Energy Science Certificate

This is content from the Catalog 2019–2020 back issue. Please visit the current catalog for current information.

Note: The certificate in Energy Science is undergoing review. Students are advised to consult with the CAFNRM Dean before pursuing this program of study.

Program Contact: Philippe M. Binder, Ph.D.

Program Description

The conversion of energy to useful forms for humans, its distribution and its impact are among the most pressing issues of our time. They are at the same level as climate change, population growth and social justice. The Certificate in Energy Science provides students with extensive, integrated knowledge about this field - enough to access entry-level jobs. The courses take advantage of the Island of Hawaiʻi’s privileged opportunities in solar, wind, biofuel, tide and geothermal energies, with field trips planned according to the course subject matter. For our operations we have counted on, and hope to continue counting on the support of government and private organizations.

The Management and Policy Concentration places an emphasis on policy, yet it requires at least two courses with significant technical content. It is intended for students majoring in humanities, social sciences, business and similar fields. It can lead to potential careers in energy policy or management.

The Technical Concentration is a rigorous program consisting of year-long surveys of energy science and biofuels as well as a laboratory course. This track will prepare students for graduate work in the energy field. It is intended for students in the natural sciences or CAFNRM. It will lead to potential careers in technical areas.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Energy Science Certificate Program strives to:

  1. Provide an opportunity for undergraduate students in any discipline to explore energy-related issues during their residency at UH Hilo
  2. Add focus and relevance to the academic energy science courses by aiding the students in acquiring a practical “energy skill”;
  3. Help each certificate student, through counseling, discover and implement his/her individual energy-oriented educational career goals;
  4. Provide courses designed to acquaint the undergraduate student with the many facets of energy science; and
  5. Provide opportunities and guidance to students who wish to contribute their talents by working toward solutions of social, policy and technical energy-related problems.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completing the Energy Science Certificate, students will be able to:

  1. Address energy-related issues (systems or problems) by collecting relevant data
  2. Analyze such issues from a variety of technical, management and/or policy perspectives
  3. Present the results of such an analysis in oral or written form in a way that takes into account the issues' broader context
  4. Propose actions that lead to an improvement or solution of the energy-related issues being addressed.


Management and Policy Concentration (15 Credits)

  • Required Courses
    • ENGR 200 Introduction to Energy Science (3)
    • ENGR 240 Conventional Energies (3) or ENGR 250 Alternative Energies (3)
    • ENGR 310 Energy Policy Analysis (3)
    • ENGR 340 Sustainable Biofuels (3)
    • At least 3 additional credits of Energy Science Electives from the below:
      • AGEC 201 Agri Economics (3)
      • GEOG 326 Natural Resources (3)
      • PHYS 341 Thermodynamics (3)
      • POLS 335 Envir Politics & Policy (3)
      • Any ENGR Course numbered 200 or higher

Technical Concentration (31-33 Credits)

  • Pre-Core Courses (16-18 Credits)
    • MATH 140X Precalculus (4) OR MATH 241 Calculus I (4) (Formerly offered as MATH 205) or placement
    • PHYS 151-152 College Physics I (3), College Physics II (3) (Formerly offered as PHYS 106-107) OR PHYS 170-171 Gen Phys I: Mechanics (4)
    • BIOL 101 General Biology (3) OR BIOL 125 Intro Cell & Molecular Biol (3) OR BIOL 171 Introductory Biology I (3) *(Formerly offered as BIOL 175)
    • CHEM 161 General Chemistry I (3)
  • Energy Science Core (15 Credits)
    • ENGR 240 Conventional Energies (3)
    • ENGR 250 Alternative Energies (3)
    • ENGR 340 Sustainable Biofuels (3)
    • ENGR 361 Energy Laboratory (3)
    • ENGR 400 Biochemical Energy Conversion (3)
All courses within the certificate program must be taken and passed with a grade of C or better.