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Graduate Consortium on Energy and Environment: About the Program

Applications are now closed for the 2014 cohort. Please check out website in early Spring 2015 for the next round of applications.

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

    Provides an introduction to the physical and chemical impacts of energy choices on human society and natural ecosystems. Topics include the carbon cycle, climate, air and water pollution, impacts of energy systems on health, land use consequences of energy technologies, and nuclear waste and proliferation.

  • Energy Technology
    Assesses current and anticipated future technologies for energy generation, interconversion, storage, and end usage, including both current and projected world energy use. Two related courses are offered: one taken for a letter grade only, and a companion course with the same content, requirements, and class meetings that is taken pass/fail only.

  • Energy Policy

    Introduces students to the design, implementation and assessment of energy policy from national and global perspectives, and provides them with the basic tools used to analyze and assess energy options. The course’s purpose is to expose students to the fundamental factors that drive energy markets, the causes of market failures, and how government interaction can mitigate those failures.

2014-15 Course Options

1) Energy Consequences (EPS 239, Fall semester, Dan Schrag)

2) Survey of Energy Technology (ES 231, letter-graded only) or Survey of Energy Technology (ES 229, Pass/Fail only) (Spring semester, David Keith)

3) Energy Policy* (IGA-410, fall semester, Henry Lee) or Electricity Market Design (API-166, fall semester, Bill Hogan). *requires cross-registration with HKS and permission of instructor.

Reading Seminar
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.