Univ of Southern California
University of Southern California
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Interdisciplinary Programs

Graduate Certificates

Energy, Technology and Society
Mark Taper Hall, THH 355
(213) 740-1384
Email: kaylor@college.usc.edu

Directors: Mark Bernstein (Political Science); James Haw (Chemistry)

The Energy, Technology and Society graduate certificate program is a multidisciplinary program open to USC students pursuing graduate degrees in many disciplines including architecture, biology, chemistry, communication, earth sciences, economics, education, engineering, geography, international relations, political science, public policy, sociology and urban planning.

Energy has become an increasingly volatile and uncertain commodity. Relatively small changes in supply can cause large swings in prices. Energy is the also the main cause of worsening air quality in most major urban areas. The consumption of fossil fuels is the primary cause of emission of greenhouse gases, which is a major factor in global climate change. Reducing greenhouse gas emission will be a complex and daunting task for the coming decades.

While many academic disciplines include elements of energy and environmental issues, leaders will require multidisciplinary education, training and experiences to create an economically viable and environmentally sound future. Future decision-makers and analysts need to be able to develop new paradigms for how to integrate a portfolio of technologies, with changes in consumer behavior and new policies.

This program seeks to equip students with the tools to fit the pieces together, craft strategies for new portfolios of energy use, and help decision-makers understand the policy and planning tools to meet future energy and environmental needs.

Admission Requirements

Two groups of students are served by this certificate program:

1. New students who wish to apply directly to the Energy, Technology and Society Graduate Certificate program.

2. Students currently matriculated in a USC master’s or doctoral degree program.

Candidates for admission among the first group of students must have: (1) a B.A. or B.S. degree or its international equivalent; (2) a minimum 3.0 GPA (A = 4.0) calculated over the last 60 units of credit earned. Exceptions may be made in cases of very high GRE scores or some other compelling evidence of potential to excel in graduate studies (e.g., outstanding letters of recommendation).

Application Procedures

Applicants are required to submit the following documents: (1) completed online application for admission (www.usc.edu/admission/graduate); (2) statement of purpose; (3) official transcripts from all schools previously attended; (4) two letters of recommendation; and (5) results of the GRE General Test.

International students must submit TOEFL scores and are expected to achieve a minimum score of 600 on this exam. The statement of purpose should be uploaded into the online application. This letter should: (1) describe the student’s motivation, field of interest and career goals; and (2) provide contact information, including address, phone number, email address and the primary academic unit (if the student is already enrolled at USC). Continuing students are not required to submit transcripts or GRE scores; these documents will be obtained electronically by the Office of Graduate Admissions from their original online graduate application. The letter of recommendation for continuing students must come from their primary academic advisor.

For more information, contact Natalie Kaylor, USC College Office of Advanced and Professional Programs, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0355, kaylor@usc.edu, (213) 740-1384.

Required Courses
One course from each of the following four categories (14 units of graduate work)

AME 577Survey of Energy and Power for a Sustainable Future3
CHEM 510Alternative Energy Technologies and Options4

ISE 576Industrial Ecology: Technology-Environment Interaction3
ENST 530 Environmental Risk Analysis 4

Politics and Policy
POSC 545Critical Issues in Politics and Policy4
POSC 546Seminar in Environmental Policy4

Impacts and Solutions
ARCH 519Sustainability in the Environment: Infrastructure, Urban Landscapes, and Buildings3
ARCH 611Advanced Building Systems Integration4
GEOL 525The Science of Climate Change4
PPD 692 Transportation and the Environment4
PPDE 632 Sustainable Cities4