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 Spring 2024

All ESM graduates will complete 16 credits of coursework that include a foundation in the technical aspects of energy in addition to financial, economic, and/or policy considerations. There are several pathways based on students' majors, interests, and professional goals.

Technical Course Options (3 credits)
  • Concepts of Energy and the Environment, ENER 20052, is currently the preferred option for the spring semester.
  • Earth Focus, ENER 20333, is currently the preferred option for the fall semester.
  • Engineers and some science majors may take an additional elective rather than these introductory-level courses.
  • 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. This list changes each semester and may include courses from a study abroad program.
  • Climate & Environmental Justice, ENER 40113, is the preferred option for Spring '24.
  • Energy Systems for Decarbonization: Fossil Phase Out, Zero Carbon Buildout, and the Future of Energy, ENER 30131, is the preferred option for Fall '23.
  • Examples of other options offered in the past include ACCT 30160, ACCT 40160, MGTO 30715, MGTO 30730, MGTO 30800, ECON 40150, ENER 40405, MGA 60206, POLS 43001, POLS 30048, HESB 43899, PHYS 20063, POLS 40491, AMST 30105, HIST 30105, POLS 30242, and CBE 40425. Spring '24 options will be listed soon.
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 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 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 for Prof. Burns or want more information about the ESM, please contact Anne Berges Pillai, Education and Outreach Associate Program Director, at apillai@nd.edu.