Skip to content

Graduate Consortium on Energy and Environment: About the Program

Next application deadline is May 28, 2014. Apply now to join the Fall 2014 cohort.

Contact Educational Progams Manager Eric Simms for more information.

Training a New Generation of Scholars

The Harvard Graduate Consortium on Energy and Environment fosters a community of doctoral students who are well versed in the broad, interconnected issues of energy and environment while maintaining their focus in their primary discipline. Through debate and dialogue in coursework and seminars, students are able to identify the obstacles, highlight the opportunities, and define the discussion of an energy strategy for the 21st century and beyond.

Program Description

The Consortium is open to Ph.D. or Sc.D. students at Harvard who have completed at least one year in their home department or school and can demonstrate that participation in the Consortium will advance the goals of their research experience. Students representing a broad range of disciplines in the natural and social sciences are encouraged to participate in the Consortium, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of energy and the environment in contemporary society.

Once admitted to the Consortium, students are required to take three courses designed to give them an introduction to several critical aspects of energy issues. Students are also required to participate in a weekly reading seminar, led by faculty members from around the university, which provides an overview of the energy field from a wide range of perspectives. Each student in the program is eligible to apply for graduate fellowship support and up to $1,000 towards attending conferences or other appropriate professional activities during their time in the program.


(Click on course title to download course description)

  • Energy Consequences (Fall)

    This course gives students an introduction to climate and climate change, the carbon cycle, air and water pollution from energy systems, impacts of land use on natural ecosystems, and implications of energy use for human health.

  • Energy Technology (Spring)
    This course provides students with an understanding of the principles governing energy generation and interconversion; current and projected world energy use; and selected important current and anticipated future technologies for energy generation, interconversion, storage, and end usage. Note: This course is offered for either a letter grade or as pass/fail to accommodate different academic backgrounds, and successful completion of either listing of the course will satisfy the course requirement.
  • Energy Policy (Spring)

    This course provides students with an introduction to economic and policy dimensions of the energy choices needed to meet economic and environmental goals in both the near and long term. It will cover both international and domestic programs and policies.

Reading Seminar(Fall, Spring)
An essential part of the Consortium experience is a weekly reading seminar that provides students with the opportunity to explore current topics in the field through interactions with faculty and their peers. A different Harvard faculty member leads each seminar based on their research interests in energy and the environment, including a presentation and group discussion based on several selected readings.

Reading seminars are held every Friday during the Fall and Spring semesters from 12-1:30 pm at the Center for the Environment.  A list of the most recent seminar speakers and topics can be found here.