Graduate Certificate in Renewable And Sustainable Energy

University of Colorado Boulder - Graduate Distance Education

Online Boulder, CO Public ACCREDITED

Program at a Glance

Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering Environmental Education Environmental Studies
Yes 100% online
Per credit hour for tuition
9 credit hours required for graduation
total estimated cost
No transfer credits accepted
No 100% flexible class times
16 weeks average course length
No minimum
min. completion time


Online Graduate Certificate in Renewable and Sustainable Energy at the University of Colorado Boulder

The University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) is the flagship campus of the University of Colorado system and is globally recognized for its world-class research and a faculty that includes numerous Nobel Prize laureates. An innovator and leader in the distance education field for more than 45 years, CU Boulder connects students to its campus from anywhere in the world anytime through its distance education delivery platform.

The distance education platform gives students access to a variety of graduate programs, including master's degrees, certificates, and individual courses, allowing CU Boulder online distance education students to earn the same degrees and have the same resources as on-campus students. The Graduate Certificate in Renewable & Sustainable Energy at CU Boulder is one of twenty online graduate certificates available to working professionals.

Program Overview

The graduate-level professional certificate in Renewable and Sustainable Energy is offered completely online. The program is ideal for energy professionals who want to advance their careers and individuals who're looking to start careers in the field.

Students obtain practical training in business, energy policy, and energy science and share their expertise with fellow students. They also strengthen their networks in the sustainable energy field. Upon program completion, they receive a graduate certificate and nine academic credits that may be applied toward earning a master’s degree.

The certificate in Renewable and Sustainable Energy, which can be completed in one to two years, consists of three courses totaling nine credits:

- "Energy Science and Technology"

- "Energy Policy in the 21st Century"

- "Business of Renewable Energy"

The first course, "Energy Science and Technology," covers the basics of energy science and technology concerning both conventional and renewable/sustainable energy. The first part of the course focuses on coal, hydroelectric oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy. The second part examines biomass, geothermal, ocean, solar, and wind energy as well as conservation. A careful comparison is made between conventional and renewable energy sources to understand the possibilities and limitations of new sources of energy.

The second course, "Energy Policy in the 21st Century," examines the international, national, and sub-national customs, laws, policies, and practices that influence the global socio-technical energy system. It includes an energy policy project in which students work with real-world clients in the government, nonprofit, and private sectors.

The third course, "Business of Sustainable Energy," explores the business side of renewable and sustainable energy including challenges and opportunities with energy efficiency, renewable electricity, and renewable transportation fuels. Topics include economic analysis, energy markets, life cycle analysis, opportunity identification, policy impacts, financing of renewable energy and sustainable business models.

Course delivery

All students have automatic access to online course lectures (streaming or downloading) beginning the first day until the last day of the semester. Recorded lectures are uploaded to the portal within 24 hours after the lecture has been taught on campus. Students have the option to participate live from a distance in the real-time classroom experience and/or view the lectures asynchronously as it fits their schedule.

Library Courses, those that have been recorded in previous semesters, are available to take for academic credit with the instructor's approval.

Expert faculty members

Renewable and sustainable energy instructors are accomplished educators, practitioners, and scholars. They have expertise and real-world experience in the business, engineering, and legal aspects of the field. They are also accessible, flexible, and supportive teachers who understand working professionals' needs. Profiles of two faculty members, Adam Reed, JD and Stephen Lawrence, PhD, are listed below.

Reed is the director of renewable and sustainable energy education in the School of the Environment and Sustainability as well as a lecturer and research associate in the Environmental Studies program. His work addresses communication, knowledge, legal, and regulatory issues concerning sustainable energy consumption and operations. It has been published in several journals including the "Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology," the "Colorado Law Review," and "Utilities Policy."

Lawrence is the associate professor of operations management in the Leeds School of Business where he teaches courses in entrepreneurship, supply chain management, and technology management. His research interests include operations scheduling, supply chain lead-time estimation, sustainable energy, and technology selection and acquisition. His work has been published in numerous journals including "Decision Sciences," the "Journal of Operations Management," and the "International Journal of Production Research." His career also includes serving as vice president for operations at a metal casting plant.

Financial assistance

CU Boulder offers a variety of financial assistance options for online distance graduate students. These include loans, grants, military and company tuition assistance programs.

Connect with this school


Prerequisites & Transfer Credits

Minimum GPA

Out of 4.0

Standardized Tests


not requiredfor admission

Transfer Credits Accepted?



Services, Schedule, Reputation, Instructors and Student Info

Services Offered

Online Office Hours
Online Chat
Mobile App
Social Discussion Forums
On-Campus Graduation Ceremony
Digital Textbooks
Online Management of Coursework


100% Online Yes
Minimum Completion Time No minimum
Class Times Both
Average Course Length 16 Weeks


  • School Type:
  • School Accreditation:
    Regional Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission
  • Program Accreditation:

Instructors & Students

  • Instructors:
    Teach both online and on-campus
  • Students:
    Students worldwide


Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition
  • Required for Completion
    9 credit hours
  • Total Estimated Cost
  • In-State/Province: $1050
  • Out-of-State/Province: $1350
  • International: $1350

Location & Contact

Student Contact

Graduate Distance Education

Head of Distance Learning

Lawrence Stephen Director 303-492-6331
Graduate Distance Education Graduate School - Program Development 1111 Engineering Drive, ECOT 126 Boulder CO 80309-0435


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