Energy Studies


images of guest speakers


  • Energy Studies enrolled 40 students from the Class of 2022 for the Spring 2020 term. Please join us in welcoming to the program: Michael Adeyi, Nikola Bakoc, Michelle Barsukov, Rachel Chang, Taylor Chapman, Mary Chen, Jeff Cieslikowski, Will Doyle, Lia Eggleston, Ryan Flynn, Michelle Guilbaud, Megan He, Hamzah Jhaveri, Sophie Lai, Yoanna Lazarova, Linh Manh Le, Evan Lipton, Anya Lomsadze, Abigail Long, Bentley Long, Melquisedec Lozano, Nora Massie, Jack McArthur, Diego Meucci, Liam Muldoon, Wanjiku Mwangi, Beatrice Pickett, Alexandra Saczawa, Naomi Shimberg, Arinjay Singhai, Wyatt Sluga, Andrew Song, Katrina Starbird, Nico Trigo, Elizabeth Van Ha, Gavrielle Welbel, Kiko Wong, Alexandria Wynn, Raymond Zhao, and Ziquan Zhu.
  • Energy Studies events for the Spring 2020 term will include the following:
    (Feb 14) Field trip to Rocky River and Stevenson Dam hydroelectric plants in Connecticut
    (Mar 19-20) Fossil Fuels Field Trip to Pennsylvania
    (Apr 24) Field trip to Bishop’s Orchards solar farm in Guilford, Connecticut
    (TBA) Visit of Hiroko Tabuchi, climate reporter for the NY Times, as a Poynter Fellow.
  • A list of courses approved for Energy Studies is available upon request (email: with “Energy Studies Approved Courses” on the Subject line). The list on the website is being updated. 
  • Yale College has approved the new course designation “ENRG” for Energy Studies courses in Yale College Programs of Study (the “Blue Book”). The first course to receive this designation will be ENRG 400, Senior Capstone Seminar, offered in the Spring Term. Other courses counting towards the Energy Studies requirements will eventually be cross-listed under ENRG.
  • World Economic Forum 2019 in Davos featured a new Climate Change Transformation Map on the WEF website, curated in partnership with Yale. A team of Energy Studies scholars assembled the information and wrote the text for the map with help from Yale faculty and staff. The WEF website has 124 transformation maps on critical topics for the 21st century. Climate Change was one of only 4 highlighted for Davos.
  • The faculty advisory committee for Energy Studies 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 (Applied Physics; DUS), Paul Sabin (History), Mary-Louise Timmermans (G&G; DUS). All are available for consultation and advice about the program. 

    The student representatives to the faculty advisory committee for 2019-20 are Remy Dhingra ‘20 (Ezra Stiles) and Lawrence (Stephen) Early ‘20 (Berkeley).

  • Office hours for the Spring Term are by appointment. Email

ANNOUNCEMENTS — Class of 2019

Thirty graduates in the Class of 2019  completed the requirements of Energy Studies and received Yale Energy Scholars certificates at Commencement ceremonies in the residential colleges. Congratulations to the graduates and to their families, with all best wishes for the future!

The Class of 2019 Energy Studies scholars, with their majors and capstone projects, are:

  • Nicholas Adeyi (Engineering Science-Chemical), Environmental Justice and the Politics of Excess: Mobilizing Food Waste Towards Just Sustainabilities in the Face of Climate Change

  • Pascale Bronder (Environmental Studies), Renewable Energy Access and Resilience in Urban Developing Areas: Distributed Solar Networks and Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading in Puerto Rico

  • Christina Chen (Engineering Science-Chemical), Rebuilding Physical and Institutional Energy Infrastructures in Puerto Rico: Microgrids as Socio-Technical Systems

  • Skyler Chin (Environmental Studies), Legionnaire’s Disease in the Yale New Haven Health System: Investigating Climate Change and Surveillance as Factors Influencing the Recent Increase in Cases

  • Anthony Deaconn (Applied Physics; Economics), A Dynamic Programming Model for U.S. Energy Security

  • Sukh Dhillon (Economics), In Distress: The Recent Bout of Financial Restructurings in the Oil and Gas Industry

  • Georgi Dumanov (Cognitive Science; Economics), The Cost Efficiency of Battery Storage for Residential Solar Energy: An Analysis of Investing in Solar and Storage

  • Thomas Fant (Political Science), Drill, Asia, Drill! Assessing Interstate Hydrocarbon Cooperation in the South China Sea

  • Alexandra Forman (Chemistry-Int.), An Elementary School Curriculum on Climate Change & Health

  • Christoph Funke (Geology & Geophysics; Applied Mathematics), Why Attitudes On Climate Change Differ in the United States and Germany

  • Cayley Geffen (Environmental Studies; Economics), Unconventional Energy Development and Conservation Reserve Program Enrollment

  • Hannah Hauptman (History, completed December 2018), Learning About Energy Infrastructure and Management at Deloitte Consulting and the Defense Logistics Agency

  • Carrie Heilbrun (Environmental Studies), Redesigning the Loudoun Country Green Business Challenge

  • Russell Heller (Environmental Studies), Shifting Influence: The Evolving Role of the Private Sector on American Carbon Pricing Policy

  • Luke Hellum (Statistics and Data Science), Electric Vehicle Adoption in New York City: Present and Future

  • Kevin Koste (Engineering Science-Mechanical), Forecasting Yale’s Electricity Demand: A Feasibility Study

  • Clara Ma (Geology & Geophysics; Political Science), The United States and China in the Arctic: A Roadmap for Sino-U.S. Cooperation on Energy, Climate Change, and Global Governance

  • Matthew Matejka (Economics), Energy Transition Financing in the United States: A High-Level Overview

  • Miela Mayer (Environmental Studies; Engineering Science-Environmental), Analysis of a Proposal for a Yale Solar Farm in Clinton, Connecticut

  • Claudia Mezey (Engineering Science-Mechanical), Spatial Statistical Study of Locations for Affordable Housing Development in Connecticut to Inform Investment Prioritization: The Role of Climate Resiliency

  • Angus Morrison (Economics), Bionergy: The Renewable Giant

  • Jasper Prouvost (Economics), Assessing the Economic Impacts of PayGo Solar: Implications of Establishing Creditworthiness in Off-Grid Rural Communities

  • Deniz Saip (Architecture; Engineering Science-Mechanical), Curating Expertise on Climate Change: WEF & Yale Energy Studies Partnership

  • Simon Sharp (Economics), Revenue-Neutral Carbon Taxation: An Overview of Canada’s Carbon Tax and Implications for U.S. Efforts

  • Evan Smith (Electrical Engineering/Computer Science), Creating a Mobile Sensing System for Monitoring Urban Heat Islands

  • Joshua Swerdlow (Applied Physics), Least Square Analysis of One Dimensional Transport Simulation Data in Fusion Plasmas Using STRAHL

  • Benjamin Wanger (Economics; Engineering Science-Environmental), Beyond Cell Efficiency: Incorporating Resource Efficiency as a Key Metric for Modeling Sustainability of PV Technologies

  • Simon Whiteman (Engineering Science-Chemical), Decoupling American Transportation Needs from Dependence on the Personal Vehicle

  • Reilly Witheford (Economics), Mapping Utility Targets and Upstream Energy Efficiency Program Cost-Effectiveness Across the United States: A Business Development Strategy for Energy Solutions

  • Jane Zhang (Political Science; History), Solar Geoengineering, Subjectivity in Science, and Pseudoscience

Two more members of the Class of 2019 are expected to complete the program in the Fall 2019 term.


Yale Climate & Energy Institute (2009-16) launched the Energy Studies Undergraduate Scholars program in the fall of 2013 with a curriculum encouraging undergraduates to explore the links between modern energy use and climate change. More than one hundred students completed the program’s requirements during its first five years, with nearly all going on to careers in energy-related fields. In May 2018, the Yale Faculty of Arts & Sciences voted to continue Energy Studies as a Multidisciplinary Academic Program (MAP) for another five-year term. Thirty graduates in the Class of 2019 completed the program’s requirements; nearly one hundred rising juniors and seniors are enrolled in the curriculum for the 2019-20 academic year. 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 2019 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 futuresforms the content of Energy Studies.  The challenge today for the future of energy is to accelerate a transition to cleaner, more sustainable energy sources providing affordable electricity, heating, and transportation in ways less harmful to human health and the environment than current technology based largely on burning fossil fuels. Indeed, achieving “Affordable and Clean Energy for All” is one of the seventeen U.N. Sustainable Development Goals to transform the world for the better 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, in both the developed and developing world, are by far the leading contributors to harmful air pollution and to the greenhouse gases causing rapid 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 enrollment process starts in the fall term, in coordination with the other Yale MAPs. The deadlines for application are announced in an e-mail to sophomores from the Yale College Dean’s Office and by notice in the Yale Daily News. 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. Starting with the Class of 2022, the multidisciplinary distribution requirement is that at least two courses must be taken in each of the program’s three tracks:

(I) Energy Science and Technology,

(II) Energy and Environment, and 

(III) Energy and Society.

Additionally, no more than two of the courses counting toward the program’s requirements can be required courses in  the student’s major. (There is no limit on elective courses in the major counting towards Energy Studies.) Double majors can use two courses each from those required for their two majors. At most one of the six courses counting for Energy Studies can be taken Pass/Fail or Credit/D/Fail. 

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); a credited or uncredited indepedent study project completed in senior year; or an 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.