In an effort to prepare future professionals for the changing energy economy, Penn State's World Campus recently announced that it will offer an online master's degree in renewable energy and sustainability systems. The new degree program, which is currently accepting applications, aims to teach students the technical expertise and management skills required to become leaders in the growing field of green energy.
"The new Intercollege Master of Professional Studies in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems (iMPS-RESS) is designed to prepare professionals to lead the world's transformation from an unsustainable, fossil energy economy to a renewable, sustainable basis of operation," said Ali Demirci, iMPS-RESS academic program chair.
The program includes a rigorous 32 credit curriculum centered around the world's transition toward a sustainable energy model. Required courses include Management and Design of Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems, Ethical Dimensions of Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems, Foundations in Sustainability Systems and Energy Markets, Policy, and Regulation. In addition to these core courses, students can choose from electives that align with their career interests and goals. Penn State's World Campus currently offers students the opportunity to specialize in bioenergy, solar energy, sustainability management and policy, or wind energy.
Since a master's degree in renewable energy and sustainability systems requires expertise from a variety of disciplines, many of Penn State's World Campus departments have collaborated on the project. According to Penn State News, academic units involved in the creation of this program include the college of Agricultural Sciences, Earth and Mineral Sciences, and Engineering and the Liberal Arts. Also involved are the departments of agricultural and biological engineering, aerospace engineering, architectural engineering, chemical engineering, ecosystem science and management, energy and mineral engineering, marketing and plant science.
Penn State's World Campus currently offers online education to 7,000 students in 43 countries and will begin offering the online master's in renewable energy and sustainability systems starting this fall. "We are very excited about this new degree," said Ann Taylor, administrative program manager for iMPS-RESS. "We are creating a virtual program office to provide a single point of contact for students and developing a unified learning design for courses to give students a consistent experience."
"Penn State debuts online renewable energy and sustainability systems degree," news.psu.edu, August 14, 2013, Deborah A. Benedetti
"Penn State launches online master's degree in renewable energy," wasterecyclingnews.com, August 15, 2013, Catherine Kavanaugh
"Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems Portfolio," worldcampus.psu.edu, 2013