This program offers students a unique opportunity to learn and engage in an exciting and innovative academic program that will prepare students for professional careers in federal, state and local government, private sector, consulting firms and think tanks, non-profit organizations, and multinational organizations.
The courses offered are taught by senior-level practitioners in their fields with decades of experience and are designed to offer real-world, empirical lessons.
Core Classes (9 credits):
1. GOVT 464 - U.S. Energy and Climate Policy
Instructor: Joel Hicks
This course examines the patterns of U.S. energy and climate policymaking and implementation, including the emergence of environmental and institutional challenges that will fundamentally reshape the way global society produces and consumes energy. It is organized around historical patterns, current issues, and future prospects. An integrating theme is the role played by science and technology.
2. GOVT 319 - Principles of Energy and Climate Law
Instructor: Paul Bubbosh
This course will provide an overview of the major laws and regulations that shape the complex energy and climate system in the United States and, to a lesser degree, the world. The goal is to provide students with a framework for understanding the energy and climate laws of today. The course will review laws for all major types of energy, including fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewables, as well as issues related to extraction, conversion, distribution, use, and conservation. Law will be evaluated through the lens of economics, politics, policy, infrastructure, security, culture, science and technology. The course will be largely empirical, but attention will be given to major theories. Most aspects of the course will be illustrated by reference to contemporary and local issues, such as efforts to work with local Virginia communities on the energy transition.
3. INTS 475 - Energy Equity in Communities
Instructor: Scott Sklar
In this program, students will learn and focus on local community vulnerabilities and impacts on education, healthcare, economic development, and quality of life for marginalized communities, and how we can improve conditions in these communities.
Internship in Your Major (6 credits):
The internship is a key component of the Energy & Climate Policy Fellows program. The coursework is conveniently scheduled to allow students more time for a substantive internship. Students will intern three days a week, for twenty to twenty-five hours a week. This schedule increases the number of internships available to our Fellows and usually allows them to take on more responsibility. This makes Energy & Climate Policy Fellows more of an asset for their host organization and gives the student enhanced learning opportunities. Internships are also great networking opportunities to learn more about a potential career field and gain contacts one can use when looking for a summer job and for their future job search after graduation.
Students will obtain their own internship with the help and support of the Fellows program and the Career Center. Internship host sites will likely include local, state, and federal government offices, non-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations, and research institutes. Internship duties often focus on advocacy, program support, communications, research, and community outreach. Most internships will be unpaid, but students are also encouraged to pursue internships that offer a small stipend or a paid internship.