Graduate Certificate in Energy Policy and Management

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The energy industry is an important cornerstone of the regional economy, and a number of PSU master’s degree graduates are active in the industry. For a number of years, several PSU departments have offered graduate courses focusing on energy issues and techniques for energy analysis. The Graduate Certificate in Energy Policy and Management brings these classes together in a program designed to create a foundation of knowledge about the energy industry. The program allows flexible graduate coursework combinations so that students can customize their studies to match their goals and interests.

Faculty in five PSU graduate programs worked closely with the regional energy industry to design a graduate certificate that will meet a wide range of intellectual, community, employee, and industry needs. The programs collaborating to offer this certificate are:

  • Public Administration 
  • Urban Studies and Planning 
  • Economics 
  • Engineering and Technology Management 
  • Systems Science 



Before completing the application process you will be required to upload a copy of your undergraduate transcript, a resume, and a short statement of purpose.

Can energy certificate courses I need for my graduate degree count for both? 
Yes, if they have been completed within seven years of the time when all of the certificate requirements are satisfied and have not been applied to another graduate certificate.

Can courses that I’ve taken in the past at PSU be counted toward the certificate requirements?
Yes, if they have been completed within seven years of the time when all of the certificate requirements are satisfied.

Can I apply transfer credits toward the Graduate Certificate in Energy Policy and Management? 
No. Transfer credits are not accepted in the energy certificate program. 

Is there course overlap between Degrees and Certificates?
Graduate courses can be applied to a master’s (or a doctoral) degree and a graduate certificate. However, graduate courses cannot be applied to two graduate certificates.  See PSU Bulletin for more course overlap information.

Can I use Independent Study credits (505/605) towards the Graduate Certificate?
No. PSU does not allow independent study, also known as Reading and Conference credits, to be applied to graduate certificate requirements.

Can I audit energy certificate program classes? 
Class auditing may be available and should be arranged with the course instructor. Audited courses cannot be applied to the certificate.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are currently enrolled in a graduate program at PSU and are looking to apply to the Graduate Certificate, the application fee is reduced. Please ask when you apply!


You can schedule time with a faculty advisor in any of the participating PSU degree programs (listed below). They are able to best advise you about certificate courses offered in their degree programs and how their fields relate to the energy industry.

For general advising, please contact Associate Professor Hal Nelson, lead faculty for the Graduate Certificate in Energy Policy and Management.

For general admission questions, please contact the Public Administration Department at

How much will the energy certificate program cost? 
Depending on the course selection and the total number of credits, the exact cost for completing the energy certificate will vary. Please see Tuition & Fees to create an estimate. 

I am an employer in the energy industry. Can I send my employees to take certificate courses? 
Yes, as long as your employee has a completed undergraduate degree, they may enroll in the energy certificate program. 

Are there Professional Development Options? 
Yes, we also offer non-credit professional development opportunities for those not seeking a full graduate certificate. These courses are for, but not limited to, mid-career professionals already working in the energy field, and others interested in advancing their careers or just learning more about the subject. 

Course of Study

A total of five courses are required for the Graduate Certificate in Energy Policy and Management, with a minimum of 15 total credits.  

The courses are listed below and offered across the programs collaborating on this interdisciplinary certificate. They are Public Administration (PA); Urban Studies and Planning (USP); Economics (EC); Engineering Technology and Management (ETM); and Systems Science (SYSC). 

Students will select one of the core courses, two of the focal area courses, and two of the professional skills courses, depending on interest and course availability. Courses need not be taken in any particular order.

Students can look up when a course may be offered in the Course Projections Guide.

Core Course (one required, the other Core Course may count towards the Focal Area Course requirement)

Focal Area Courses (two required)

  • EC 537 Public Utility Economics (4)
  • EC 538 Energy Economics (4)
  • ETM 568 Energy Technology Innovations (4)
  • PA 510 Energy Justice (3) (Offered odd-numbered years starting Spring 2021) (Offered via Distance Learning)
  • PA 573 Smart Grid and Sustainable Communities (3) (Offered even-numbered years in Spring) (Offered via Distance Learning) (Non-credit professional development option also available)
  • PA 572 Columbia River Governance (3)
  • USP 518 Energy and Society (3)

Professional Skills Courses (two required)  
(not all courses offered every year)

  • SYSC 514 System Dynamics (4) (Offered via Online Learning)
  • SYSC 525 Agent Based Simulation (4) (Offered via Online Learning)
  • EC 526 Economics of Regulation (4)
  • EC 527 Cost-benefit Analysis (4) 
  • EC 528 Project Evaluation (4)
  • EC 530 Resource & Environmental Economics (4)
  • EC 569 Introduction to Econometrics (4)
  • EC 570 Econometrics (4)
  • EC 571 Advanced Econometrics (4)
  • EC 572 Time Series Analysis & Forecasts (4)
  • ETM 525 Strategic Planning (4)
  • ETM 530 Decision Making (4)
  • ETM 531 Tech Assessment & Acquisition (4)
  • ETM 534 Technology Roadmapping (4)
  • ETM 540 Operations Research (4)
  • ETM 545 Project Management (4)
  • PA 536 Strategic Planning (3)
  • PA 551 Analytic Methods in Public Administration I (3) (PA 551 & PA 552 must be taken as a sequence)
  • PA 552 Analytics Methods in Public Administration II (3) (PA 551 & PA 552 must be taken as a sequence)
  • PA 554 Policy Analysis Research (3)
  • PA 555 Program Evaluation and Management (3)
  • PA 556 Public Contract Management (3)
  • PA 558 Project and Program Management (3)
  • USP 532 Data Collection (4)
  • USP 536 Policy Evaluation Methods (3)
  • USP 578 Impact Assessment (3)
  • USP 588 Sustainable Development Practices (3)
  • USP 615 Economic Analysis of Public Policy (4)
  • USP 634 Data Analysis I (4)