Professional Renewable Energy Certificate Program


CU-Boulder’s professional certificate program provides an in-depth study of renewable and sustainable energy technologies, policies, and business – the cornerstones of this rapidly growing industry. With the knowledge this certificate provides, students, working professionals, and alternative energy practitioners will be well-equipped to begin or advance careers in renewable and sustainable energy.


Upon completing this three-course program, participants receive nine graduate-level credits and earn a professional certificate granted by the University of Colorado Boulder, a Tier 1 research institution.

Professional certificate program summary:

  • Three, three-credit required courses.
  • One to two years to complete the certificate requirements.
  • Courses taught by CU faculty who are accomplished alternative energy educators and scholars with significant experience in the renewable energy industry.
  • Courses offered online.

Click here for a one-page overview of the program. 

The application process is ongoing. Apply now.


Whom is this program for?

This graduate-level renewable energy certificate program is intended for both onsite and distance learners seeking comprehensive knowledge of renewable energy, but who may lack the time or resources to enroll in a regular graduate degree program. All three core courses are offered online.

Note:  Current CU-Boulder students are not eligible to enroll in this program.


What will I learn in this program?

The renewable energy certificate program provides an in-depth understanding of the following areas:

Energy science and technology. How traditional and renewable energy systems work, how energy technologies function, energy conversion processes, and the status and potential of renewable technologies.

Energy policy. How stakeholders interact to accomplish policy decisions, the impacts and potential of policies to promote renewable energy, and congressional and governmental processes.

Energy industry. Finance, project development, economic analysis, and other components of building a viable business around renewable energy.


These three areas are the cornerstones of the rapidly growing renewable and sustainable energy industry. With the knowledge this certificate provides, students and alternative energy practitioners will be well-equipped to begin or advance careers in renewable energy.



How much does the renewable energy certificate program cost?

There is a nonrefundable application fee of $50Tuition charges can be found at: There may be additional costs for textbooks or other course material.

How do I earn the certificate?


You must complete the three required courses, earning a grade of “C” or higher in each course. 

How long does it take to earn the renewable energy certificate?

Depending on your schedule, it takes 8 to 16 months to complete the program. The first and third courses (RSEI 5000 and RSEI 5002, respectively) are offered in the spring semester, and the second course (RSEI 5001) is offered in the fall semester. Each course is a regular, full-semester course. We recommend (but do not require) that you take the renewable energy certificate courses in order – for example, the RSEI 5000 in the spring, RSEI 5001 the following fall, and RSEI 5002 the next spring.

However, there are alternatives. All three courses may be offered as summer “library” courses (i.e., students take the course during the summer in the form of pre-recorded lectures), depending on demand.

What are the prerequisites/qualifications for the renewable and sustainable energy program?

To enroll in the energy efficiency coursework required for the certificate program, you must have an undergraduate degree (BA, BS, or equivalent) from an accredited academic institution, as well as the ability to:

  • •Read and write in English
  • •Write a term paper
  • •Understand basic math concepts

There are no specific technical or other prerequisites. We have designed these energy courses to be accessible to both technical and non-technical students.

How do I enroll for this program?

Apply by completing the online application. When your application is received, our staff will contact you by email to let you know the status of your application. If your application is approved, we'll help you enroll in the required courses.

Can I just take one of the courses, or do I have to enroll for the entire certificate?

You may take one, two, or all three of the courses. However, to earn the Professional Renewable Energy Certificate, you must take all three of the courses and earn a grade of "C" or higher in each course.

I want to know more about the courses and the faculty. Where can I find more information?

The links below provide details on the courses, including complete course syllabi; as well as bios of our faculty.


Core Faculty

I’m interested, but not sure if this program is right for me. How do I decide?


We can help you determine if this program is a good fit for you. Email us with your questions and we’ll get back to you.

Click here for a one-page overview of the program.


The application process is ongoing. Apply now.