The Energy Studies Minor (ESM) is open to undergraduate students in all majors at the University of Notre Dame. This minor prepares students to become successful leaders who understand the complexities of the world's energy challenges. Students draw from technical and non-technical coursework to better understand pathways to move our country and the world toward a more sustainable energy future.

Guidelines for Fall 2024

All ESM graduates will complete 16 credits of coursework, including a foundation in the technical aspects of energy and financial, economic, and/or policy considerations. Students can choose from several pathways based on their majors, interests, and professional goals.

Technical Course Options (3 credits)
  • Earth Focus, ENER 20333, is currently the preferred option for the fall semester.

  • Concepts of Energy and the Environment, ENER 20052, is currently the preferred option for the spring semester.

  • Engineers and some science majors should take an additional elective rather than an introductory-level course.

  • Other technical courses, including those studied abroad, may be used with pre-approval.

Business, Economic, and/or Policy Options (3 credits)
  • All minors should complete one 3-credit class that examines energy or climate change through the lens of business, economics, and/or policy (BEP). This list changes each semester and may include courses from a study abroad program.

  • The courses that qualify as BEP options will be different each semester and marked by an asterisk on the course list on the electives page.

Electives (9 credits)

Nine additional credits of energy-related or climate change-related elective courses complete the minor. The list is extensive and varies each semester. Students are encouraged to choose courses outside of their major.


When a single course counts toward both a major and a minor, it is considered a double-counted course. This may occur once per major for non-engineers and up to three times for engineers. Core curriculum courses not counted toward the major are free to be used in the minor and are not considered double-counts. A class may not be shared between two minors or between a concentration and a minor.

Capstone (1 credit)

The capstone credit is earned through two half-credit seminar-style courses, ENER 37003 and ENER 37004. The first course is taken soon after joining the minor, and the second is taken either semester of the senior year. The seminar emphasizes networking, current events, and participation in energy-related experiences. Seniors present a pre-approved climate or energy-related experience they had while at Notre Dame.

The ESM Academic Advisor is Peter C. Burns, The Henry J. Massman Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences and Director of ND Energy. If you have questions or want more information about the ESM, please contact Anne Berges Pillai, Education and Outreach Associate Program Director, at apillai@nd.edu.