WWU Unveils New Certificate Programs in Energy Studies

Western Washington University has announced five new certificate programs in the field of Energy Studies; all the programs are aimed at working professionals who wish to take a deeper dive into a career-related field, or current students who seek to add to their depth of study by the time they graduate.

The five certificates, all offered in conjunction with Western’s Institute for Energy Studies, are: Energy Economics, Energy in the Built Environment, Energy Policy, Energy and Environment, and Northwest Energy Electric Systems.

“The new energy-focused certificate programs are designed to enable a wide range of non-traditional students, including place-bound students and off-campus, professional development students, as well as matriculated WWU students, to complete coursework on timely, practical topics offered by the Institute for Energy Studies, through traditional and distance-learning formats,” said Joel Swisher, director of the Institute for Energy Studies. “The certificates will provide additional value by recognizing the completion of such coursework in advance of the time when students could compete a full degree program.”

Basic programs descriptions are as follows:

  • Energy Economics: Students will gain analytic skills and an understanding of the basic business and economic concepts associated with the formation and analysis of energy-related policies, programs and incentives.
  • Energy in the Built Environment: Gives students knowledge and analytic skills in the science, technology and business aspects of energy systems, environmental quality and the energy efficiency resource in buildings.
  • Energy Policy: Students will gain knowledge and an understanding of the basic economic, law and public policy issues associated with the formation and analysis of energy-related policies, programs and incentives.
  • Energy and Environment: Gives students knowledge and analytic skills in the environmental science, technology and policy aspects of today's diverse energy systems and industries.
  • Northwest Electric Energy Systems: Students will gain knowledge in the science, technology, economics and public policy and planning issues associated with the development of electric energy systems, with an emphasis on the specific technology and policy context of the Pacific Northwest.


Robert Squires, Western’s vice provost for Outreach and Continuing Education, said the new programs were a response to a need stated by the university.

“For a few years, Western's administration has recommended the development of certificate programs in order to support the work and life aspirations of Washington citizens, as well as advance Western's mission of inclusive success,” he said. “We are looking forward to continuing to engage with faculty and departments on the development of non-degree programs in the coming year.”

For more information on the new certificate programs, email Energy.Institute@wwu.edu or call 360-650-4422

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Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 12:19pm