Best Masters Programs for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Systems Engineering in Europe, UK, Canada, USA
Depletion of fossil fuels, global warming, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, and other environmental challenges impact both developed and developing nations. Additionally, they are compounded by increasing consumption pressures and a growing global population. Sustainability and energy policies are increasingly preoccupying governments around the world. Graduates with a Masters in Renewable Energy and Sustainable Systems Engineering (and Managment) will be very well-equipped to deal with these problems. Moreover, they will also have a wide range of exciting career opportunities all around the world. Earlier, we had discussed renewable energy careers and jobs and top 5 countries to study energy & sustainability. In this post, we will look at the Best Masters in Renewable Energy and Sustainable Systems Engineering (and Management) in Europe, UK, Canada, and USA.
Best Masters Programs in Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Top Universities for Masters in Renewable Energy & Sustainability in Europe, UK, Canada & USA
Best Masters Programs in Renewable Energy and Sustainability in Europe
The ETH Masters program is typically 4-5 semesters long. The program (entirely taught in English) includes compulsory and elective courses, a semester project, an internship in the industry, and a final Master’s Thesis. The courses and the semester project can be completed in two to three semesters, and the internship and the Master’s Thesis usually take an additional six months (full-time) each.
The program accepts students from diverse backgrounds, but it is mainly those students holding a Bachelor degree in engineering or natural sciences with a strong academic performance from a nationally or internationally reputed university who have a good chance of being admitted to the course. To be considered, the candidate’s Bachelor degree should comprise the following courses (although a deviation of up to 6 ECTS credit points is allowed):
- Mathematics: an equivalent of 26 credit points or more
- Physics: an equivalent of 10 credit points or more
- Chemistry: an equivalent of 3 credit points or more
- Engineering sciences: an equivalent of 24 credit points or more (mechanical/electrical engineering, informatics, systems/control etc.)
- Economics: an equivalent of 3 credit points or more
Joint Nordic Master in Innovative Sustainable Energy Engineering
The purpose of the Nordic Master in Innovative Sustainable Energy Engineering is to provide state-of-the-art education in the fields of conventional and renewable energy sources like conventional and new power generation, solar energy, biomass energy, wind power, geothermal power, and energy utilization in the built environment by means of economically and environmentally sustainable systems and technologies.
The Master’s programme in Innovative Sustainable Energy Engineering is a collaboration between five leading technical universities in the Nordic countries (Nordic Five Tech). The programme gives you a unique opportunity to tailor your degree based on your academic interests.
You will get to study at two of the partner universities in different countries, spending one year at each one, and you will graduate with a double master’s degree.
The universities participating in the Master’s in Innovative Sustainable Energy Engineering are:
- Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
- Aalto University in Finland
- Chalmers University of Technology
- KTH Royal Institute of Technology
- Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
- Bio Energy (KTH – Aalto)
- Energy Systems (Aalto – KTH)
- Heat and Power Engineering (Aalto – Chalmers)
- Solar Cell Systems and Materials (DTU – NTNU)
- System Integration of Wind Power (NTNU – DTU)
Alternatively, you could also study the whole Master’s program at the individual university.
Just like the Nordic programs, it’s one of the best Master’s programs in the world for sustainable and renewable energy. Sustainable Energy Technology includes renewable energy sources (such as solar energy, wind energy, and energy from biomass) and technologies designed to improve energy efficiency. Specializations are available in Wind Energy, Solar Energy, Biomass Energy, Power, Storage, and Economics & Society.
It’s an interdisciplinary program built to provide a world-class education for all those who put sustainability as the number one priority in the development of our world. This project-focused curriculum has been created, built on scientific rigour and professional practice, to provide a unique, interdisciplinary training within energy management and sustainability. The new generation of problem solvers will be able to understand complex systems such as smart grids for electricity distribution; water dissemination systems; environmental services and electronic networks that control energy consumption. And ultimately, to be able to both maximize their efficient use and minimize their negative impact on society.
You will join students from all over the world for two years at two different universities as well as winter and summer schools at two of Europe’s leading business schools (Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics and ESADE Business School). After successfully completing the programme and your thesis, you will receive a Master’s degree from two of the following institutes in the form of a double degree:
- Master of Energy Engineering and Management, from IST: Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal
- Master of Science, from KTH: Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
- Graduate Degree Programme in Energy Environment: Science Technology and Management (STEEM), from École Polytechnique, Université Paris-Saclay, France
- Master of Energy Engineering, from UPC: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech, Spain
The Master’s in Renewable Energy (MSc RENE) provides in-depth knowledge of all major renewable technologies and gives you the opportunity to specialise in areas that interest you most. With courses in business skills and innovation management, our goal is to transform you into an energy engineer, entrepreneur or innovator of the future.
Combining traditional teaching with practical, challenge-led projects, and hands-on engagement with established businesses and exciting young start-ups, MSc RENE gives you the skills and experience to design, develop and deliver the next generation of renewable energy solutions.
Companies like Total, EdF, Energias de Portugal (EDP), and Iberdrola are all actively involved in the programme, as are smaller companies and start-ups like CorPower Ocean, EOLOS, Principle Power Inc, and Tecnoturbines.
Students will have the opportunity to engage with these industrial partners through networking events, guest lectures, and study visits. They are also involved in curriculum design, selection processes, teaching, hosting internships and Master’s theses, and providing job opportunities for graduates.
Another interdisciplinary program that is jointly offered by six departments – Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Applied Physics, Architecture, Building and Planning and Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences. This cooperation gives you the opportunity to look at our energy supply from different viewpoints.
This program is part of the strategic research area of Energy. It educates academic engineers who possess scientific knowledge and insight into the design, behaviour and performance of energy technologies and the integration of these technologies in grids, buildings and society.
The discipline of Sustainable Energy Technology combines a number of specializations. The multidisciplinary research is organized into several themes, which are also the focal areas of the energy-related research at the TU/e:
- Electrical power systems
- Application in the built environment
- Energy & society
- Sources, fuels & storage
The 16-month programme is divided into three semesters: the core semester, the specialisation and the thesis project. For the core you can choose one of the following universities:
- Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, the Netherlands(English)
- Ecole des Mines de Paris, France (French)
- Zaragoza University, Spain(Spanish)
- Loughborough University, UK(English)
- Oldenburg University, Germany(English)
Other Top Masters Programs in Renewable and Sustainable Energy in Europe
This programme is aimed at students with a background in science or engineering who want to contribute to the transition towards sustainable energy systems.
This two-year Master’s programme is aimed at students who want to contribute to the design of the solutions needed to achieve an environmentally and socially accountable society. In this programme, you will learn how to analyse the processes associated with change and will consider the short and long-term management of these processes on local and global levels.
Best Masters Programs in Renewable and Sustainable Energy in the UK
Best Masters Programs in Renewable Energy and Sustainability in Canada
University of Toronto
Toronto offers two excellent study options in the field of Sustainable Energy – Engineering track and Management track. The Engineering track is suitable for the graduates of Aerospace, Chemical, Civil, Electrical & Computer, Mechanical & Industrial, and Materials Science. Read more about the program curriculum and modules. The School also offers generous scholarships in the field of sustainable energy studies.
The MScSM program provides the training for our graduates to act outside the traditional disciplinary black boxes; integrate knowledge from management, social, and natural sciences to address sustainability issues.
The program is unique among science and management graduate programs by providing a strong foundation in sustainability management while offering an opportunity to specialize in a management or science concentration.
The program is designed for students from diverse backgrounds such as management science, social science, natural science and engineering. The program was developed in consultation with leaders and future employers in business, non-profit, research, and government organizations.
The Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in Clean Energy Engineering is a 12-month program. It’s designed for engineers and environmental science graduates who want to make their sustainable vision a reality and advance their careers in the in-demand field of clean energy.
Technical specialization in the areas of sustainable energy generation, energy transmission, distribution and storage, and efficient energy use are key components of the curriculum. Combined with strong leadership and business skills, this program will help you to develop innovative solutions, manage teams and direct projects – a skill set that is highly relevant in today’s business environment.
The program covers innovative research into new and existing technologies, changes in consumer behaviour and more creative policy and regulatory approaches.
Carleton University has well-established strengths in the sustainable energy field on both the engineering and policy sides. In engineering, research is ongoing in a wide variety of sustainable energy-related areas.
It’s an interdisciplinary graduate program providing a balanced education related to energy and environmental management.
A combined offering through the Haskayne School of Business, Schulich School of Engineering and the Faculties of Law and Environmental Design, it is a singular and innovative program designed for professionals and students seeking a comprehensive education in sustainable energy.
The program is open to Bachelor degree holders from diverse backgrounds – design, business or law, economics, biology, or engineering.
The Department of Renewable Resources oversees the following graduate degrees. Graduate students can select from 18 thesis-based or course based degrees in five different topic areas Conservation Biology, Forest Ecology and Management, Agriculture and the Environment, Reclamation and Restoration of Land and Water, and Environmental Soil Science.
Applicants need to have a 4-year Bachelor degree in order to pursue Masters. All applicants for the thesis-based graduate programs (MSc & PhD) must have a faculty member agree to supervise their program before admission is approved. We strongly recommend obtaining supervision prior to applying online. Applications with no prospective supervisor listed will not be reviewed for admission.
Best Masters Programs in Renewable Energy and Sustainability in USA
The program has a strong interest in related energy topics such as renewable energy, global climate change, carbon capture and sequestration, and energy systems. The Energy Resources Engineering curriculum provides a sound background in basic sciences and their application to practical problems to address the complex and changing nature of the field.
Coursework includes the fundamentals of chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, geophysics, mathematics, and physics. Applied courses cover aspects of energy resources engineering in fields like oil and gas recovery, geothermal engineering, carbon sequestration, clean coal and renewable energy.
The curriculum emphasizes the fundamental aspects of fluid flow in the subsurface of the Earth. These principles apply to optimize oil recovery from petroleum reservoirs and remediating contaminated groundwater systems. The program also has a strong interest in renewable energy, global climate change, and CO2 sequestration.
The ERG Master’s Degree is a two-year program designed to educate the next generation of interdisciplinary leaders. The curriculum is intended to serve those students for whom the Master’s degree will be the final formal education in support of a professional career as well as serving as an interdisciplinary foundation for doctoral students preparing for Dissertation research.
The course requirements provide for a substantive and broad introduction to disciplinary approaches that are employed in studying energy and resource issues. These approaches are codified as the Breadth Requirements in:
- Interdisciplinary Energy and Resource Analysis
- Environmental Science
- Resource and Environmental Economics
- Social Science Approaches to Energy, Resources and the Environment
- Engineering Approaches to Energy, Resources and the Environment
The ERG Master’s Degree program culminates in a final independent capstone project. Students develop their project and critique each other’s work over the four semesters of their Master’s seminar class. Students also work closely with their advisors and other faculty readers in the planning and completion of their project. At the end of their second year, students submit their project and present their work to the ERG community.
While not required for admission, the University recommends the following college-level coursework as preparation for your studies at ERG:
- Courses in fundamental science (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.)
- Four or more upper-division social science (political science, sociology, anthropology, etc.) and humanities courses
It’s one of the top programs in the US and offers great flexibility in the curriculum. The courses are designed by faculty members from across the University of Michigan, including the College of Engineering, the School for Environment and Sustainability, the Ross School of Business, the Gerald Ford School of Public Policy, the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning of Art and Architecture, and the College of Literature Science and Arts.
Graduates can find employment in the government, private, and nonprofit sectors, often obtaining leadership roles in engineering and product development, management consulting, and strategic and sustainability planning. They work toward systems improvements including transportation efficiency, green buildings, supply chain management, public utility analysis and regulation, and renewable energy. The following are select employers of Sustainable Systems graduates:
- A bachelor’s degree, GPA of 3.0 or better, in civil and environmental, mechanical, or chemical and biomolecular engineering from an accredited institution
- Completion of Calculus I, II, and II and differential equations, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer
The Master of Science in Energy Management provides a means to explore the energy future and prepare for exciting careers across the industry.
No work experience is required for applicants, and the program is open to all undergraduate majors. Applicants will be required to demonstrate quantitative aptitude through coursework or test scores.
The MSEM Curriculum features:
- Award-winning, inter-disciplinary faculty leading small cohort classes
- A capstone experience working with real-world companies on energy issues
- Specialized career coaching, including career search tips, mock interviews, and industry visits, to prepare for a career following graduation
- A weekly seminar where academic and industry energy experts present cutting-edge technologies, evaluation approaches, and future trends
The UMass Lowell graduate program in Energy Engineering offers professional training at the master’s degree level designed to prepare the student to perform state-of-the-art work on energy systems. There are two options:
- Renewable (Solar) Engineering
- Nuclear Engineering
The programs are designed to achieve a balance between hands-on experience and theory. Energy engineering draws students from all branches of engineering, mathematics, physics and chemistry.
The program has three tracks from which to choose: Thesis, Project, and Course Only. Each track requires 30 credits to graduate. Courses include Energy Engineering Workshop, Fundamentals of Solar Utilization, Transfer Processes in Energy Systems, and Alternative Energy Systems. Students will defend their thesis in an oral examination.
The Master of Science in Energy Systems is an interdisciplinary program with a focus on the effective implementation of energy systems analysis and the integration of energy systems engineering technology with financial planning. This Master’s degree is suitable to those students who have either a business or engineering undergrad degree.
The program curriculum combines engineering technology, business and financial decision processes. Students are exposed to business educators and practising professionals and have the opportunity to participate in a six-month co-op experience. Practising professionals with experience at this interface who have successfully implemented energy systems or devices and policies are actively involved in the program as adjunct professors and invited speakers.
Other Top US Universities for Masters in Sustainable Energy and Renewables
Folks purely interested in research should also consider MIT.
Few More Top Management Programs in the Field of Renewable Energy and Sustainability
Author: Tanmoy Ray
I am a Career Adviser & MS Admission Consultant. Additionally, I also manage online marketing at Stoodnt. I did my Masters from the UK (Aston University) and have worked at the University of Oxford (UK), Utrecht University (Netherlands), University of New South Wales (Australia) and MeetUniversity (India).
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