331a, The Economics of Energy and Climate Change
EVST 340b, The Economics of Natural Resources
 


CURRENT COURSES IN ENERGY STUDIES

The following courses listed in Yale College Programs of Study 2015-2016 (YCPS) are accepted for meeting the requirements of Energy Studies in each of the three tracks. The lists below are not exhaustive. Many courses offered in previous years, but no longer listed in YCPS, have qualified for meeting the requirements of Energy Studies. In addition, many courses in the graduate and professional schools of Yale qualify for meeting the requirements of Energy Studies (undergraduates interested in such courses should always confirm, however, that such courses meet the requirements for a full course credit in Yale College). 

Students or faculty members wishing to have a particular course qualified for meeting the requirements of Energy Studies can send an e-mail to YCEI@yale.edu with ENERGY STUDIES on the subject line. 

To simplify the lists below, course numbers are given according to only one of the departmental listings. For the cross listings, see YCPS or the Yale Online Course Information (OCI) Database. [Courses in square brackets are listed in YCPS but are not being offered this academic year.]

I Energy Science, Technology, and Systems

EVST 100a, Energy Technology and Society  

CHEM 161a or b and CHEM 165b, General Chemistry I and II*
CHEM 163a and 167a or b, Comprehensive University Chemistry I and II*
CHEM 332a and 332b, Physical Chemistry with Applications in the Physical Sciences I and II*
CHEM 430a, Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics

CENG 300a, Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics 

EENG 406b, Photovoltaic Energy
EENG 412b, Energy Semiconductor Fundamentals

G&G 274a, Fossil Fuels and Energy Transitions
G&G 275b, Renewable Energy

MENG 211a, Thermodynamics for Mechanical Engineers
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 401a and 402b, Advanced Classical Physics from Newton to Einstein*
PHYS 420a, Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

*These full-year courses covering a broad range of topics, in addition to basic energy science, count as only one course toward satisfying the requirements of Energy Studies.

II Environmental Impact of Energy

[G&G 010, Earth, Resources, Energy & the Environment]
G&G 140a, Atmosphere, Ocean, and Environmental Change
G&G 205b, Natural Resources and Their Sustainability
[G&G 215, Global Warming: The Carbon Cycle]
G&G 322a, Physics of Weather and Climate
[G&G 323, Climate Dynamics]

CENG 120b, Introduction to Environmental Engineering

ENVE 327a, Atmospheric Chemistry
ENVE 360b, Green Engineering and Sustainable Design
ENVE 373a, Air Pollution Control
ENVE 473b, Air Quality and Energy

III Energy and Society: Political, Economic, and Social Issues

EVST 120a, Introduction to Environmental History

ANTH 382a, Environmental Anthropology
ANTH 473b, Abrupt Climate Change and Societal Collapse

ECON 330b, The Economics of Natural Resources
ECON 331a, The Economics of Energy and Climate Change
ECON 452b, Contemporary Issues in Energy Policy

HIST 042a, Oil and Empire
HIST 120b, American Environmental History
 

COURSES IN THE GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS

Listed below are some of the courses in the graduate and professional schools that have qualified for satisfying the requirements of Energy Studies and have accepted undergraduates from the Energy Studies program. 

MGT 561a, Energy Technology Innovation
MGT 563a, Energy Systems Analysis

ENAS 609b, Nanotechnology for Energy

F&ES 825a, International Environmental Law

G&G 746b, Seminar in Climate and Energy
 


 
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: (i) energy science, technology and systems; (ii) environmental impact of energy; and (iii) energy and society: political, economic and social issues.

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.