Energy Studies

What is Energy Studies?

Globally, access to modern energy services, including efficient usage, is essential to realize 20th century, let alone 21st century, living standards. A transition from inefficient use of fossil fuels to a clean, efficient energy system is key to managing urgent global risks such as climate change. Locally, demand is increasing for a trained energy workforce in Washington, due to an aging energy workforce and growth in emerging energy efficiency, grid modernization, and energy storage industries in the state.

Start Your Career at Western

Energy Studies Degrees

Energy Policy and Management, BA

Study the science, environmental, business, and policy aspects of the energy systems. Explore the issues around climate change and building sustainable communities and businesses.

Institute for Energy Studies

Gail.Cowan@wwu.edu 360-650-4422

More details about Energy Policy and Management, BA in the catalog

Energy Science and Technology, BS

An interdisciplinary degree of applied science and technology, complemented by energy policy and business practices. Become a leader in Washington's emerging clean energy economy.

Institute for Energy Studies

Gail.Cowan@wwu.edu 360-650-4422

More details about Energy Science and Technology, BS in the catalog

Energy Studies at Western

The Institute for Energy Studies is a unique, interdisciplinary program with multi-college collaboration, including Huxley College of the Environment, the College of Science and Engineering, and the College of Business and Economics. The ten departments participating in this interdisciplinary program are recognized for their outstanding educational programs and demonstrated excellence.

The Energy Policy and Management program fosters interdisciplinary thinking, learning and problem solving and integrates courses in economics, environmental studies, environmental science, and various other disciplines. Students gain knowledge and develop analytic skills in the policy and management aspects of today's diverse energy business, along with broad exposure to the science, environmental, business and policy aspects of the energy system that drive the formation and analysis of energy-related policies.

The goal of the Energy Science and Technology degree is to give students knowledge and analytic skills in the science and technology of today’s diverse energy systems and industries. The degree is designed to prepare graduates to become leaders in Washington’s emerging clean energy economy with an interdisciplinary education that emphasizes applied science and technology, complemented by energy policy and business practices, that industry experts have prioritized among Washington’s energy workforce needs.

Explore courses

ECON 343 - Population, Environment, and World Agriculture 

ENRG 360 - Energy Efficient and Carbon Neutral Design 

ENRG 380 - Energy and Environment 

ENRG 482 - Greenhouse Gas Mitigation 

ENVS 350 - Energy Policy and Politics 

Clubs and Internships

Student clubs include the Women in Energy Mentoring Network (WEIMN), an opportunity for women students and professional women in the energy field to provide mentorship, share knowledge, and create a network of shared connections, Net Impact, a global organization that encourages the integration of business and sustainability, and Students for Renewable Energy (SRE), an Associated Students club that promotes the use of clean energy technologies in the local, national, and global economy.

Students are invited to participate in the Environmental Innovation Challenge. Participating in interdisciplinary teams, students work together to define an environmental problem, design a solution, build a prototype and/or a computer simulation, and create a business summary that demonstrates the market potential.

Energy Union

We are a club dedicated to sharing information and helping build an active community in the Energy Department. We are all students with a passion for energy and our group is composed of students in Energy Majors, Minors, or related classes. It is our hope to serve as a home for students to get help in Energy related classes, find other students to work with on Energy projects, and be a central place staff can look to, to communicate important departmentally related information outward.

 

“The Energy Union at WWU is a place to learn about energy, network with peers and professionals, and find ongoing projects to build your career early.”

Examples of internship opportunities include energy analyst, energy engineer, energy business project developer, and energy literacy education associate.

Our students are also involved in Students for Renewable Energy and Project ZeNETH.

What can you do with Energy Studies?

To ensure the program is preparing students for the new Green Economy, the Institute for Energy Studies has an advisory board of industry partners, including representation from Alpha Technologies, Bonneville Power Administration, Climate Solutions, the Environmental Protection Agency, Trane Corp., McKinstry, Universal Mechanical, Puget Sound Energy, Snohomish County PUD, The Boeing Company, and others.

Energy Science and Technology, BS

The BS degree in Energy Science and Technology builds students’ knowledge and analytic skills in the science and technology of today's diverse energy systems and industries.

This degree is designed to prepare graduates to become leaders in Washington's emerging clean energy economy with an interdisciplinary education that emphasizes applied science and technology, complemented by energy policy and business practices, which industry experts have prioritized among Washington's energy workforce needs. Demand is increasing for a trained energy workforce in the state, due to an aging energy workforce and growth in emerging energy efficiency, grid modernization and energy storage industries in Washington.

Energy Science and Technology Careers

  • Energy Economist
  • Energy Efficiency Analyst
  • Director of Energy Policy
  • Energy Program Manager
  • Energy Resource Planner
  • Renewable Energy Project Manager
  • Director of Greenhouse Gas Management
  • Founder, new energy-related enterprise
  • Corporate/Campus Energy Manager
  • Building Energy Modeler

While building a strong blend of analytic and communication skills, students will gain energy-related expertise that industry experts have identified as essential to the workforce needs in the growing clean energy economy.

Energy Policy, BA

Graduates of this robust program will possess a comprehensive understanding of energy-related business, economics and policy. They will be fully equipped for leadership roles in an industry that is dynamic, evolving and highly-competitive. 

Energy policy careers

  • Corporate/Campus Energy Manager
  • Energy Efficiency Analyst
  • Building Energy Modeler
  • Energy Program Manager
  • Director of Energy Strategy
  • Energy Resource Planner
  • Renewable Energy Project Manager
  • Director of Greenhouse Gas Management
  • Founder, new energy-related enterprise

Huxley and Western have a demonstrable track record of understanding the environmental space and inspiring cool things from their colleges. If anyone was going move the needle on building a program that will produce people with a broad understanding of the energy challenges facing our country – the issues around climate change, building sustainable communities and businesses – Western is the most well-positioned and has rightfully earned the respect of the business community to support it.

David Allen
Executive Vice President, Construction and Energy Services Firm McKinstry

We are proud to support the Institute for Energy Studies program at WWU. As a member of the founding advisory board, I have had the opportunity to provide input to the program and can say that the proposed curriculum is precisely what is needed to address our current and future energy workforce needs.

Warren W. Michelsen
District General Manager, Trane Climate Solutions, Ingersoll Rand Corp.

Related Majors

Start Your Career at Western