Energy Studies Minor

Prepare to transform the world's energy systems

Kesavan Yogeswaran '12, Energy Studies MinorCredit: Justin Knight

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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See the requirements

Core Curriculum

Choose one from each category:

Energy Science Foundations

Core Curriculum: Energy Science Foundations
Fall Spring
12.021 Earth Science, Energy, and the Environment 8.21 Physics of Energy, REST


Core Curriculum: Energy Science Foundations
Fall Spring
14.01 Principles of Microeconomics, HASS-S 14.01 Principles of Microeconomics, HASS-S
15.0111 Economic Analysis for Business Decisions (9 units)

Social Science Foundations of Energy

Core Curriculum: Energy Technology/Engineering in Context
Fall Spring
14.44J/ 15.037J Energy Economics & Policy, HASS-S
11.142 Geography of the Global Economy, HASS-S
15.2191J/ 17.399J Global Energy: Politics, Markets, and Policy1

Energy Technology/Engineering in Context

Core Curriculum: Energy Technology/Engineering in Context
Fall Spring
22.081J/ 2.650J/ 10.291J Introduction to Sustainable Energy 2.60J/ 10.390J Fundamentals of Advanced Energy Conversion
4.42J/ 1.044J/ 2.66J Fundamentals of Energy in Buildings,2 REST
11.165 Urban Energy Systems and Policy, HASS-S


Students who take more than the required subjects from any of the core curriculum subject lists may count the additional coursework toward the elective requirement.

All elective subjects are 12-unit subjects unless otherwise noted.

Choose 24 units from the following:
1.018AJ/ 7.30AJ/ 12.031AJ Fundamentals of Ecology I (6 units, first half of term), REST
1.020 Principles of Energy and Water Sustainability
1.071J/ 12.300J Global Change Science2
1.079 Rock-on-a-Chip: Microfluidic Technology for Visualization of Flow in Porous Media
1.801J/ 11.021J/ 17.393J/ IDS.060 Environmental Law, Policy and Economics, HASS-S
2.005 Thermal Fluids Engineering I
2.006 Thermal Fluids Engineering II
2.570 Nano-to-Macro Transport Processes (not offered regularly)
2.603 Fundamentals of Smart and Resilient Grids
2.612 Marine Power and Propulsion
2.627 Fundamentals of Photovoltaics
2.813 Energy, Materials, and Manufacturing
3.003 Principles of Engineering Practice (9 units)
3.004 Principles of Engineering Practice (12 units)
3.012 Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering (15 units), REST
3.022 Microstructural Evolution in Materials
3.18 Materials Science and Engineering of Clean Energy
3.154J/ 22.054J Materials Performance in Extreme Environments
4.401 Environmental Technologies in Buildings, REST
5.60 Thermodynamics and Kinetics, REST
6.007 Electromagnetic Energy: From Motors to Solar Cells
6.061 Introduction to Electric Power Systems
6.131 Power Electronics Laboratory
6.152J/ 3.155J Micro/Nano Processing Technology
10.04J/ 24.114J A Philosophical History of Energy
10.05 Foundational Analyses of Problems in Energy and the Environment
10.213 Chemical and Biological Engineering Thermodynamics
10.27 Energy Engineering Projects Laboratory (15 units)
10.28 Chemical-Biological Engineering Laboratory (15 units)
10.302 Transport Processes
10.426 Electrochemical Energy Systems
11.162 Politics of Energy and the Environment, HASS-S3
12.340 Global Warming Science (offered AY 17-18, but not offered regularly)
12.346J/ IDS.062J Global Environmental Negotiations (6 units)2
14.42 Environmental Policy and Economics, HASS-S2
15.026J/ 12.348J Global Climate Change: Economics, Science, and Policy (9 units)
16.001 Unified Engineering: Materials Structures, REST
16.002 Unified Engineering: Signals and Systems
16.003 Unified Engineering: Fluid Dynamics
16.004 Unified Engineering: Thermodynamics
17.051 Ethics of Energy Policy, HASS-S
22.033 Nuclear Systems Design Project (15 units)
22.06 Engineering of Nuclear Systems
EC.711J/ 2.651J D-Lab: Energy
STS.032 Energy, Environment, and Society, HASS-H, CI-H2
STS.084J/ 22.04J Social Problems of Nuclear Energy, HASS-S

IAP/Summer offerings:

Graduate-level electives
12.213 Alternate Energy Sources, (IAP, not offered regularly)
UROP (for pay in summer/for credit either term)4


1 Offered in the spring during AY 17-18. Offered in the fall during AY 18-19.
2 Not offered AY 17-18.
3 Not offered AY 18-19.
4 Energy UROP students who work during the summer for pay can continue their research in the fall/spring for credit. This credit can count as an elective for the minor.

HASS-S: Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences – Social Sciences
REST: Restricted Electives in Science and Technology
CI-H: Communications Intensive in HASS

This curriculum is currently under review by the Committee on Curricula for application to the class of 2022 and later. Students graduating before 2022 can choose to use the current structure of the Energy Studies Minor, as outlined in the Bulletin, or choose to use the structure outlined above by submitting a petition to the Energy Minor Oversight Committee.


Explore energy course content available on OpenCourseWare.

Go to OpenCourseWare

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. See the list of minor advisors ›

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.

Who are the Energy Studies Minor Advisors?

In 2014 and in response to student and faculty feedback, the Energy Minor Oversight Committee (EMOC) streamlined the Energy Minor advising around the three domains that comprise the Minor’s intellectual core:  Social Science Foundations of Energy, Energy Science Foundations, and Energy Technology/Engineering in Context.

Energy Minor Oversight Committee members or qualified affiliates serve as formal faculty advisors for all Energy Studies Minor students. EMOC members have deep knowledge of ESM requirements and ready access to the community of faculty teaching in energy, as well as teaching and advising experience across diverse MIT majors.

Members of the advising subcommittee are listed below. MITEI’s Academic Coordinator guides and supports Energy Minor advisors and students with questions on any aspect of the Minor’s administration.

When should I seek a Minor Advisor?

You may seek an Energy Studies Minor advisor at any time. It may be most useful to meet with the Energy Studies Minor advisor after you have confirmed your major and major advisor. While not required, we strongly recommend that you select a minor advisor by your sophomore year as that affords more effective advising and support from the MITEI energy education community.

How do I contact the members of the Advising Subcommittee?

Visit a profile below and click “Contact” to view their contact information.

If there is no advisor listed for your school, please contact

Apply to the Energy Studies Minor

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

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


The Energy Studies Minor has a rolling application process. You may submit your Minor 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 (10-063), first priority for Solar Spring Break, and much more!

Energy Studies Minor Deadlines
Graduating Class Form Due Date
Members of Class of 2017
(graduating in June 2017)
Application Form
Completion Form
October 7, 2016
February 24, 2017
Members of the Class of 2018
(graduating in February 2018)
Application Form March 10, 2017

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