Sustainable Energy (Minor)

Sustainable Energy (Minor)
Solar panels

What is sustainable energy?

In the sustainable energy minor, you’ll be introduced to the complex challenges of safeguarding the environment while using natural resources to produce renewable energy for a growing global population. This interdisciplinary minor focuses on critical thinking in the areas of technology, engineering, and social and economic policy. You’ll explore domestic energy systems and ways to develop and build acceptance of sustainable energy resources. You’ll study topics such as renewable technologies, energy engineering, green building and development, or innovations in policy and economics. This minor is a great compliment to majors in business, engineering, chemistry or environmental studies.

Why study sustainable energy at UNH?

You’ll work across departments with award-winning faculty who have expertise in areas ranging from natural resources and chemical, civil and environmental engineering to community and environmental planning and sociology. UNH is among nation’s highest-performing research universities, and you’ll be encouraged to gain hands-on experience by participating in research projects. The electives in the minor offer you the opportunity to design a program that meets your individual interests.

Potential career areas

  • Electricity transmission and storage
  • Energy engineering
  • Green architecture
  • Natural resources management
  • Oil and gas industry
  • Policy analysis
  • Renewable energy
  • Research
  • Solar panel engineering

Academic Program Manager
Phone: (603) 862-3933
Office: Natural Resources & the Environment, James Hall Rm 114, Durham, NH 03824
  • UNH student Maggie Krein in the lab
    Understanding Impacts of Microplastic Pollution on Soil
    Maggie Krein is an environmental sciences: ecosystems major and double minor in wildlife and conservation biology and sustainable energy. She is from Chester, New Hampshire.
    Learn More

Curriculum & Requirements

The Minor in Sustainable Energy provides the flexibility and focus that allows for students to expand their exposure to the topic within the context of their own major.  The goal of the program is to match the developing nature of the field with the skills needed to understand sustainable energy in the greater context of its opportunities and challenges.  Courses in the minor will build on existing competencies and create an experience that provides an exposure to new the perspectives and conceptual framework that is at the core of the developing field of sustainable energy.   

The objectives of the Minor in Sustainable Energy are to provide students with the educational experience necessary to participate in one of the fastest growing fields of employment.  Coupled with an ability to focus on meaningful employment, is our challenge to confront a changing climate; students will be given an opportunity to be a part of the solution. 

Curriculum and Requirements
The curriculum and requirements for the minor are based on exposure to three competencies that reflect the exposure necessary to grasp the basic understanding of sustainable energy: 

  • Technical – Requires a basic understanding of the grid, energy flow, energy usage and the technologies of efficiency, generation and management of energy and generation sources. 
  • Economics and Finance – Requires a basic understanding of utility structure, energy markets and utility rate-making.  An additional focus includes the business aspect of financing and projecting the cost-effectiveness of energy generation sources and fuels – including the development of innovative business models for deploying sustainable energy. 
  • Policy – Requires a basic understanding in policy-making and implementation, including a historic perspective of our utilities, incentives and subsidies and their impact on market forces.  An additional focus includes the policy impacts of aspects related to sustainable energy deployment, including, interconnection, net metering and feed in tariffs and tax incentives. 

Contact Information
Students with questions about the minor or who would like more information should contact Dr. Julia Novak Colwell in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment.

Required Courses11-12
NR 507
Introduction to our Energy System and Sustainable Energy
Critical Thinking:
NR 606
International Energy Topics
or CEE 705
Introduction to Sustainable Engineering
NR 787
Advanced Topics in Sustainable Energy
Select at least one course from each of the following categories:7-8
Technology/Engineering Category:
CHBE 410
Energy and Environment
CEE 520
Environmental Pollution and Protection: A Global Context
CEE 719
Green Building Design
Social & Economic Policy Category:
NR 602
Natural Resources and Environmental Policy
CEP 673
Green Real Estate
EREC 572
Introduction to Natural Resource Economics
SOC 565
Environment and Society
TOUR 767
Social Impact Assessment
NR 606
International Energy Topics
Total Credits18-20
  • Students must earn a grade of C- or better in order for a course to be counted for credit toward the minor.
  • No pass/fail graded course shall count toward the minor.
  • Up to 8 credits can be used to satisfy both major and minor requirements.
  • Appropriate course substitutes from other study-abroad programs may also be used with permission.  

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