Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University has offered educational programs in energy for more than 40 years. We educate students who go out into the world and make a significant impact on the way in which we develop and use energy resources.

The Scott Institute also works with expert decision makers and the general public to better inform public discourse on energy-related issues.  

Our Educational Approach

CMU continues to develop and expand our curricula with numerous undergraduate research opportunities. Additionally, graduate- and Ph.D.-level programs with a focus on energy issues give students the tools they need to address energy-related problems today and in the future.  You can see a list of our energy-related courses and student energy clubs.

Given the decades-long time horizon for a transition to a sustainable energy system, the education and training of future generations is critical to this transition's success. Toward this end, we are expanding our current undergraduate and graduate curricula to include a greater breadth of energy-relevant activities including additional courses, expanded minors, and new degree programs.

Undergraduate Opportunities

At the undergraduate level, we are not just adding courses on substantive issues related to energy and the environment, but also on the important topic of innovation, including how to move ideas out into practice.

The Minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies was introduced in 2018 to be accessible for every possible undergraduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, regardless of their college or major. There is a wide range of electives and they should be discussed with the faculty advisor. The minor replaces the earlier minors in Environmental Science (Mellon College of Science), Environmental Studies (Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences), and Environmental Engineering & Sustainability (College of Engineering).

Master's Degrees

At the master's level, we continue to build our master's program in the College of Engineering in Energy Science, Technology, and Policy. This interdisciplinary master's program complements the opportunities for focused graduate study on energy topics within engineering departments, including Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Engineering and Public Policy, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. These future leaders will assume increasingly important problem-solving roles as renewable and fossil-fuel resources are integrated and balanced by utilities and government agencies concerned with cost, reliability, security, sustainability, and the environment.

Given the university's systems-based approach, students work across disciplines including engineering, economics and policy analysis to solve problems ranging from the harvesting and conversion of energy to its distribution, demand and usage. These energy-related master's programs are also offered in the Tepper School of Business and School of Architecture: 

The Energy Business track brings together the Tepper School of Business's path-breaking approach to business education with Carnegie Mellon’s core strength in engineering to provide graduates with the ability to become leaders in the energy industry. 

The Master of Urban Design (MUD) degree is a post-professional, two-­year program offered in the School of Architecture that prepares graduates for careers using urban design to critically address environmental, economic, social, political, and cultural issues affecting contemporary urbanization. The studio-­based curriculum allows students to explore design strategies in a variety of scales and settings, from the post-­industrial city to the suburban periphery to the dense global metropolis.

The Master of Science in Sustainable Design program is a post-professional degree intended for recent graduates and practicing professionals who seek to gain expertise in sustainable design methodologies and return to professional work in a short time.

Additional Energy Study

Doctoral programs run through academic departments, and CMU is training the next generation of Ph.D.-level engineers and scientists with the skills and experience to analyze complex problems in energy so that they can devise interdisciplinary, systems-approach solutions. The College of Engineering has a long history of energy-related studies and research within its departments. Students interested in pursuing master's and doctorate degrees in the departments of Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Engineering and Public Policy, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering will find many opportunities to pursue energy-related graduate studies.