Master of Professional Studies in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems - Solar Energy Option

An engineer in a solar energy field manages a project on his laptop

Become a Leader in Solar Energy Development

With an ever-growing "green economy," the need is increasing for professionals who understand resource assessment, project development, system design, and emerging technologies for both solar thermal and solar electric systems.

As more employment opportunities become available, companies will look for professionals with the skills to effectively lead their colleagues and move solar energy improvement projects forward.

Why an Online Solar Energy Degree from Penn State?

Penn State's online intercollege Master of Professional Studies in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems (iMPS-RESS) with an option in solar energy provides a broad coverage of topics related to renewable energy and sustainability systems.

In the solar energy option, you can choose from parallel paths of study that focus on either electric-driven (PV) or thermal-driven study, which can also be pursued from the large-scale or from the distributed approach.

Because it is provided through a partnership between four colleges and eight academic departments in the University, the iMPS-RESS program offers you the opportunity to learn from our faculty who are highly skilled solar energy experts — and you can also gain additional perspectives from our diverse faculty with various sustainability backgrounds.

In addition to the concentrated core curriculum, you can focus your studies and meet your individual learning goals by selecting additional courses from an array of electives offered through the other program options:

Who Should Apply?

Penn State's online iMPS-RESS program with an option in solar energy could be right for you if you have a technical mindset and are interested in focusing on effectively designing and using solar energy systems.

The program is appropriate for students with a diverse background — whether you received your bachelor's degree in renewable energy and sustainability systems or in another field of study. A background in systems science, engineering, or physics is strongly recommended if you are interested in the solar energy option.

If you are already in the solar energy industry and are looking to further excel in your current position, or if you want to distinguish yourself in the growing solar energy industry, this program could benefit you.

Earn a Certificate in Solar Energy

While you earn your master's degree, you can further enhance your résumé within a year by earning a Graduate Certificate in Solar Energy. The 12-credit certificate provides a solid graduate-level education for aspiring or current professionals who desire to strengthen their knowledge and skills in the field of solar energy. In addition, the credits earned can be applied to your master's degree. To earn the Graduate Certificate in Solar Energy, you must apply for it separately.

Career Opportunities for Graduates

In this focused curriculum, the iMPS-RESS program with an option in solar energy can prepare you to lead projects involving:

  • solar resource assessment for selected locales
  • effective communications designed to maximize the solar economic utility to clients/stakeholders
  • thermal- and electric-derived solar conversion technologies
  • hybridized solar systems design
  • social and policy context of solar systems project design

Because of the balanced perspective of technical understanding and advanced project management skills you can gain as a graduate in the solar energy option, you could be qualified for positions such as:

  • solar energy project manager
  • solar PV design engineer
  • VP business development – commercial solar
  • solar research analyst
  • project engineer – solar energy

Information for Military and Veterans

Are you a member of the military, a veteran, or a military spouse? Please visit our military website for additional information regarding financial aid, transfer credits, or application instructions. 

Online Education at Penn State

Penn State has a history of 100+ years of distance education and more than a decade of experience in online learning. We create an online learning environment that offers you the same quality education our residential students experience in a face-to-face setting. Learn more about Penn State World Campus