The Energy Studies Minor (ESM) is open to undergraduate students in all majors and colleges at the University of Notre Dame. This minor is intended to prepare students to become successful leaders who understand the complexities of the world's energy challenges. Students may draw from both technical and non-technical resources to learn how to help move our country and the world toward a more sustainable energy future.


Two required courses (6 credits total), three elective courses (9 credits), and a capstone class (1 credit) are required to complete the minor. Options are available with pre-approval for those unable to fit the following courses into their schedules.

  • Required Courses:

Energy and Society, ENER 20101 - a course developing the basic ideas of energy and power and their applications from a quantitative and qualitative viewpoint. This is offered in the fall. Engineering and science majors may replace this requirement with an extra elective.

SPRING 2021: ENER 20052 (PHYS 10052) may be used instead of ENER 20101. This class is not intended for engineering or science majors. 

The Business of Energy, ENER 20202 - a survey of energy resources, global climate change, basics of energy business and finance, energy economics, national and global energy policy, the psychology and ethics of energy consumption and behavior, and new urbanism. This is only offered in the spring by the Mendoza College of Business.

  • Electives:  Select 9 credits of energy-related elective courses from a pre-approved list of technical and non-technical courses. One course from outside the minor may be applied as a “double count.” Engineers may apply two. Additional courses, including from study abroad programs, may be used with pre-approval.

  • Capstone:  The required capstone credit may be earned in one semester or through two half-credit seminar-style classes over two semesters. A pre-approved energy experience rounds out the minor by senior year.

The ESM Academic Advisor is Dr. Peter C. Burns, The Henry J. Massman Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences, Director of the NNSA Actinide Center of Excellence, and Director of ND Energy. If you have questions for Dr. Burns or would like more information about the ESM, contact Anne Berges Pillai, Education and Outreach Associate Program Director, at 574-631-9106 or apillai@nd.edu.