Energy Studies


images of guest speakers


  • The first deadline for enrollment in Energy Studies in the Spring Term 2019 closed on November 2. Late applications will be accepted until the last day of classes, December 7, and will be processed after the first group. To submit an application, follow the link INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICANTS above. 
  • Energy Studies and Environmental Studies hosted New York Times reporter Brad Plumer under the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism for a two-day visit on November 7 - 8. John Wargo, Tweedy/Ordway Professor of Forestry and Environmental Studies moderated a conversation with our guest about “Climate and Energy Policy in an Era of Rapid Change.” More than 75 students, faculty, and staff attended the session. 
  • The Fossil Fuels Field Trip has been rescheduled for the Spring Term.  Details will be announced in January.
  • Energy Studies student representatives for the 2018-19 Academic Year are Deniz Saip ’19 and Moises Escobar ’19. 
  • The faculty advisory committee for Energy Studies for the 2018-19 Academic Year is: 
    Gary Brudvig (Chemistry, Energy Sciences Institute), Michael Fotos (Political Science; DUS, Environmental Studies); Ken Gillingham (F&ES, Economics, School of Management);  Melissa Goodall (Office of Sustainability); Cary Krosinsky (School of Management); Michael Oristaglio (G&G; director, Energy Studies); Julie Paquette (Director of Energy Management); Daniel Prober (DUS, Applied Physics); Paul Sabin (History); Mary-Louise Timmermans (DUS, G&G).
  • Office hours for Energy Studies for the Fall 2018 term are Th 10:30a - 1p in KGL 308. Please make an appointment in advance via e-mail to


Twenty-eight graduates in the Class of 2018  completed the requirements of Energy Studies and received Energy Scholars certificates at ceremonies in the residential colleges during Commencement. Congratulations to the graduates and to their families, with all best wishes for the future!

The Class of 2018 Energy Studies scholars, with their majors and capstone projects, are:

  • Joel Abraham (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology; Environmental Studies), Climate change and drought-response strategies of savanna herbivores
  • Joseph Battles (Global Affairs), Development of an air-travel emissions inventory for Australian National University
  • Joseph Bedford (Mechanical Engineering), Urban redesign and proposed experiments for the Saugatuck River watershed: watershed planning in an unstable climate future
  • Marc Bielas (Computing and the Arts), Energy efficiency in the growing urban future
  • Christina Bui (Environmental Studies), Environmental and human health effects of natural resource extraction methods: a comparative historical analysis of coal mining and hydraulic fracturing
  • Dylan Gastel (Mechanical Engineering), How autonomous cars and trucks will revolutionize America: resisting climate change and reducing air pollution
  • Tristan Glowa (Political Science), Drilling the High North: Norway’s Arctic oil expansion in the era of climate change
  • Claire Goldsmith (Economics), Sustainable steel?
  • Sarah Gomez (History; History of Art), American machine intimacy and the lighter from Zippo to Bic
  • Hannah Hauptman (History), Management of fuel infrastructure at the U.S. Department of Defense
  • Katherine Horvat (History), The answer to the energy crisis or a disaster waiting to happen? The question of nuclear power as explored in film
  • Alexa Kalandiak (Mechanical Engineering), Bitcoin and energy: from blockchain to cap-and-trade
  • Christopher King (Economics), The transition to a self-driving world
  • Anna Lifland (Environmental Studies), Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. food system
  • Liliane LIndsay (Environmental Studies), Fueling the fire: the impact of biofuels subsidies on deforestation in Indonesia
  • Peter Mahony (Economics; Geology & Natural Resources), The crux of co-dependence: how Soviet control influenced energy development and diversification in Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia (group project)
  • Yasat Berk Manav (Mechanical Engineering; Economics), Investing in renewable energy infrastructure assets: an analysis of benefits, risks and investment structures
  • Batmanlai Ontogtokh (Economics), The crux of co-dependence: how Soviet control influenced energy development and diversification in Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia (group project)
  • Lea Rice (Mechanical Engineering), Constructing a time-series input-output model of U.S. emissions
  • William Robinson (Economics), The crux of co-dependence: how Soviet control influenced energy development and diversification in Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia (group project)
  • Benjamin Sampson (Economics), A house divided: examining urban-rural differences in Americans’ behaviors, attitudes and beliefs
  • Genevieve Sertic (Electrical Engineering), Estimation of the profit of electric vehicle charging services in selected regions
  • Madison Shankle (Environmental Engineering; Geology & Geophysics), Testing the effectiveness of black carbon as an additive to oil sands process wastewater
  • Cameron Stanish (Economics), LNG in Argentina: the key to satisfying future energy demands
  • Leah Surratt (Mechanical Engineering), Encouraging Yale students to reduce their energy use: lessons from the Yale Carbon Charge project
  • Alex Tang (Mechanical Engineering; Economics), Development and evaluation of iron-sulfur flow batteries
  • Susan Wang (Economics), Sustainable finance: leveraging public equities and shareholder rights for sustainable development
  • Hope Weinstein (Chemical Engineering), Structural and molecular transport properties of self-assembled polymer-grafted nanoparticles

Three more members of the Class of 2018 are expected to complete the program in the Fall 2018 term.


The Energy Studies Undergraduate Scholars program was started in the fall of 2013 by Yale Climate & Energy Institute. More than one hundred students have completed the program’s requirements during its first five years; many have already started careers in energy-related fields. In May 2018, the Yale Faculty of Arts & Sciences voted to continue Energy Studies as a Yale Multidisciplinary Academic Program (MAP) for another five-year term. Nearly one hundred rising juniors and seniors are enrolled in the curriculum for the coming academic year. Application to Energy Studies will be open to sophomores during the Fall 2018 term. A brief description of the program’s content is given below. The following links contain information about the curriculum, instructions for applicants, the 2018-19 program brochure, and the slides presented at the Spring 2018 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. Energy Studies scholars must also complete the requirements of a Yale College major. Yale does not offer a major in energy studies. 

Multidisciplinary study of world energy—its past, present, and possible futures—forms the content of Energy Studies. One of the significant global challenges of the 21st century will be managing the transition to more sustainable energy systems. Basic energy services such as heating, lighting, and transportation should not only be accessible to everyone in today’s world, but also available in ways that are less harmful to health and the environment than our current systems based largely on combustion of fossil fuels. Achieving “Affordable and Clean Energy for All” is one of 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals to transform the world by the year 2030, but the task is large. 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, emissions from today’s energy systems are by far the leading contributors to air pollution and to the greenhouse gases causing accelerated climate change. Better energy science and technology are needed for the 21st century, but also needed to achieve the goal of clean, affordable energy for all is a better understanding of the environmental, social, political and economic impacts of rising human energy use.

Admission to Energy Studies is by application, normally in a student’s sophomore year. The application process for the 2018-19 academic year will take place in the fall, in coordination with the other Yale MAPs. The deadlines for application will be announced in an e-mail to sophomores from the Yale College Dean’s Office. Students accepted into Energy Studies in the fall term are expected to take the gateway course for Energy Studies, APHY 100, Energy Technology and Society, during the following spring term. After fulfilling the program’s requirements during their junior and senior years, and completing the degree in their majors, Energy Studies scholars receive certificates at graduation which become part of their academic records in the Registrar’s Office. Graduates of the program are invited to join the Yale Alumni in Energy organization.

The requirements for Energy Studies are the completion of six courses from a list approved by the faculty advisory committee, plus a senior capstone project. Three of the six courses must be distributed across the three tracks of Energy Studies,

(I) Energy Science and Technology,

(II) Energy and the Environment, and 

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

Additionally, three of the courses must be outside the department of the student’s major. Double majors can use three courses from each of their two majors provided that the six courses meet the distributional requirement across the three tracks of Energy Studies. Courses must be taken for a full letter grade to qualify for Energy Studies. 

The capstone of the program is a senior project, which may take the form of a traditional senior essay or senior project (with permission, a student’s senior essay/project in the major may fulfill this requirement); an indepedent study project completed in senior year; a group project in senior year culminating in a substantial report; or a summer job or internship in an energy-related field following junior year with a written report submitted in senior year. The Energy Studies program and the Yale Center for International and Professional Experience can help with arranging internships.