108 Johnson Hall
(970) 492-4215
Coordinated by the School of Global Environmental Sustainability.

The Sustainable Energy Interdisciplinary Minor offers undergraduate students, regardless of their major, an opportunity to gain a deeper knowledge of the many dimensions of sustainable energy. Students will complete 21 credits (at least 12 upper-division credits) in core and elective courses that are relevant to the technical, environmental, and social science issues as we transition to a sustainable energy future. 

Effective Fall 2023

Students must satisfactorily complete the total credits required for the minor. Minors and interdisciplinary minors require 12 or more upper-division (300- to 400-level) credits.

Additional coursework may be required due to prerequisites.

Required Core Courses
GES 101Foundations of Environmental Sustainability3
GES 141Introduction to Sustainable Energy3
GES 441Analysis of Sustainable Energy Solutions3
Social and Economic Issues Course List (3-6 credits must be upper-division – see list below) 16
Science and Technology Course List (3-6 credits must be upper-division – see list below) 16
Program Total Credits:21

Social and Economic Issues Course List1

Lower Division:
AREC 202Agricultural and Resource Economics (GT-SS1)3
or ECON 202 Principles of Microeconomics (GT-SS1)
AREC 240/ECON 240Issues in Environmental Economics (GT-SS1)3
POLS 101American Government and Politics (GT-SS1)3
Upper Division:
ECON 444/AREC 444Economics of Energy Resources3
ESS 542Greenhouse Gas Policies2
NR 320Natural Resources History and Policy3
POLS 364Air, Climate, and Energy Policy Analysis3

Science and Technology Course List1

Lower Division:
ATS 150Science of Global Climate Change3
May select one option from the following:
Basic Concepts of Plant Life (GT-SC2)
and Basic Concepts of Plant Life Laboratory (GT-SC1)
Principles of Plant Biology (GT-SC1)
Attributes of Living Systems (GT-SC1)
CBE 210Thermodynamic Process Analysis3
CHEM 103Chemistry in Context (GT-SC2)3
May select one course from the following:
Fundamentals of Chemistry (GT-SC2)
General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)
General Chemistry I for Chemistry Majors
ESS 210/GR 210Physical Geography3
May select one course from the following:
Exploring Earth - Physical Geology (GT-SC2)
The Blue Planet - Geology of Our Environment (GT-SC2)
Physical Geology for Scientists and Engineers
May select one course from the following:
Physics of Everyday Phenomena (GT-SC2)
General Physics I (GT-SC1)
Physics for Scientists and Engineers I (GT-SC1)
Upper Division:
ATS 350Introduction to Weather and Climate2
ATS 351Introduction to Weather and Climate Lab1
ATS 555Air Pollution3
BZ 440Plant Physiology3
CON 476Sustainable Practice-Design and Construction3
ECE 465Electrical Energy Generation Technologies3
ESS 311Ecosystem Ecology3
ESS 353Global Change Impacts, Adaptation, Mitigation3
ESS 524Foundations for Carbon/Greenhouse Gas Mgmt3
LIFE 320Ecology3
MECH 337Thermodynamics4
MECH 403Energy Engineering3
MECH 463Building Energy Systems3
MECH 575Solar and Alternative Energies3
PH 361Physical Thermodynamics3
SYSE 530Overview of Systems Engineering Processes3
SYSE 532/ECE 532Dynamics of Complex Engineering Systems3

At least 9 of the 12 credits required between the two Course Lists must be upper-division (300- to 400- level) credits.