Energy Studies Minor

Prepare to transform the world's energy systems

Associate Professor Ruben Juanes (left) and students (l-r) Lubna Barghouty, Yunteng Cao, and Ehsan Haghighat discuss the impact of wettability on the patterns of fluid invasion into a porous microfluidic chip, illuminated from below and recorded with a high-speed camera from above. Credit: Kelley Travers

I loved the energy studies minor. The fact that MIT has a minor entirely dedicated to interdisciplinary study of energy was part of the reason I chose to come to MIT and I was not disappointed.

2014 Energy Minor Graduate

Prepare to transform the world’s energy systems

The heart of the Energy Studies Minor is a core of foundational subjects in the domains of energy science, technology, and social science.

The minor prepares graduates with subject-specific knowledge and an integrative understanding of energy issues. Students are offered hands-on subjects and opportunities to engage in the complex reality of energy.

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Who can apply to complete the minor?
Only currently enrolled undergraduates at MIT can apply. Students from all five colleges are welcome!

How do I apply?
Complete the minor application form in consultation with your Energy Studies Minor Advisor. Have your minor advisor sign it, and submit it with an unofficial copy of your transcript to MITEI’s Academic Coordinator in E19-307. Download the application form here. Feel free to consult MITEI Education staff at any time before or during the application process.

When should I apply?
Your minor program should be designated by the end of your sophomore year but no later than one full term before the term in which you expect to receive the SB degree.

I am a freshman. Should I wait until next year to make plans to apply for the minor?
It is never too early to talk to faculty, students and/or MITEI Education staff about the Energy Studies Minor and begin planning for the years ahead. Several elective subjects can be taken by freshmen during their Spring term. MITEI and the Energy Minor Oversight Committee are actively working to expand first-year options in energy. We do advise that you consult with your major advisor before and during the process of applying for the minor, to ensure a well-integrated educational experience.

Who are the Energy Studies Minor Advisors?
Energy Studies Minor Advisors are all members of the Energy Minor Oversight Committee and can consult students collaboratively with your department advisor.

How many subjects (classes) are required for the minor?
Completion of the Energy Studies Minor requires coursework in each of the three Core Curriculum categories (Science, Social Science, and Energy Technology in Context) as well as twenty-four Energy Elective units.

If I take more than one class in one or more of the core curriculum categories, do those credits count towards the elective requirement?
Yes. Students who take more than the required subject(s) from any of the Core Curriculum subject lists may count the additional coursework toward the Elective Requirement.

How are subjects chosen for the core of the Minor?
The Energy Minor Oversight Committee reviews courses based on their content and intent. There are learning criteria which the EMOC uses as guidelines to assess courses for inclusion in any particular section. The EMOC regularly reviews whether courses should be included or removed from the minor. Changes are generally made in preparation for inclusion in the Fall academic bulletin.

Who is affected by any changes that may be made to the minor curriculum?
The Energy Minor Studies requirements may be refined over time. Students will be subject to requirements in effect at the time they submit their applications. Changes to the curriculum take effect in September. This is one reason students should apply earlier rather than later, in order to not end up having a whole new set of requirement expectations in their senior year.

Will the required subjects be offered every year?
This depends upon the department from which the course is offered – some may be offered every year, some only every other year. For example, 4.42 is offered every other year by the Architecture Department. Typically, classes that are listed within the Core Curriculum categories will be supported by departments for the foreseeable future. It is in your best interest to plan ahead to make sure you can fit all of the classes into your schedule before graduating.

What happened to 15.031J in the Social Science Core?
15.031J is being redesigned with new faculty. In the meantime, take 14.44 or 11.142. Both of these subject have been updated to include content that allows them to be stand-alone options for the Social Science Core. 14.44 is a permanent stand-alone. 11.142 is currently a temporary substitution.

How do I change my Minor subject choices once I’ve applied?
Your Energy Studies Minor advisor approves any changes to your Minor subject choices after you have submitted the application form. Annotate your copy of the application form and have your advisor initial each change. Submit the updated form to the MITEI Education Office either electronically or deliver it to the Academic Coordinator in E19-307.

Can courses that qualify for the Minor also qualify for other Institute requirements?
If you pass a class that can be applied to more than one set of degree/minor requirements, you can receive credit for the class toward both, unless otherwise stated by your Major or 2nd Minor department.

Can I take any of the minor requirements under Junior-Senior P/D/F?
Subjects taken under the Junior-Senior P/D/F grading option cannot be used for a Minor Program. More information ›

Can any of the minor requirements be designated as a Sophomore Exploratory Subject?
Any subject taken at MIT or through cross-registration may be designated as exploratory, including electives, General Institute Requirements, and requirements for majors and minors. More information ›

Can the classes in the Energy Studies Minor curriculum be applied to my major?
Yes, classes can count toward both the minor and your major.

Is it easier to take this minor when majoring in particular courses?
Because some classes do overlap with the requirements of some departments, the minor may integrate more easily into some students’ schedules. However, all students interested in energy are encouraged to apply for the minor, and your minor advisor can help you plan your class schedule accordingly.

Can I make substitutions?
If you plan to take or have taken an energy-related class that you think meets a Minor requirement, but is not included in the Minor:

  • Consult your Energy Studies Minor Advisor to help you develop a petition.
  • A petition should be no more than 1-2 pages. Explain how this substitution fits into the Energy Studies Minor (it helps to compare it to existing courses already approved), outlining how the course meets the requirements of the minor. Include a copy of the syllabus and description of the course as an attachment to our petition. If you are comparing it to another course already approved, please include a copy of the description/syllabus for that course as well.
  • Submit your petition to the Academic Coordinator.
  • All petitions should be received no later than one full term before the term in which you plan to graduate. The Energy Minor Oversight Committee reviews all petitions monthly, but get your petition in early, so you don’t miss their meetings.

What happens if I can’t finish the Minor?
To drop the Minor, fill out the Completion Form and have your Energy Minor advisor sign it. Submit it to the MITEI Education Office. The Minor will not be dropped automatically; you must notify the MITEI Education Office and/or the office of the Registrar.

Where do I find more information about minors at MIT?
The Office of the Registrar states the official MIT guidelines for an undergraduate minor.

Do students in the Energy Studies Minor have access to the Energy Commons in Building 10 (10-063)?
Yes. All declared Energy Studies Minors gain access to the Energy Commons for as long as they are enrolled as an Energy Studies Minor.

Will this minor appear on my diploma?
Like all minors granted at MIT, the Energy Studies Minor will not appear on your diploma. It will appear on your transcript. MITEI issues all successful Minor students with a certificate when they graduate with the minor.

Apply to the Energy Studies Minor

The Energy Studies Minor has a rolling application process. You may submit your Application Form to the academic coordinator at any time during your four years at MIT. Those who submit their application earlier receive benefits of being an enrolled minor, including access to the Energy Commons, first priority for Solar Spring Break, and much more!

The Application Form is due no later than one full term before the term you expect to receive the S.B. degree.

Download the Application Form

Steps for submitting the Application Form:

  1. Download the Application Form.
  2. Complete the form in consultation with your Energy Minor Advisor. Make sure the subject numbers you enter on the form precisely match the subject numbers for which you actually register.
  3. Print out the completed form and have it signed by your Energy Minor Advisor.
  4. Make a copy of the signed form to keep for your records.
  5. Obtain a current copy of your unofficial MIT transcript.
  6. Hand deliver (or mail) the signed original application and unofficial transcript to the MITEI Education Office.

Completion Form

You must file a minor Completion Form by the end of the third week of the term in which you plan to receive the SB degree – even if you are taking subjects in your final term to complete the minor. There is a $50 late fee. You risk not being awarded the minor if the form is submitted late.

Download the Completion Form

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