The Best Degrees For Students With A Passion For Renewable Energy

Published on: May 21, 2024

For years, our planet has depended on fossil fuels for energy, but this practice is not only unsustainable but also harmful to the environment and public health. This is why renewable energy sources are vital for the planet's future. Harnessing the power of renewable energy sources is a great way to reduce air and water pollution while being much more sustainable. The field of renewable energy is great for students who want to help mitigate the impacts of climate change, provide future generations with reliable energy, and conserve natural resources. Numerous career opportunities are available in the renewable energy industry, and the following degrees are some of the best options for students who want to make their mark.

Renewable Energy Engineering

Renewable Energy Engineering is available as a Bachelor's and Master's degree option. This degree teaches students physics, chemistry, and mathematics as a foundation, followed by electrical and mechanical engineering coursework. Renewable energy specific courses may include photovoltaics, energy management, wind power, biofuels, green building, fuel cells, and renewable-energy transportation systems. Students who graduate with this degree can work as engineers in organizations specializing in power generation, energy conversation technologies, or power and energy design or applications. Career paths include power engineers, energy consultants, solar energy engineers, wind energy engineers, and solar design analysts. 

Environmental Engineering

An Environmental Engineering degree is useful for students who want to address environmental challenges and is also applicable to new energy resources and sustainability. Environmental impact reviews are also an important part of renewable energy development, a task suited to environmental engineers. 

Sustainable Energy

Students interested in becoming sustainable energy professionals who can advance initiatives for a transition to clean power should consider a sustainable energy degree. This degree covers economics, policy, and finance as applicable to the sustainable energy market. Students who earn this degree can help shape energy policies and work with organizations to help them transition to renewable energy. The degree covers course topics such as Economics of Sustainable Energy, Distributed and Renewable Energy, and Systems Analysis for Sustainable Energy. 

Energy Engineering

Energy Engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with sustainable and renewable energy, among other things. It combines the fields of mechanical and electrical engineering with environmental science and economics. Some energy engineering courses include electives such as Renewable Energy Systems Design, Electric Vehicles Engineering, Energy Management, and Advanced Power Systems. Careers in energy engineering include wind and solar energy and involve developing solutions to improve energy consumption and use. Energy engineers devise ways to implement green solutions while reducing costs and environmental impact. 


Physics degrees are available from science and engineering schools, where students are taught contemporary physics as applied to modern renewable energy science. Core modules for this type of degree include Mechanics, Mathematics, and Professional Physics. Students can use their physics degree to study the fundamental principles and mechanisms that drive renewable energy sources and use this information to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Other branches of physics, such as thermodynamics and electromagnetism, are also helpful for renewable energy. 

Business Administration

Like any other sector, renewable energy must adhere to various business practices, such as contracts, tax, and corporate social responsibility. Students interested in the industry's business side can complete a business administration degree with an emphasis on energy management. This degree is aimed at students who want to work as energy professionals or consultants and covers topics from other relevant disciplines. In addition, this degree is helpful for individuals already employed in the renewable energy sector and who want to progress to higher leadership and management roles. 

Sustainability and Renewable Energy Systems

Sustainability and Renewable Energy Systems is a degree program with different emphases options. The energy core component covers topics such as Energy, Environment, and Society, Biorenewable Resources, and Green Building Design. Advanced energy courses, such as Biofuels, Building Energy Management, and Wind and Solar System Design, are also part of the degree. Students can choose an emphasis such as Development and Management, Energy Systems Engineering Technology, Bioenergy and Sustainable Land Use, or Green Building and Energy Management.  

Material Science and Engineering

Renewable energy requires specialized materials and advanced technologies designed by professionals in the field. A Material Science and Engineering degree can prepare students to take on this responsibility by creating and studying materials at the atomic level. One of the electives for this degree is Materials for Energy, which focuses on the advanced materials and processing techniques used for the energy market. This elective teaches students how to improve the capacity, efficiency, reliability, and durability of energy conversion devices like solar panel cells. 

Certificate Options

In addition to degree programs, several Graduate Certificates are available for people who already have degrees but want to gain additional knowledge or education to work in the field of renewable energy. These certificates can typically be completed online, and they include Renewable Energy Assessment and Development, Solar and Renewable Energy, Wind Energy, Materials Technology for Energy and Sustainability, and more. 


Transitioning to renewable energy is vital for the planet's future, and the degrees listed above offer some of the best ways to get the education needed to participate in this movement. In addition to improved public health and economic benefits, renewable energy is an exciting field to work in, and students have an opportunity to make valuable contributions. Since it is such a diverse field, students will also be able to find an area that matches their interests and expertise.

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