Education

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

The Energy Studies Minor is an interdisciplinary program that prepares graduates with an integrative understanding of energy issues. Students engage directly with the complex reality of energy through a core of foundational subjects in the domains of energy science, technology, economics, and social science.





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.

Get Started

Apply Now

The minor consists of four core classes and two electives.



Core Classes

Choose one class from each of the following four categories. If you take two classes from the same category, one may be counted as an elective.

Economics

14.01: Principles of Microeconomics

15.011: Economic Analysis for Business Decisions

Energy Science Foundations

12.021: Earth Science, Energy, and the Environment

8.21: Physics of Energy

Social Science Foundations of Energy

14.44[J]/15.037[J]: Energy Economics & Policy

11.142: Geography of the  Global Economy

15.2191[J]/11.167[J]/14.47[J]/17.399[J]: Global Energy: Politics, Markets, and Policy

Energy Technology/Engineering in Context

22.081[J]/2.650[J]/10.291[J]: Introduction to Sustainable Energy

4.42[J]/1.044[J]/2.66[J]: Fundamentals of Energy in Buildings

11.165: Urban Energy Systems and Policy

2.60[J]/10.390[J]: Fundamentals of Advanced Energy Conversion

EC.711[J]/2.651[J]: D-Lab: Energy I



Energy Electives


Take any 24 units (usually two classes) from the list of approved courses.

UROPs for credit may also be counted as electives; consult your Energy Studies Minor advisor or MITEI Academic Coordinator Rachel Shulman to confirm.

Exceptions and Substitutions

Additional classes or substitutions may be approved on a case by case basis. Consult your Energy Studies Minor advisor or MITEI Academic Coordinator Rachel Shulman.

Who can apply to the minor?

Any currently enrolled undergraduate at MIT can apply.

Who are the Energy Studies Minor Advisors? How do I get an advisor?

Every course with classes in the minor has at least one professor serving as an ESM Advisor:

Course 1: Saurabh Amin

Course 2: Konstantin Turitsyn

Course 3: Jeff Grossman

Course 4: Christoph Reinhart

Course 5: Moungi Bawendi

Course 6: Steve Leeb, Rajeev Ram

Course 8: Robert Jaffe

Course 10: Fikile Brushett, Barry Johnston, Bill Green

Course 11: David Hsu (Sabbatical Fall 2018), Amy Glasmeier

Course 12: Brad Hager

Course 14: Jeffrey Harris

Course 15: Chris Knittel (Sabbatical Fall 2018 and Spring 2019), Valerie Karplus

Course 16: Zoltan Spakovszky, Steve Barrett

Course 22: Michael Golay, Scott Kemp

If you’re not sure which advisor to consult, ask Rachel Shulman.

Will the required subjects be offered every year?

Not every subject will be offered every year. For example, 4.42 Fundamentals of Energy in Buildings is not offered regularly. Check the course catalog and talk to Rachel Shulman about class availability.

Can I change the Minor subject classes once I’ve applied?

Yes, but we recommend that you consult your Energy Studies Minor Advisor or Rachel Shulman first.

Can classes that qualify for the Minor also qualify for other Institute requirements like my major?

Yes, unless otherwise stated by your Major or 2nd Minor department.

Can I take any of the Minor requirements under Junior-Senior P/D/F?

No. 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?

Yes. 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 I make substitutions?

Yes, on a case-by-case basis. If you plan to take or have taken a class you think should get Energy Studies Minor credit, work with your Energy Studies Minor Advisor to prepare a petition.

Your petition should be 1-2 pages long and explain how this substitution fits into the Energy Studies Minor, including comparisons to other relevant classes that are already approved.

Submit your petition and a copy of the syllabus and description of the class to the Academic Coordinator. If there are other relevant comparison classes, submit a copy of their syllabi and class descriptions as well.

Submit this petition at least one full term before the term in which you plan to graduate (that is, before the beginning of your senior year).

What should I do if I can’t finish the Minor?

Get in touch with Academic Coordinator Rachel Shulman, who will help you figure out what to do next.

How do I gain access to  the Energy Commons in Building 10 (10-063)?

All Energy Studies Minors gain swipe access to the Energy Commons as  soon as they complete and submit their minor application.

Will this minor appear on my diploma?

MIT minors do not appear on diplomas. It will appear on your transcript and you will get a separate Minor certificate from MITEI.

How to Apply

Step 1: Tell us!

Send an email to the MITEI Education Coordinator and let us know you plan to minor. That way we can help you plan your classes and you can be sure not to miss invitations to talks and other events. You can do this as early as freshman year.

Step 2: Get formal approval

Consult your advisor, pick classes, and complete and submit the formal application. Don’t worry, you can change your class selections later if you need to. Once you  complete this step, you’ll get access to the Energy Commons in 10-063.

We recommend that you complete this form by the end of your sophomore year, but you absolutely must have it signed and submitted before the start of your last semester.

Step 3: Graduate

MIT minors are not listed on the S.B. diploma, but we’ll give you a separate certificate.