Santa Clara University


Renewable Energy Certificate

Looking to join the renewable energy revolution and align your skills with job market demand?

According to Clean Edge research’s Clean Tech Job Trends 2009 report, the top five sectors for clean-tech job activities in the US, based on a combination of job placements, job postings, and public and private investments, are: solar, biofuels and biomaterials, conservation and efficiency, smart grid, and wind power.

With an environmentally and socially responsible approach, our interdisciplinary 16-Unit Renewable Energy Graduate Certificate Program is designed to give the students a broad knowledge of the evolving renewable energy sector and specific engineering skills to work with solar, wind, hydropower, biofuel, and nuclear power.

To fulfill the requirements of the Renewable Energy Certificate, students must take the following:

  • Core Courses - Four required courses:
    Power Systems
    • ELEN 280/MECH 287 Introduction to Alternative Energy Systems
    • ELEN 281A Power Systems
    • ELEN 285 Introduction to the Smart Grid
    • ELEN 287 Storage Device Systems
  • Renewable Energy - At least one course from the following:
    • ELEN 282 Photovoltaic Devices and Systems
    • ELEN 284 Design and Fabrication of Photovoltaic Cells
    • ELEN 286/MECH 286 Introduction to Wind Energy Engineering
  • Sustainability - At least one course from the following:
    • CENG 208 Engineering Business and Economics
    • CENG 219 Designing for Sustainable Construction
    • CENG 261 Sustainable Water Resources
    • ENGR 271 Global Environmental Change
    • ENGR 273 Energy Conservation
    • ENGR 275 Environmental Politics
  • Electives- As many as needed to complete a total of 16 units. Select from any of the following courses in consultation with the certificate adivsor:
    • COEN 289 Energy-Efficient Computing
    • ELEN 219 Fundamentals of Computer-Aided Circuit Simulation
    • ELEN 236 Linear Control
    • ELEN 353 Power Conversion Fundamentals
    • MECH 225 Gas Dynamics I
    • MECH 226 Gas Dynamics II
    • MECH 238 Convective Heat and Mass Transfer I
    • MECH 239 Convective Heat and Mass Transfer II
    • MECH 240 Radiation Heat Transfer I
    • MECH 241 Radiation Heat Transfer II
    • MECH 288 Energy Conversion I
    • MECH 289 Energy Conversion II



Applicants must have completed an accredited bachelor’s degree program in a relative discipline. Application for admission to the Certificate Programs must submit the following materials:

  • A completed online Application Form
  • One official transcript from each academic institution attended, indicated the degree received and date of conferral

Please note: Santa Clara University does not issue F-1 visas to international applicants who wish to enter directly into the Certificate Program.

Grade Requirements

Students must receive a minimum grade of C in each course and an overall GPA of 3.0 or better to earn a certificate of completion.

Continuation for a Master's Degree

All Santa Clara University courses applied to the completion of a certificate program earn graduate credit that may also be applied towards a graduate degree. Students who wish to continue for such a degree must submit a separate online application and satisfy all normal admission requirements. The application fee is waived for the current students. The general GRE test requirement for graduate admission to the master's degree will also be waived for students who complete a certificate with a GPA of 3.5 or better.

Tuition and Fees

Students in the certificate program pays the same tuition and fees as our graduate students in the School. The 2010-2011 tuition rate is $735 per quarter unit, plus a $135 course and lab fee per quarter.

U.S. Government Student Loans

All Financial Aid inquiries should be directed to the Financial Aid Office. Please visit their website for more information.

Employer Tuition Assistance

A significant number of Silicon Valley employers offer employee tuition reimbursement. Please check with your Human Resources representative to learn if your employer offers a tuition reimbursement plan.

Class Schedule

Classes are taught in the following timeslots: 7:10-9:00 A.M., 5:10-7:10 P.M., and 7:10-9:00 P.M., Monday through Friday with some Saturday and/or Sunday offerings; 2-unit courses meet one day per week, and 4-unit courses meet two days per week.

For an updated schedule of classes offered next quarter, please click here or check the Sustainable Energy program Upcoming Courses link.