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Program of Study

A concentrator in this program must satisfy both program and departmental requirements. The program for each student is worked out by the student and his or her departmental adviser. The program requirements are as follows:

  1. All students must take six courses, including two core courses and four elective courses. The two core courses must be taken by choosing one from the Introduction to Energy Technology category (A1) and the other one from the Introduction to Climate Change and Geo-environmental Science category (A2), respectively. Depending on the student’s interest and background, the four elective courses should be taken with at least one from a different energy category (B1 and B2). In case the listed courses are not offered, students need to consult the program director for an alternative course. To qualify for the certificate, a minimum grade average of B- in the six program courses, and the independent work or senior thesis is required. In some cases, an elective course that fulfills this certificate program requirement can also meet a regular departmental requirement.  If a student is enrolled in more than one certificate program, there may be no more than three overlapping courses between the Sustainable Energy program and any other program.

Core Courses (one from each category — A1 and A2)
A1. Introduction to Energy Technology
MAE 228 Energy Technologies in the 21st Century (also EGR/CBE/ENE 228)*
MAE 328 Energy for a Greenhouse-Constrained World (also EGR/ENV/ENE 328)**
(*Students who do not have a thermodynamics background should choose MAE 228. **Students who have completed Thermodynamics (MAE 221 or CBE 246) are encouraged to take MAE 328).

A2. Introduction to Climate Change and Geo-environmental Science
CEE 304 Environmental Engineering and Energy (also ENE 304/ENV 300)
CEE 334 Global Environmental Issues (also WWS 452/ENV 334/ENE 334)
EEB 417A, 417B Ecosystems and Global Change (also ENV 417A, 417B)
ENE 202 Designing Sustainable Systems (also ARC 208/EGR 208/ENV 206)
GEO 427 Fundamentals of the Earth’s Climate System (also CEE 427/ENV 427)

Elective Courses and Subject Areas (four courses with at least one from a different subject area — B1 and B2)
B1. Energy Science and Technology (Fossil energy, non-fossil and renewable energy, energy conversion and storage systems and technologies)
AST 309 Science and Technology of Nuclear Energy: Fission and Fusion (also MAE 309/PHY 309)
CBE 335 The Energy Water Nexus (also MAE 338/ENV 335/ENE 335)
CBE 341 Mass, Momentum, and Energy Transport—or—MAE 423 Heat Transfer (also ENE 423)
CBE 421 Catalytic Chemistry (also CHM 421/ENE 421)
CBE 441 Chemical Reaction Engineering
CEE 304 Environmental Engineering and Energy (also ENE 304/ENV 300)
CEE 305 Environmental Fluid Mechanics (also GEO 375/ENE 305)—or—CEE 306 Hydrology—or—MAE 222 Mechanics of Fluids (also CEE 208)—or—MAE 335 Fluid Dynamics
CEE 471 Introduction to Water Pollution Technology (also GEO/URB 471)
CEE 477 Engineering Design for Sustainable Development (also ENE 477)
ELE 441,442 Solid State Physics I, II (also ENE 441,442)
ELE 557 Solar Cells: Physics, Materials, and Technology (also ENE 557)
ENE 267 Materials for Energy Technologies and Efficiency (also MSE 287/CEE 267)
ENE 273 Renewable Energy and Smart Grids (also ELE 273)
ENE 418 Fundamentals of Biofuels (also CBE 418)
ENE 431 Solar Energy Conversion (also ELE 431/ENV 431)
MAE 424 Energy Storage Systems (also ENE 424)
MAE 426 Rocket and Air-Breathing Propulsion
MAE 427 Energy Conversion and the Environment: Transportation Applications (also ENE 427)
MAE 531 Combustion

B2. Environmental Science and Geoscience (Earth science, climate, environment, ecosystems, policy and economic assessments of carbon capture and storage technology)
ART 250 Architecture, Globalization, and the Environment (also ARC 250/ENV 250)
CEE 207 Introduction to Environmental Engineering (also ENV 207)
CEE 304 Environmental Engineering and Energy (also ENE 304/ENV 300)
CEE 311 Global Air Pollution (also CHM 311/GEO 311/ENE 311)
CEE 334 Global Environmental Issues (also WWS 452/ENV 334/ENE 334)
CHM 333 Oil to Ozone: Chemistry of the Environment (also ENV 333/GEO 333)
EEB 417A, B Ecosystems and Global Change (also ENV 417A, B)
ELE 547C Selected Topics in Solid State Electronics
ENV 201A, B Fundamentals of Environmental Studies: Population, Land Use, Biodiversity, and Energy
ENV 302 Practical Models for Environmental Systems (also CEE 302/EEB 302)
ENV 327 Investigating an Ethos of Sustainability at Princeton
ENV 531 Topics in Energy and the Environment (also GEO 531/CEE 583)
GEO 203 Fundamentals of Solid Earth Science (also ENE 203)
GEO 425 Introduction to Ocean Physics for Climate (also MAE 425)
ORF 474 Special Topics in Operations Research and Financial Engineering
WWS 306 Environmental Economics (also ECO 329/ENV 319)
WWS 350 The Environment, Science and Policy (also ENV 350)

  1. A senior independent work project or thesis on a topic relevant to the program and acceptable to the Program Committee must be completed. The project or thesis title and abstract need to be presented to and approved by the program director. In addition, a minimum grade of B- for the project or thesis is required to qualify for the certificate. Students are required to present their project/thesis to faculty and program students at an annual symposium held in the spring.
  1. Close collaboration with faculty is expected. Program students are expected to demonstrate strong academic performance. Program courses may not be taken on a pass/D/fail basis unless that is the only grading alternative for the course.
  1. For the Program enrollment, students must fill out the Program Enrollment form on the program website. It is especially important to assure that requirements for the certificate will be met by the end of the senior year.

Certificate of Proficiency
Students who fulfill all program requirements will receive a certificate of proficiency in sustainable energy upon graduation.

Additional Information
Seminars on Energy and the Environment.
Seminars on energy and the environment are announced to all students registered in this program. Students are encouraged to attend regularly scheduled ACEE Highlight Seminars and Princeton Environmental Institute seminars to further enrich their understanding of the field.

Undergraduate Independent Research Projects. Undergraduate projects are usually undertaken for independent work or senior thesis credit, and opportunities exist for summer and work-study projects. These projects typically last for one or two academic terms, although they may extend over greater periods of time. Students work closely with faculty and staff members in academic departments and University-associated laboratories, such as the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), and they have access to sophisticated computers and experimental facilities while conducting their independent research.

Undergraduate Off-Campus Experiences and Internships. Students are encouraged to expand their experience through site visits and summer internships with companies, government agencies, and national and university laboratories (e.g., PPPLthe U.S. Department of Energy’s University Turbine System Research – Gas Turbine Industrial Fellowship Program, the Climate & Energy Grand Challenge at Princeton University, and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment Undergraduate Summer Internships). The energy technology core course will provide several off-campus site visit experiences to power generation stations, a fusion laboratory, and energy research labs on campus.