MS Alternative Energy
The need for sustainable energy using solar cells, fuel cells, biofuels, and nuclear fusion is in high demand worldwide. Our New York State approved MS in alternative energy degree program was created to educate and train students for this emerging, sought-after field.
The chemical engineering faculty has established exceptionally strong research programs in advanced materials, biotechnology, and nanotechnology as the intellectual foundation for the pursuit of alternative energy resources to supplement, and ultimately to supplant, fossil fuels.
The MS in alternative energy is independent of the existing MS in chemical engineering; students in the chemical engineering program must be formally accepted by the alternative energy program to pursue an MS in alternative energy.
For information about financial aid and applying to the alternative energray program visit the apply to Rochester page.
This post-graduate program is designed for students entering with a BS degree in engineering or science. Entering students must have completed*:
- Two general chemistry courses
- Two general physics courses
- Two calculus courses
- One differential equations course
- One thermodynamics course
Students who have not taken these courses will be required to take remedial courses in addition to the degree requirements described below.
*Equivalent courses may also be accepted.
Degree Options and Requirements
Students pursuing a master’s in alternative energy degree have the option to obtain an MS degree from a combination of coursework and an independent research thesis (Plan A), or coursework only (Plan B). Plans A and B are available to both full- and part-time students. Full-time students receiving stipends from grants or contracts, however, are expected to write a thesis (Plan A) under the sponsoring faculty advisors’ supervision.
More in-depth information about both plans is available in the Graduate Studies Bulletin.
Plan A, Thesis Option
Students in Plan A must earn a minimum of 30 credit hours, at least 18 of which should be 400-level courses. The remaining credit-hour requirement can be satisfied through independent reading (no more than 4 credit hours) and thesis research (at least 6 credit hours), culminating in a master’s thesis.
Plan B, Coursework Option
Students in Plan B must earn a minimum of 32 credit hours. At least 18 of the credits should be 400-level courses and no more than 4 credits can be from independent reading. Students may also complete an industrial internship (1 credit hour), for which a final essay must be submitted as a part of their degree requirements. All Plan B students must also pass a comprehensive written examination.
To fulfill the credit-hour requirements, students should include a minimum of three core competency courses for Plan A, and at least four for Plan B, one of which must be:
- ERG 458: Electrochemical Engineering and Fuel Cells
- ERG 460: Solar Cell
- ERG 464: Biofuels
- ERG 465: Sustainable Chemical Processes
All students must choose courses from the core competencies and technical electives listed in the MS Alternative Energy Handbook. Students who want to complete an unlisted class must get prior approval from the program director of graduate studies. Equivalent graduate-level courses, and up to two undergraduate equivalents, can usually be accommodated. Undergraduate level courses will count for three credit hours each.