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The Atmosphere/Energy program bridges the gap between the two key disciplines of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Fossil-fuel energy contributes directly to air pollution and global warming. Atmospheric winds‚ solar radiation and precipitation are sources of renewable wind‚ wave‚ solar and hydroelectric power. The Atmosphere/Energy program combines the fields of Atmospheric Science and Energy Science and Engineering. This natural combination finds the best ways to mitigate atmospheric problems by increasing the efficiency with which energy is used‚ optimizing the use of natural energy resources, and understanding the effects of energy technologies on the atmosphere.

MS in Atmosphere/Energy

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers an MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a special field designation of Atmosphere/Energy on the transcript.

Students admitted to graduate study in the department can satisfy the requirements for the Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering by completing a minimum of three quarters of full tuition registration (more than 8 units) and a minimum of 45 units of study beyond the BS degree. All 45 units must be taken at Stanford. 

Our course requirements allow students the flexibility to select courses closest to their interest while maintaining the goal of giving students a background in both energy and atmosphere. The A/E MS degree requires at least 30 units of study at the graduate level (courses numbered 200 or above) and at least 24 units of study from the School of Engineering. Courses numbered below 100 may not be used to fulfill the 45-unit degree requirement.

Additional requirements for the MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering with an emphasis on Atmosphere/Energy include the completion of:

  • A minimum of 30 units in combined atmosphere- and energy-related courses
  • Of these 30 units, a minimum of 4 energy-core courses taken for letter grades.
  • Of these 30 units, a minimum of 4 atmosphere-core courses taken for letter grades.
  • The remainder of the 30 units may be from either atmosphere- or energy-related courses
  • 15 additional units to fulfill the 45-unit MS requirement

These units must be in engineering, science, mathematics or related fields or pertinent to the student's degree objective and must be approved by the advisor. Physical education and language courses or remedial English-language instruction (EFSLANG) courses, for example, cannot count toward the MS degree. Students may take up to 6 out of the 45 units required for the MS degree on S/NC or CR/NC basis (instead of receiving a letter grade), but these pass/no credit courses cannot count toward the minimum requirement of 4 atmosphere-related plus 4 energy-related courses. The only exception to the 6-unit rule is when a student takes a normal (non-seminar, non-research) course of 2 units that was not offered for a letter grade, so must have been offered S/NC (or the equivalent in the business school).

Career Options

What types of jobs are available following graduation?

Graduates can pursue further graduate studies or go to work for:

  • Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) (e.g., Rocky Mountain Institute, Union of Concerned Scientists, UN Foundation, Climate Alliance, Environmental Defense)
  • Companies (utility, consulting, energy, wind, solar — e.g., Google, Energy Solutions, McKinsey & Co., 3M, ENVIRON)
  • Government agencies (City of Palo Alto, Bay Area Air quality Management District, California Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
  • National research laboratories (e.g., NASA Ames, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory)

Several students in our program also do MAP Sustainable Energy Fellowships for the summer and go on to work for the companies who sponsor the fellowships.

Contact Us:

Professor Mark Z. Jacobson
Director, Atmosphere/Energy

Make a Gift to Atmosphere & Energy:

To ensure a donation to Stanford reaches the A/E Program, please direct your gift to "School of Engineering" then under that, "Civil and Environmental Engineering." Finally, at the bottom of the form, under "Any Comments or Gift Instructions," please indicate "Atmosphere/Energy Program charitable gifts account."