Energy Studies

A new multidisciplinary Special Academic Program in energy studies was approved by the Yale Faculty of Arts and Sciences in the spring of 2013. The program is described on pages 271-72 of Yale College Programs of Study Fall and Spring Terms 20142015. Now in its second year, the Energy Studies Undergraduate Scholars Program has more than seventy students enrolled from more than a dozen departments.

The regular deadline for application for the Fall 2014 term was May 7, 2014.

The enrollment deadline for the Fall 2015 Term will be May 8, 2015.

The Fall 2014 end-of-term information session for Energy Studies was held on Monday, December 8, 2014, at 3.45 p.m. in Burke Auditorium, Kroon Hall. Slides from the session can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Questions can be sent by e-mail to with the subject line: ENERGY STUDIES.


Yale Climate & Energy Institute sponsors the Energy Studies Undergraduate Scholars Program. The program promotes a multidisciplinary approach to the linked challenges of energy and climate, and provides students with training in the science and technology of energy, the environmental and social impacts of energy production and use, and the economics, planning and regulation of energy systems and markets. Energy Studies Scholars acquire the broad knowledge and skills needed for advanced studies and for leadership and success in energy-related fields.

In addition to their participation in the program, Energy Studies Scholars must complete the requirements of a Yale College major. Yale College does not offer a major in energy studies.

Admission to the Energy Studies program is by application (see Instructions for Applicants), normally in the second term of the sophomore year. Accepted students are assigned an adviser from the YCEI faculty. Upon successful completion of the program, students receive a letter from YCEI acknowledging their participation in the program and are invited to attend the annual Yale Alumni in Energy Conference.

Undergraduate scholars in Energy Studies are expected to complete one course in each of the three broad tracks defining the multidisciplinary curriculum, plus three electives from a list of eligible courses (see Courses in Energy Studies). Of these six courses, three 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 the courses meet the distributional requirements across the three areas (tracks) of Energy Studies.

The capstone of the program is a senior project, which may take the form of a traditional senior essay (with permission, the student’s senior essay in the major may fulfill this requirement); a group project culminating in a substantial report; or a summer job or internship in an energy-related field with a written report. Jobs and internships are coordinated through the student’s YCEI adviser and the Yale College Center for International and Professional Experience.

Energy Studies courses are organized in three areas or tracks:

(1) Energy Science, Technology, and Systems;

(2) Environmental Impact of Energy; and 

(3) Energy and Society: Political, Economic, and Social Issues.

Students normally must complete electives in at least two of the three areas.