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earth and sustainability trees
Bachelor of Arts in
Energy and Sustainability Policy


The Bachelor of Arts in Energy and Sustainability Policy is designed for students with various education and professional experiences. The program course work will cover a variety of topics, including the energy industry and the domestic and global impact it has on the environment, and foreign and domestic policy, as well as corporate and community sustainability initiatives. Because of this, our graduates are able to pursue careers in both corporate and governmental organizations. Others may continue their education and work toward a master’s or doctoral degree.

Students must complete 120 credits in the following areas to earn the Bachelor of Arts in ESP:

  • 68 requirements for the major credits
  • 24 bachelor of arts degree requirement credits
  • 45 General Education credits (25 of the 45 credits are included in the requirements for the major)
  • 8 electives credits

On the Course Schedule page, you may find a list of the courses offered each semester, as well as a syllabus and sample lesson for each course, if available.

Please note that some courses in the ESP program require students to maintain a web presence, which may include creating a webpage, blog posting, video sharing, and other Internet participation. ESP students may be required to participate in online activities that are widely accessible to the public, including audiences outside of the Penn State community.

Engaged Scholarship: Internships and Foreign Studies

Carnegie Foundation: 2015 Community Engagement Classification honor

Penn State was selected by the Carnegie Foundation for its 2015 Community Engagement Classification, an honor resulting from our commitment to providing students with at least one outside-the-classroom engagement opportunity that impacts our community. Every student in the ESP program takes part in this type of international study experience (EGEE 299) or domestic internship (EGEE 495). You will work with faculty to design a meaningful opportunity that complements your professional aspirations and busy schedule.

Course List — Bachelor of Arts in Energy and Sustainability Policy 

Prescribed Courses (62 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Effective Speech CAS 100 Introduction to speech communication: formal speaking, group discussion, analysis and evaluation of messages. 3 credits
Introduction to Energy and Earth Sciences Economics* EBF 200 Resource use decisions and their effect on local, national, and global development. 3 credits
Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy ECON 102 Methods of economic analysis and their use; price determination; theory of the firm; distribution. 3 credits
Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy ECON 104 National income measurement; aggregate economic models; money and income; policy problems. 3 credits
Energy Conservation for Environmental Protection* EGEE 102 Exposure to energy efficiency in day-to-day life to save money and energy, and thereby protect the environment. 3 credits
Oil: International Evolution EGEE 120 Survey of the commercial development of the world petroleum industry from various international, historical, business, and cultural perspectives. 3 credits
Energy in a Changing World EGEE 401 Energy is in transition, with increased international energy demand and increasing environmental pressures. Energy transitions, approaches, and outcomes are addressed.

Prerequisites: EGEE 101 or EGEE 102 or CHEM 112
3 credits
Global Energy Enterprise* EME 444 Industry perspective on the resources, technologies, engineering approaches, and externalities involved in satisfying worldwide energy demand profitably and sustainably.

Prerequisites: EGEE 102, EGEE 120, ECON 104
3 credits
Energy and Sustainability in Society EME 466 Capstone course in energy technology and policy options for reduced-carbon communities. Covering agent/stakeholder relations, sustainability, communication, and public engagement.

Prerequisites: To be taken only after all other courses have been successfully completed
3 credits
Energy and Sustainability in Contemporary Culture EMSC 240 Critical evaluation of selected media (e.g., books, film) in contemporary culture on topics related to energy and sustainability. 3 credits
Orientation to Energy and Sustainability Policy EMSC 302 Orientation to goals of the Energy and Sustainability Policy program and resources available to help students succeed. 1 credit
Rhetoric and Composition ENGL 015 Instruction and practice in writing expository prose that shows sensitivity to audience and purpose.

Prerequisites: ENGL 004 or satisfactory performance on the English proficiency exam
3 credits
Effective Writing: Business Writing ENGL 202D Writing reports and other common forms of business communication.

Prerequisites: ENGL 015 or ENGL 030; fourth-semester standing
3 credits
Environment and Society in a Changing World* GEOG 030N Introduction to the relationships between humans and the natural environment, in addition to the theories and methods that geographers employ in addressing them. 3 credits
Energy Policy* GEOG/EME 432 Analysis, formulation, implementation, and impacts of energy-related policies, regulations, and initiatives.

Prerequisites: E B F 200, EGEE 120, PL SC 490
3 credits
Human Dimensions of Global Warming* GEOG 438W Human dimensions of global environmental change: human causes; human adaptations; and policy implications of global warming.

Prerequisites: EARTH 002, GEOG 010, or METEO 003, GEOG 030
3 credits
Energy Industry Applications of GIS* GEOG 469 Roles of geographic information systems in energy-siting decisions focusing on electric energy transmission networks.

Prerequisites: GEOG 030, EGEE 102, EME 444
3 credits
From Meteorology to Mitigation: Understanding Global Warming* METEO 469 Introduction to global warming and climate change: the basic science, projected impacts, and approaches to mitigation.

Prerequisites: MATH 110 or STAT 200
3 credits
Introduction to American National Government PLSC 001 Introduction to development and nature of American political culture, constitutional/structural arrangements, electoral/policy processes; sources of conflict and consensus. 3 credits
Policy Making and Evaluation* PLSC 490 Advanced analysis of public policy, emphasizing policy evaluation and the factors that determine policy success and failure.

Prerequisites: PL SC 001, PL SC 002, or PUBPL 304W
3 credits
Elementary Statistics* STAT 200

Descriptive statistics, frequency distributions, probability, binomial and normal distributions, statistical inference, linear regression, and correlation.

Prerequisite: Placement in MATH 21 or higher.

4 credits


Additional Courses (6 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Introductory Meteorology METEO 003 Nontechnical treatment of fundamentals of modern meteorology and the effects of weather and climate. 3 credits
Foreign Studies


EGEE 299


EGEE 495
Courses offered in foreign countries by individual or group instruction.
Supervised off-campus, nongroup instruction including field experiences, practica, or internships. Written and oral critique of activity required.
3 credits


Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements (24 credits)
Description Credits
Foreign Language 12 credits
Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Natural Sciences, Quantification 9 credits
Other Cultures 3 credits
General Education (45 credits**)
Description Credits
Arts – GA 6 credits
Humanities – GH 6 credits
Health and Wellness – GHW 3 credits
Natural Sciences – GN 9 credits
Social and Behavioral Sciences – GS 6 credits
Writing and Speaking – GWS* 9 credits
Quantification – GQ* 6 credits
Integrative Studies (6 credits)***

*A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course.

**12 credits are included in the requirements for the major.

***This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. 

Electives (8 credits)
Description Credits
Courses chosen in consultation with an adviser. 8 credits

Please note: The above course list includes only courses offered by World Campus. An official degree audit or the recommended academic plan for this program may include additional course options and detailed requirements. All students are expected to complete at least 36 credits at Penn State to earn this degree. Please consult an academic adviser for details.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Penn State World Campus Students

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