November 26, 2012

CU-Boulder Offers Renewable Energy Certificate for Online Distance Learners and Professionals

The University of Colorado Boulder’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI) and the Center for Advanced Engineering and Technology Education (CAETE) offer a new graduate-level renewable energy certificate for non-degree students and professionals interested in gaining insight into the renewable energy industry.

Those completing the three-course program receive nine graduate-level credits and earn a professional certificate from the CU-Boulder Graduate School. Applications for the spring 2013 semester are due by Jan. 23 to avoid late fees (CAETE academic calendar). Courses are offered both online and in person and are taught by CU-Boulder faculty who are accomplished scholars  and have many years of experience in the energy industry.

“Our professional certificate program is an extension of CU-Boulder’s successful graduate energy certificate that we’ve been offering for several years,” said Paul Komor, Ph.D., who directs the program and teaches courses in energy technology and policy. In 2007, Komor shared in the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The three required courses for the renewable energy certificate are the same core courses that the graduate certificate requires. Furthermore, these courses are designed to be accessible to both technical and non-technical students. Those interested in applying need an undergraduate degree from an accredited academic institution and should be comfortable reading and writing in English, writing a term paper, and doing basic math.

“What sold me on the program is the mix of technology, business, and policy courses,” said Brett Landin, a current student and a principal engineer at Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colo.

“This mix of courses provides an in-depth introduction to the three fields that are key to understanding the renewable energy landscape,” he said. “I really appreciate the ability to take the class as a distance student to accommodate my work schedule, while being able to stop by office hours and work with other students in the class.”

It takes one to two years to complete the professional renewable energy certificate depending on when students begin the program. Though not required, it is recommended to start in the spring with the first course, RSEI 5000 Energy Science and Technology, taught by Keith Stockton, Ph.D. The second course, RSEI 5001 Renewable Energy Policy, taught by Komor, is offered in the fall semester, and the third course, RSEI 5002 The Business of Sustainable Energy, taught by Steve Lawrence, Ph.D., is offered in the spring semester.

Each course is a full semester in duration. Summer online “library” courses, which are pre-recorded lectures, are also available and can be taken to expedite the completion of the renewable energy certificate program.

To learn more or to register, visit the Renewable Energy Certificate page or contact

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