Skip to main content
energy sustainability policy leaf
Bachelor of Science in
Energy and Sustainability Policy

Courses

The B.S. in Energy and Sustainability Policy (ESP) is a 120-credit degree program that emphasizes sustainability principles, policy development, and energy production. Students in the B.S. program also choose supporting course work in focused areas closely related to the major.

Prescribed course work includes such topics as energy sources, uses, and technologies; sustainability principles and practices; climate change; and policy development and analysis. You will also select additional courses in energy and science; analysis and technology; business and management; and ethics, leadership, and communications.

Students must complete 120 credits to earn the B.S. in ESP. 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.

    • Prerequisite

      ECON 102 and MATH 022 or equivalent

    • 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

    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

    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

    Capstone course in energy technology and policy options for reduced-carbon communities. Covering agent/stakeholder relations, sustainability, communication, and public engagement.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 30N, CAS 100, GEOG 432

    • C or better

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

  • 3
    credits

    An intensive, rhetorically based experience in reading and writing that will prepare you both to understand the communications that surround you and to succeed in your own communication efforts.

    • Prerequisite

      ENGL 4 or satisfactory performance on the English placement examination

    • 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.

  • 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. For ESP students, foreign studies (EGEE 299) or domestic internship (EGEE 495) provide opportunity for learning outside of the classroom. You will work with faculty to design a meaningful and appropriate experience, considering your prior work and travel, interests, and professional aspirations.

Supporting Courses (select 21 credits)

Supporting courses should be selected in consultation with an adviser.

  • Select 6 credits in Energy and Science
  • Select 6 credits in Analysis and Technology
  • Select 6 credits in Business and Management
  • Select 3 credits in Ethics, Leadership and Communication

Electives (select 11 credits)

  • 11 credits chosen in consultation with an adviser

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 and Family

Ready to Learn More?

Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.

* required 1/3

I agree to be contacted via phone, email, and text by Penn State World Campus and affiliates. Privacy Policy. reCAPTCHA protected. Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.