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Graduate Certificate Program in Renewable Energy Engineering

Impact the future with UMass Lowell's online Graduate Certificate in Renewable Energy Engineering.

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Online Graduate Certificate in Renewable Energy Engineering

Massachusetts is a national leader in solar energy system deployment. Position yourself for success in this burgeoning field by gaining the knowledge and capabilities you need to develop renewable and responsible solutions to climate change with UMass Lowell's online Graduate Certificate in Renewable Energy Engineering. This four-course certificate aims to provide engineers with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of design, research, development and production of renewable energy systems. UMass Lowell's Department of Mechanical Engineering offers this program for engineers or individuals with science backgrounds interested in moving into the industry or advancing their careers.

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Complete in 9 Months

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One of the Most Affordable Tuitions in the Nation

Career Outlook

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"The solar energy industry is booming. Since 2009, the amount of solar energy connected to the grid has increased more than 35-fold. This expansion has resulted in the creation of thousands of new solar industry jobs, with more than 240,000 people currently employed and projections of major growth in the future. Solar is the next great American industry."
— Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE), U.S. Department of Energy
Graduates of UMass Lowell's energy engineering programs have worked for Tesla, Borrego Solar Systems, Siemens, Sun Edison and many other companies.

Key Takeaways

Deepen your knowledge of a range of topics, including:

  • Conceptual and design considerations for grid-connected, solar-powered and electrical generation systems, from residential through utility scale
  • Transport processes from a multi-scale and multi-physics perspective
  • Technical, financial and societal aspects of photovoltaic systems that are not connected to the electrical grid
  • Fundamental materials development and principles in addressing issues associated with affordable and sustainable energy
  • Regular industry practices, including requests for proposals (RFPs), feasibility studies, meeting electrical code requirements, evaluating the impact of projects and delivering a written report
  • Theory behind mass, momentum and energy transport processes that drive the development of technologies

One Success Leads to Another

Apply credits from lower credentials to higher ones. Our programs are designed to build upon themselves:

Curriculum Outline

- 4 Courses / 12 Credits

Required Courses (Choose Four)

Course Descriptions

MECH.5250 Grid-Connected Solar Electric Systems (3cr)

Students will study the concepts and design considerations of grid-connected, solar-powered, electrical generation systems, from residential through utility scale. Emphasis will be on practical applications that help make the student "work ready" at graduation. Grading consists of two tests during semester; one individual project (residential scale PV system); and one group project (commercial-scale system). This course fulfills an elective requirement for renewable energy students.

MECH.5260 Transport Processes in Energy Systems (3cr)

Course focuses on the development of a fundamental understanding of transport processes from a multi-scale and multi-physics perspective, and the application of such understanding to the analysis of energy engineering systems. Derivations of the equations describing the mechanisms for mass, momentum, and energy transport are presented, together with approaches for the evaluation of material properties and constitutive relations. Emphasis is placed on a holistic view of transport processes as combinations of transient, advective, diffusive, and reactive phenomena.

MECH.5320 Off-Grid Solar Electric System (3cr)

This course examines the technical, financial and societal aspects of photovoltaic (PV) systems that are not connected to the electrical grid. Topics include: reasons for going off the grid, the components of an off-grid PV system, how to size a PV system to meet the required load, site impacts on performance, determining the loss of load probability (LOLP) for a system, hybrid systems, e.g. solar plus a generator, energy storage solutions, regulatory issues, and cost. Systems sized to meet the annual load requirements of a remote communication system, a net-zero home, and a small village will be examined. HOMERMicrogrid, PVWatts, and other software will be used to design these systems.

Requirements:

MECH.5250 Grid-Connected Solar Electric System.

MECH.5330 Nanomaterials for Energy (3cr)

Introduction of fundamental materials development and principles in addressing issues associated with affordable and sustainable energy. The course starts with basic concepts in materials science and engineering, with special attention paid to the origin of size effects in controlling the properties of nanomaterials. Then a range of materials issues related to development of renewable energy resources and sustainable energy technologies will be discussed. Topics to be covered include: photovoltaic materials and solar energy conversion; thermoelectric materials; materials for electrical energy storage and generation; materials for hydrogen production; piezoelectric energy harvesting; and materials for other emerging energy processes.

MECH.5350 Fundamentals of Sustainable Energy (3cr)

Introduction to scientific principles associated with sustainable energy technologies. Topics include: thermodynamic laws and engineering fundamentals in energy processes, thermodynamic energy conversion, wind and geothermal energy, photovoltaics, ocean thermal energy conversion, electrochemical energy, biomass, and selected emerging energy technologies.

Graduate Certificate Requirements

Students enrolled in graduate certificate programs through UMass Lowell must complete all courses indicated in the curriculum outline. Students may complete the certificate program at their own pace by registering for and successfully completing one or more courses each semester, depending upon his/her personal time constraints. Students are required to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.000 with no more than one course grade below B to receive the certificate.

Online courses meet throughout the year during the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters (see Calendar for details). Online students generally log into their online course website one or more times per week to retrieve lectures and assignments or to participate in a chat session. Online students should expect to spend 6 to 10 hours per week engaged in course-related activities for each course. For more information on online courses, visit our online program home page .

Completing a Graduate Certificate Program

Graduate certificate courses must be completed within a five-year period with a minimum 3.000 grade point average and no more than one course with a grade below B. Once all courses for a graduate certificate have been completed, students must complete and submit the Graduate Certificate Clearance Form. Students must submit their clearance form to their coordinator. The coordinator will apply them in SIS, Graduation Tracking.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition at UMass Lowell is typically half the cost of private colleges, and our online tuition is among the lowest in the nation. Tuition for online programs offered through the Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies is the same whether you live in-state, out-of-state or outside of the U.S.

Spring 2024 Tuition

Cost Per Credit Cost Per 3-Credit Course*

Graduate

Online $585 $1,755
Online Business** $655 $1,965
Online IT and Engineering*** $600 $1,800
Online Education $470 $1,410
Online Education for Ed.D. and Ph.D. $500 $1,500
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*If the number of contact hours exceeds the number of credits, tuition is calculated by multiplying by the total number of contact hours.
***Applies to CHEN, CIVE, EECE, ENGN, MECH, PLAS and MSIT courses.

Additional Costs

Term Registration Fee $30
Late Fee $50
Graduate Engineering and Business Degrees and Certificate Applications $75

Please note: Tuition and fees are subject to change.

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Looking for Financial Assistance?

UMass Lowell offers a variety of financial aid and scholarship options.
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Apply

For Graduate Certificate Programs, Please Submit:

  • An application
  • An application fee*
  • An official transcript indicating a completed bachelor's degree. If your bachelor's degree is from outside the United States, you may be required to take the TOEFL examination.
  • No Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required for graduate certificate programs

F1 student visas are not issued for this program. Applications can be completed and submitted at any time during the year. Your application will be processed as soon as all admission materials have been received. You may apply to more than one certificate program but can only take 12 credits maximum before enrolling in an advanced degree. Learn more about specific application requirements for your program of interest.

*There is a $75 application fee to apply to this graduate program.

Count Your Graduate Certificate Toward a Master's Degree

Credits earned from a graduate certificate may be used toward a related graduate degree.

Graduate Program Admissions Requirements

Admission to all graduate programs at UMass Lowell is contingent upon successful completion of a bachelor's degree. In many cases, applicants may register for a course before formally applying to the program; however, students requiring financial aid may want to wait until they have been formally accepted into the program to ensure that their course(s) will be covered. Contact UMass Lowell's Office of Graduate Admissions if you have questions about the application process.

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Questions Regarding Your Graduate Application?

Email Graduate_Admissions@uml.edu or call 800-656-4723 (for U.S. students) or 978-934-2390 (for international students).

For General Assistance:

For general questions about registering for courses or to find out who the advisor is for your graduate program, call 800-480-3190. Our admissions and advising teams are here to help!

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