The Energy Studies Minor (ESM) is open to undergraduate students in all majors and colleges 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 2023

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)
  • 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 may take an extra non-technical 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)
  • Energy Systems for Decarbonization: Fossil Phase Out, Zero Carbon Buildout, and the Future of Energy, ENER 30131, is a new course starting fall 2023 and the preferred option for the fall semester.  
  • Other courses that examine energy and/or climate change through the lens of economics, business, and/or policy may be used instead of ENER 30131. Examples of options for Fall ‘23 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.
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 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.

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 course is taken during senior year. The seminar emphasizes networking, current events, and participation in energy-related experiences. Seniors present on a climate or energy-related experience that they have had during their time 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 would like more information about the ESM, please contact Anne Berges Pillai, Education and Outreach Associate Program Director, at 574-631-9106 or apillai@nd.edu.