Energy Studies


From Energy/Future 2030, Yale Climate & Energy Institute Fifth Annual Conference, organized by Yale Energy Scholars


  • There will be a dinner and information session for students interested in enrolling in Energy Studies on Monday, October 23, from 6 to 8pm in the Fellows Lounge at Benjamin Franklin College. The session is mainly intended for sophomores who are considering applying to Energy Studies this year, but all interested students are welcome to attend. RSVP via e-mail to
  • The application deadline for sophomores wishing to enroll in Energy Studies for the Spring Term 2018 is midnight November 3. Go to the link Instructions for Applicants (above) for more details.
  • Fall term office hours for Energy Studies are: Tu, 10 to 11 a.m. and Th, 1 to 2 p.m. in KGL 308. Students are encouraged to make an appointment in advance to ensure availability. Appointments can be made, including for times outside normal office hours, by e-mail to 


Twenty students from the Yale Class of 2017 completed the requirements of the Energy Studies program during the spring term and received Energy Studies certificates from Yale College, along with their diplomas, during graduation ceremonies at the residential colleges. The students and their capstone projects are listed below:

  • Jacob (Jack) Berney, Humanities (Silliman): The Bridge Fuel: Analysis of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale and its contribution to an entangled social reality in rural Pennsylvania
  • Sarah Brandt, Environmental Studies (Calhoun): Beyond the Bill: Broad Behavior Change in Yale’s Carbon Charge Project
  • Derek Brown, Environmental Engineering; Geology & Geophysics (Timothy Dwight): Hydraulic Fracturing and its Impact on Renewable Energy Development
  • Annie Bui, Geology & Geophysics (Berkeley): Carbon Capture and Storage at Yale
  • Eric Esposito, Environmental Studies; Economics (Trumbull): Gridlocked: Institutional Barriers and the Quest to Modernize the US Electrical Grid
  • Kevin Fung, Economics (Timothy Dwight): The Impact of OPEC Policy on Volatility in Emerging Markets
  • Peter Gerson, Economics (Silliman): Microgrids as a Service for Rural Alaska
  • Ian Hall, Economics (Berkeley): The importance of Debt Capital Markets in Climate Change Initiatives
  • Jordan Lee, Modern Middle Eastern Studies (Jonathan Edwards): Oil and State-Building in Iraq: How Oil Interests Affected the Development of Iraq’s Post-Saddam Political System
  • Sherry Li, Economics (Trumbull): Policy Incentives for the Future of Residential Solar in the U.S.
  • Lillian (Lilybet) Macrae, Economics (Davenport): China’s Carbon Cap-and-Trade Solution
  • Alizeh Maqbool, Physics (Berkeley): Transforming Towards Carbon Neutrality: A Focus on Pakistan’s Energy Industry
  • Torren Peebles, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology; Geology & Geophysics (Trumbull): Development of Hubbert’s Peak Oil theory and Analysis of its Continued Validity for U.S. Crude Oil Production
  • Daniel Raynor, Environmental Engineering (Berkeley): Quantifying Contributions of Snow-fed Rivers to Water Resources of Large Cities in the Western U.S.
  • Janis Risbergs, Economics (Trumbull): Battery Storage: Applications and Growth Trends
  • Nicholas Sehlinger, Chemical Engineering (Trumbull): Conversion of Stranded Gas to Dimethyl Ether
  • Salaar Ahmed Shaikh, Ecomomics & Mathematics (Calhoun): Rapid Breezes and Piercing Sunshine: A Roadmap for Morocco’s Renewable Energy Ambitions, 2016-2020
  • Adam Sokol, Environmental Engineering; Geology & Natural Resources (Saybrook): Aerosols, Ice Supersaturation, and Cirrus Clouds in the Southern Hemisphere Comparison of Aircraft Observations with Two Global Climate Models
  • Mitchell Weldon, Environmental Engineering (Saybrook): Investigation of the Microclimate Effects of a Heat-Rejecting Green Wall System
  • Julia Zhuang, Chemical Engineering (Davenport): Approaches for Modeling and Valuing Grid-scale Battery Storage

Congratulations to the 2017 Class of Energy Studies Scholars and to their families!


The Energy Studies Undergraduate Scholars program was started in the Fall of 2013 by Yale Climate & Energy Institute. Eighty-five students have completed the program’s requirements during its first 4 years; about 75 are currently enrolled in its curriculum. A brief description of the content of Energy Studies is given below. The following links contain more detailed information about the academic requirements and instructions for applying, along with the 2017-18 program brochure and slides presented at the Spring 2017 Energy Studies information session. 

Courses & Capstone Projects
Instructions for Applicants
Energy Studies 2017-18 Brochure
Energy Studies Spring 2017 Information Session


Energy Studies is a multidisciplinary academic program (MAP) in Yale College. The curriculum is designed to provide selected undergraduates with the knowledge and skills needed for advanced studies, leadership, and success in energy-related fields.

The transition to a new energy system is one of the great challenges of the 21st century. Energy in the modern world should be convenient, accessible and affordable for all—but also available in ways that are less harmful to health and the environment than today’s energy systems based largely on combustion of fossil fuels. The challenge is enormous. According to the International Energy Agency, about 1.2 billion people around the world remain without electricity, and 2.7 billion put their health at risk by the traditional use of solid biomass for cooking. Moreover, carbon-dioxide emissions from the world’s energy systems are by far the leading contributor to air pollution and to man-made climate change. “Affordable and Clean Energy for All” is one of the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals for transforming the world by 2030. 

The multidisciplinary study of world energy—its past, present, and possible futures—forms the content of Energy Studies. In addition, 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, normally in the sophomore year. See the Instructions for Applicants link at the top of this page. For the 2017-18 academic year, the application process will be run in the fall, in coordination with the other multidisciplinary academic programs. Information about enrollment will be announced by the Yale College Dean’s Office. Accepted students will normally be expected to take the gateway course for Energy Studies, APHY 100, Energy Technology and Society, during the spring term of their sophomore year. Upon fulfilling the remaining requirements during their junior and senior years, students receive a document at graduation, acknowledging their completion of the Energy Studies Multidisciplinary Academic Program; this becomes part of a student’s academic record at Yale and is recorded by the Registrar’s Office. Graduates of the program are invited to join the Yale Alumni in Energy organization.

The course requirements for Energy Studies involve completion of one course in each of the three tracks defining the multidisciplinary curriculum, plus three electives from a list of eligible courses (see the link Courses and Capstone Projects at the top of this page). 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 six courses meet the distributional requirements across the three tracks of Energy Studies.

Courses must normally be taken for a full letter grade to qualify for meeting the program’s requirements. 

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 Energy Studies director of undergraduate studies, the student’s Energy Studies mentor and the Yale College Center for International and Professional Experience.

Energy Studies courses are organized into three tracks:

(I) Energy Science and Technology,

(II) Energy and the Environment, and 

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

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