Sustainability and Energy 

The Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN) advances global energy and sustainability solutions through transformational research, interdisciplinary education, and public engagement. ISEN is the enterprise-wide sustainability and energy Institute supporting on-campus research at the undergraduate, graduate, and faculty levels across physical and social sciences, engineering, law, policy, business, and communications. It also sponsors a variety of stakeholder engagement programs, both on and off campus, in collaboration with student groups, academic and governmental partners, and private industry.

ISEN offers curriculum at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including an undergraduate certificate in sustainability and energy. The Certificate provides a means for any Northwestern undergraduate student to pursue interdisciplinary instruction in the increasingly important areas of climate, sustainability, and energy during their undergraduate coursework, while signaling broad topic proficiency to potential future employers. See more at

ISEN also offers a professional Master of Science in Energy and Sustainability (MSES), offered in collaboration with the McCormick School of Engineering. The Master's program prepares graduate students for public and private sector leadership careers in energy and sustainability. The one-year degree combines a comprehensive, interdisciplinary core curriculum spanning technology,  markets, and public policy with a student-selected elective specialization track, allowing content personalization while maintaining an overall cohort experience. MSES also provides critical professional training while limiting time out of the workforce, and facilitates student experience with industry partners and practitioners. Certain MSES curriculum may be available to advanced undergraduates, with permission of the instructor.  At this time, there is no formal option for a combined BA/BS-MS; graduating students would need to apply directly to the program. See more at

Finally, in partnership with Northwestern’s Study Abroad Office, Office of International Program Development, and Northwestern Engineering Office for Global Initiatives, ISEN offers for-credit and non-credit summer programs in China, Germany, and Israel, with a focus on renewable energy policy, green technology development, sustainable manufacturing, and water resource management. See more at

Certificate Requirements (7 units)

  • 4 electives
    • Chosen from pre-approved curricula—including study abroad options—in the natural and social sciences, engineering, and other disciplines. An eligible electives list (along with registration forms and FAQs) is at
    • Can draw no more than 2 elective courses from a single department/program.
    • At least 3 must be 300 level or higher.
    • 3.0 GPA requirement.
  • Up to 3 of the 7 total courses may be double-counted toward all other academic plans (major, minor, other certificates; including distribution requirements, unrestricted electives, etc).