Undergraduate Certificate in Energy and Environment

The Certificate in Energy and the Environment is designed to provide Duke undergraduates with an understanding of the breadth of issues that confront our society in its need for clean, affordable and reliable energy. An expertise in energy will expand career options in the private, non-profit, government and academic sectors. The goal of the Certificate is to develop innovative thinkers and leaders who understand the energy system as a whole and the important interconnections among policy, markets, technology and the environment.


Energy use is a multi-faceted problem, which draws upon the perspectives and expertise of a variety of disciplines. The Certificate in Energy and the Environment is therefore similarly interdisciplinary. These requirements apply to students who declare their intent to pursue the certificate in Fall 2013 or thereafter. Students who declared prior to Fall 2013 will follow the previous requirements, or may petition to follow the new requirements.

Core Course:
EOS/ENVIRON/ENERGY 231. Energy and the Environment (offered every fall)

Three elective courses (one from each area)

Markets and Policy

CEE 315 (ENVIRON 365D, PUBPOL 211). Engineering Sustainable Design and the Global Community 
CULANTH 345S/ENVIRON 343S. Energy Futures and Environmental Justice
ECON 325S. Economic Analysis of Current Energy Issues 
ECON 431S. Research Methods: Energy Markets/Environmental Impacts 
ECON 439 (ENVIRON 363). Economics of the Environment 
ENVIRON 212 (PUBPOL 275). United States Environmental Policy
ENVIRONL 390A (PUBPOL 390A). Environmental Conservation in Southeast Asia (Global Ed course)
ENVIRON 390A (PUBPOL 390A). Urban Tropical Ecology in Singapore (Global Ed course) 
ENVIRON 577 (PUBPOL 577). Environmental Politics 
ENVIRON 583S (POLISCI 663S, PUBPOL 583S). Energy and U.S. National Security 
GER 364S (HISTORY 250S, ENVIRON 366S, ENERGY 364) Green Germany: World Leader in Environmental Policy
POLSCI 145 (ECON 119). Introduction to Political Economy
POLSCI 344 (ENVIRON 345, PUBPOL 281). Environmental Politics in the United States
POLSCI 549S (ENVIRON 544S). Collective Action, Property Rights, and the Environment

The following half-courses, any two of which may be combined to fulfill this elective requirement:

ENVIRON 520. Resource and Environmental Economics I
ENVIRON 521. Resource and Environmental Economics II
ENVIRON 635. Energy Economics and Policy


CEE 160L. Intro to Environmental Engineering and Science
CEE 461L. Chemical Principles in Environmental Engineering
CEE 462L. Biological Principles in Environmental Engineering
CHEM 91. Chemistry, Technology and Society
EOS 202. Ocean and Atmosphere Dynamics
EOS 351S. Global Environmental Change
EOS 364S. Changing Oceans
EOS 355. Global Warming
EOS 511. The Climate System
EOS 514. Energy and Ecology
EOS 544. Geoengineering
ENVIRON 102. Intro to Environmental Science and Policy
ENVIRON 245. The Theory and Practice of Sustainability

Energy Science and Technology 

CHEM 590. Special Topics in Chemistry (Energy: Science and Engineering Fundamentals)
ECE 496.01. Solar Cells
ECE 496.07. Introduction to Electrical Energy Conversion
ENRGYEGR 310. Introduction to Energy Generation, Delivery, Conversion, and Efficiency
ENRGYEGR 490. Special Topics in Energy Engineering (all sections may apply)
ENVIRON 630. Transportation Energy
ENVIRON 631. Energy Technology and the Impact on the Environment
ME 461. Energy Engineering and the Environment
ME 490.01. Power for Mechanical Systems
ME 490.03. Renewable Energy Technologies
PHYSICS 137S. Energy in the 21st Century and Beyond

*Note: In selecting the elective course in Energy Science and Technology, it is important to consider which course will provide optimal preparation for the student's Capstone project course. Students should discuss their selection of this elective with a co-director of the program.

One Additional Elective Course (selected from elective course list, or alternate approved course)

Capstone Project Course (choose 1)

To complete the capstone design project for the Energy & Environment certificate, students must enroll in the Bass Connections project, "Energy and the Environment: Design and Innovation." Participation consists of a half-credit course in the fall semester (ENERGY 395) and a full-credit course (ENERGY 396) in the spring semester. The capstone is typically completed during a student's senior year, though it may be taken earlier with the prior approval of the certificate co-directors.

To enroll in the capstone, students must complete a Bass Connections application during the spring semester prior to fall enrollment. Seniors in the Certificate will be automatically accepted. A brief description of the capstone project follows:

ENERGY 395/396. Connections in Energy: Projects: Teams of undergraduate and graduate students work with faculty supervisors to identify, refine, explore and develop solutions to pressing energy issues. Teams may also include postdoctoral fellows, visiting energy fellows, and other experts from business, government, and the non-profit sector. A team's work may run in parallel with or contribute to an on-going research project. Teams will participate in seminars, lectures, field work and other learning experiences relevant to the project. Instructor consent required.

In select cases, students may participate in the capstone project via the following crediting mechanisms with prior approval from the certificate co-directors.

ENVIRON 452L (for Trinity students); EGR 424L (for Pratt students). Energy and Environment Design: Teams of students explore the feasibility of a new modified energy resource, technology, or approach. An integrative design course addressing both creative and practical aspects of the design of systems related to energy and the environment.

Note: The certificate requires a total of six courses. AP credit may not fulfill certificate requirements. No more than three courses may originate in a single department (*the capstone course is not included in this requirement). No more than two courses that count toward the Certificate may be used to also satisfy the requirements of any major, minor, or other certificate program.

Josiah Knight and Emily M. Klein, Co-Directors

Pratt students should follow these declaration instructions. As a Trinity student, you must declare the certificate through the University Registrar’s Office (select the "Academic Plan" option).

More information may be obtained from:
Nicholas School Undergraduate Programs Office 
Emily Klein, 919-613-8060, eecert@duke.edu

Gendell Center for Engineering, Energy & the Environment
Josiah Knight, 919-660-5337, jknight@duke.edu