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Renewable Energy Masters and Graduate Degree Program Information

Read about the requirements and curricula of graduate degree programs in renewable energy. Learn about salary and employment trends, career paths, and certification options in this field.

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Essential Information

Master's degree programs in renewable and clean energy are relatively new and rare, and are generally offered as engineering degrees. Graduate certificate programs in renewable energy are becoming more available, as are concentrations in renewable energy within environmental and policy management graduate degrees.These programs are normally available online.

Degree programs typically take two years of full-time study to complete, and a thesis or project is usually required for graduation.Graduate certificate programs can take a year, full-time, and applicants may not need a related undergraduate degree for admission.

Education Prerequisites

Students who aspire to enroll in a master's degree program in renewable energy should first complete a baccalaureate degree program in a related subject, such as environmental science, engineering or natural resources. Many schools also require the submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and previous grade point averages.

Program Coursework

Courses included in a graduate degree program in renewable energy cover the various sources of renewable energy, as well as the economic and practical realities of using those sources. Some common topics include:

  • Solar energy
  • Hydrogen energy
  • Advanced renewable energy systems
  • Wind power energy
  • Electrical power processing
  • Fuel cell science
  • Energy research methods
  • Thermodynamics
  • Electrochemical energy
  • Energy production and management

Popular Career Options

According to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change (www.pewclimate.org), several states in the U.S. have to meet mandatory standards to reduce energy reduction by using renewable sources. These mandates have given rise to the demand for renewable energy engineers, specialists and experts. Some positions in the field that are open to graduates of a master's degree program include:

  • Energy consultant
  • Solar panel equipment engineer
  • Wind power equipment engineer
  • Carbon sales adviser
  • Energy auditor

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't provide job outlook information on renewable energy careers, O*Net Online listed that energy engineers were projected to see a median annual wage of $92,030 in May 2012. Additionally, energy auditors or consultants were projected to see median wages of $65,120 in 2012.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

As a way to highlight their expertise in the field of renewable energy, graduates may consider becoming certified. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners offers various levels of certification to professionals in the renewable energies industry. Certifications are available for solar thermal installers, small wind installers and PV installers. Individuals must typically demonstrate their professional experience and pass an examination before they are eligible to gain certification.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
        • Environmental Health Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Petroleum Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Math
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
        • Environmental Health Engineering
      • Geological Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
        • Environmental Health Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Math
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
        • Environmental Health Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
      • Biological and Agricultural Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
        • Environmental Health Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Nuclear Engineering
      • Ocean Engineering
      • Surveying
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Cornell University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
      • Biological and Agricultural Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Engineering Mechanics
      • Engineering Physics
      • Environmental Engineering
        • Environmental Health Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Nuclear Engineering
      • Systems Engineering

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