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, joining an energy network that extends far beyond campus. 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
  • Earth Focus, ENER 20333 (Fall 2022) - By studying the history of the Earth and its natural climate change cycles, this course provides an historical and scientific summary of technical, social, and personal energy issues that face us in the 21st century with the goal of finding effective solutions. Engineers may take an extra elective instead of this requirement. (Concepts of Energy and the Environment, ENER 20052, replaces this requirement in Spring 2023.)
  • The Business of Energy, ENER 20202 (Spring 2023) - The Mendoza College of Business offers this 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 course is offered only in the spring semester.)
  • CapstoneThe required capstone credit is earned through two half-credit seminar-style classes, ENER 37003 and 37004. A pre-approved energy experience rounds out the minor by senior year.

Select 9 credits of energy-related elective courses from a pre-approved list of technical and non-technical courses. One course from the major or University requirements may be applied as a “double count.” Engineers may use six credits as double-counts. Additional courses, including from study abroad programs, may be used with pre-approval.


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, contact Anne Berges Pillai, Education and Outreach Associate Program Director, at 574-631-9106 or apillai@nd.edu.