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Graduate Certificate Program in Renewable Energy Engineering

Boost your understanding of clean energy technologies and learn how to develop and implement solutions to today's global energy challenges.

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Impact the Future of Sustainable Energy

There has never been a greater need for advances in renewable energy. With UMass Lowell's Graduate Certificate in Renewable Energy Engineering, you will 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 and energy issues.

This four-course online renewable energy graduate certificate program aims to provide engineers with a rigorous but practical grounding in the fundamentals of design, research, development and production of renewable energy systems and technologies. UMass Lowell's cutting-edge renewable energy engineering courses address a wide range of topics including on- and off-grid photovoltaic (PV) systems, materials used for renewable energy resources and sustainable energy technologies, and the theory behind mass, momentum, and energy transport processes that drive the development of these technologies.

This program is ideal for engineers or individuals with an engineering or science background who are interested in moving into a new industry, advancing their career or earning an intermediate credential on the way to their master's degree. For example, in MECH.5250, you'll acquire a concrete understanding of regular industry practices such as responding to requests for proposals (RFPs), developing a feasibility study, meeting electrical code requirements, evaluating the technical and economic impact of commercial and industrial projects, and delivering a written report.

By enabling you to gain specialty skills and knowledge related specifically to renewable energy technology and materials, this program will better position you for job opportunities in this expanding field in the green economy.

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

Gain Valuable Knowledge for Today's Workplace

In addition to increasing your career opportunities, you will deepen your professional knowledge of a diverse range of topics related to current and alternative types (both on-grid and off-grid) of energy infrastructure 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

Massachusetts is a national leader in solar system deployment, and was ranked #1 in the 2020 State Solar Power Rankings by Solar Power Rocks, a comprehensive source of information for homeowners about state and national solar policy, incentives and financial estimates.

Offered by UMass Lowell's Department of Mechanical Engineering, the energy engineering graduate certificate program is part of a long-standing interdisciplinary graduate degree program at UMass Lowell that is taught by accomplished and experienced faculty.

For more than four decades, UMass Lowell has grown its energy education and research portfolio by creating a multitude of academic, state, federal and industry strategic partnerships. Graduates of UMass Lowell's energy engineering programs have gone on to work for companies such as Tesla, Borrego Solar Systems, Siemens, and Sun Edison, to name a few.

Graduates of this program can pursue a variety of career paths including:

  • Director of Utility-Scale Project Development
  • Engineering Program Manager
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Optimization Engineer
  • Project Engineer, Energy Storage
  • Renewable Energy Engineer
  • Senior Design Engineer
  • Solar Production Manager
  • Solar Project Engineer
  • System Design Engineer

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

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 3.0 with no more than one course grade below B to receive the certificate.

Online courses meet 10 to 14 weeks each semester 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 3.0 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. Please submit your completed form to: UMass Lowell Registrar's Office, 220 Pawtucket Street, Lowell, MA 01854-5129. Forms can also be scanned and emailed to thesolutioncenter@uml.edu.

Course Descriptions

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. 3 credits.
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. 3 credits.
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. 3 credits.
Prerequisites:

MECH.5250 Grid-Connected Solar Electric System.

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. 3 credits.

Tuition & Fees

At UMass Lowell, we believe that students should have as much information as possible up front so they can make informed decisions before enrolling in a degree program or signing up for a course.

Tuition for all undergraduate courses offered through the Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. Tuition for all online graduate courses is also the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. Tuition is priced per credit. To calculate the tuition for a course, simply multiply the per-credit tuition by the total number of credits per course. Exception: If the total number of course contact hours is greater than the total number of credits, the per-credit tuition is instead multiplied by the total number of contact hours.

Fall 2020 Tuition

Per Credit / Contact Hour
Graduate Online and Audit (except Manning School of Business* Online, MBA in Haverhill, Graduate Online IT, Engineering and Education Courses) $575.00
Manning School of Business* Graduate Online Courses $655.00
MBA Graduate Courses in Haverhill $655.00
Graduate Online IT and Engineering Courses** $590.00
Registration includes access to parking after 3 pm and access to Blackboard.

*Applies to courses with the following prefixes: ACCT, BUSI, ENTR, FINA, MGMT, MKTG, MIST, POMS offered through the Manning School of Business
**Applies to courses with the following prefixes: CHEN, CIVE, EECE, ENGN, MECH, PLAS offered through the Francis College of Engineering. Applies also to MSIT courses in the Master's in Information Technology, Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity and the Graduate Certificate in Systems Models and Management.

Additional Fees

Registration Fee per Term $30.00
Late Fee for Nonpayment $50.00
Fee for Graduate Degree and Certificate Applications, Francis College of Engineering Programs $75.00

Looking for Financial Assistance?

UMass Lowell offers a variety of financial aid and scholarship options.
Learn More »
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Registration

Current students can register using SiS Self-Service. New students who have not already applied and been accepted to a program must use the Non-Degree Registration Form.

You can take courses without being officially enrolled in a certificate or degree program, but you must meet course prerequisites. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Class size is limited. We recommend that you register early to reserve your place in class.

For more information, please visit our Registration Page.

New Students

If you have not already applied and been accepted to a program.

Current Students

If you have applied, been accepted to and are currently enrolled in a program.

Questions?

Email our Advising Center for assistance, or call 800-480-3190 to speak with an advisor.


Please Note: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented within this website, the Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies reserves the right to implement new rules and regulations and to make changes of any nature in its program, calendar, locations, tuition and fees. Whenever possible, appropriate notice of such changes will be given before they become effective. In applying for a degree program or registering for courses, each student assumes full responsibility for knowledge of and compliance with the definitions, regulations and procedures of UMass Lowell as set forth on our website. For additional information, please refer to the Graduate Program Policies found within the UMass Lowell Graduate Catalog.

Applying into an Online Graduate Certificate Program

UMass Lowell Graduate Certificate Programs provide knowledge and expertise that are vital in today's rapidly changing workplace. In many cases, graduate certificate courses may be applied toward a master's degree at UMass Lowell. Most graduate certificates consist of four courses, for a total of 12 graduate credits. This is a great way to earn a graduate-level credential on the way to earning your master's.

WHO CAN APPLY?

Holders of an appropriate bachelor's degree

HOW TO APPLY?

Apply online or download an application at http://www.uml.edu/grad.

Application Fee is $75.00 for all applicants. NO Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required for graduate certificate programs. Credits earned from a graduate certificate may be used toward a related graduate degree with the approval of the graduate program coordinator. Students who complete a graduate certificate with a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or better in a UMass Lowell graduate certificate program may be able to waive the GRE when applying to a related master's degree. Graduate Certificate Programs must be completed within a five-year period with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and with not more than one course with a grade below B. Courses completed for one certificate may not be used for other certificates. Once you have completed all of the courses required for your certificate, please complete and submit the Graduate Certificate Clearance Form.

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 they have formally applied into 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. Please see our How to Apply page for additional information. Contact UMass Lowell's Office of Graduate Admissions if you have questions about the application process.

Please Note: Test requirements for graduate applications have been temporarily waived. Learn more.
Apply Online

Questions Regarding Your Graduate Application?

Email Graduate_Admissions@uml.edu or call 800-656-4723.

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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