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

Courses

The Bachelor of Arts in Energy and Sustainability Policy (ESP) 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.

Please note that some courses in the ESP program require students to maintain a web presence, which may include creating a web page, 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.

The 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.

Prescribed Courses (62 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to speech communication: formal speaking, group discussion, analysis and evaluation of messages.

  • 3
    credits

    Resource use decisions and their effect on local, national, and global development.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Methods of economic analysis and their use; price determination; theory of the firm; distribution.

  • 3
    credits

    National income measurement; aggregate economic models; money and income; policy problems.

  • 3
    credits

    Exposure to energy efficiency in day-to-day life to save money and energy, and thereby protect the environment.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Survey of the commercial development of the world petroleum industry from various international, historical, business, and cultural perspectives.

  • 3
    credits

    Energy is in transition, with increased international energy demand and increasing environmental pressures. Energy transitions, approaches, and outcomes are addressed.

    • Prerequisite

      EGEE 101 or EGEE 102 or CHEM 112

  • 3
    credits

    Industry perspective on the resources, technologies, engineering approaches, and externalities involved in satisfying worldwide energy demand profitably and sustainably.

    • Prerequisite

      ECON 104 and EGEE 102 and EGEE 120

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Provides the culminating experience for Energy and Sustainability Policy majors through an individualized inquiry-based capstone project in which students tackle the wicked problems of sustainability they see and experience in their own communities.

    • Prerequisite

      To be taken only after all other courses have been successfully completed

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Critical evaluation of selected media (e.g., books, film) in contemporary culture on topics related to energy and sustainability.

  • 1
    credit

    Orientation to goals of the Energy and Sustainability Policy program and resources available to help students succeed.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Instruction and practice in writing expository prose that shows sensitivity to audience and purpose.

    • GWS

      The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Writing/Speaking (GWS) requirement.

  • 3
    credits

    Writing reports and other common forms of business communication.

    • Prerequisite

      (ENGL 15 or ENGL 30) and fourth-semester standing

    • GWS

      The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Writing/Speaking (GWS) requirement.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to the relationships between humans and the natural environment, in addition to the theories and methods that geographers employ in addressing them.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

    • 3
      credits

      Analysis, formulation, implementation, and impacts of energy-related policies, regulations, and initiatives.

      • Prerequisite

        EBF 200 and EGEE 120 and PLSC 490

      • C or better

        A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Analysis, formulation, implementation, and impacts of energy-related policies, regulations, and initiatives.

      • Prerequisite

        EBF 200 and EGEE 120 and PLSC 490

      • C or better

        A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Human dimensions of global environmental change: human causes; human adaptations; and policy implications of global warming.

    • Prerequisite

      (EARTH 2 or GEOG 10 or METEO 3) and GEOG 30N

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Roles of geographic information systems in energy-siting decisions focusing on electric energy transmission networks.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 30 and EGEE 102 and EME 444

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Examination of global warming and climate change: the basic science, projects, impacts, and approaches to mitigation.

    • Prerequisite

      STAT 200 or MATH 110 or MATH 140

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    This course examines the American democracy by looking at the dynamic interaction between the founding ideals of the United States government, the institutions established by the Constitution, and the ongoing contest for power within and through those institutions.

  • 3
    credits

    Advanced analysis of public policy, emphasizing policy evaluation and the factors that determine policy success and failure.

    • Prerequisite

      (PLSC 1 and PLSC 2) or PUBPL 304W

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 4
    credits

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

    • Prerequisite

      Placement into MATH 21 or higher.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

Additional Courses (select 6 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Nontechnical treatment of fundamentals of modern meteorology and the effects of weather and climate.

    • 3
      credits

      Courses offered in foreign countries by individual or group instruction.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Supervised off-campus, nongroup instruction including field experiences, practica, or internships. Written and oral critique of activity required.

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.

Electives (select 8 credits)

8 credits chosen in consultation with an adviser.

Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements

Some Bachelor of Arts requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major, General Education courses, or electives. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • Foreign Language: 0–12 credits
    Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language.
  • B.A. Fields: 9 credits
    Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (cannot be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)
  • Other Cultures: 0–3 credits
    Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.​

General Education Requirements

Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • 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
    A student must receive a grade of C or better in GWS courses.
  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
    A student must receive a grade of C or better in GQ courses.
  • Integrative Studies: 6 credits
    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. Integrative Studies credits may be completed within the thirty Knowledge Domain credits and must be completed with either Inter-domain or Linked courses, not a combination of both.

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 Student

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