Certificate in Energy Studies (CES)

Why Study Energy?

Development and efficient use of energy resources is critical for economies and societies worldwide. As the energy and natural resources sectors evolve, it is important to understand how technology, business, and geopolitics are interlinked on a regional and global scale.

About the Certificate

This multidisciplinary program aims to provide to students the basic elements of engineering, business and technology, and the political and security aspects related to renewables, natural gas, and energy in general. The curriculum and instruction will include courses from the three partner universities Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q), and Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMU-Q).

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the importance of the energy industry and markets in our globalized world, the forces that drive them, and how energy impacts our daily lives
  • Apply skills and knowledge from the fields of engineering, business, technology and geopolitics to identify trends, strategies and risks in the energy sector
  • Communicate and collaborate to evaluate the strengths and weakness of different perspectives, and integrate analyses from multiple, diverse perspectives into a single, integrated analysis that can help drive decision-making.


How to Apply

GU-Q students must Apply Online to Certificate in Energy Studies (CES) by the posted deadline. The application to the Certificate in Energy Studies program is competitive and only FIVE students from each partner university will be accepted in each cohort. The review committee will look at overall grade point average and courses taken as part of the assessment, paying special attention to the application prompts, so make sure they are concise and well-written. The essay must address specific academic areas of interest and how these connect to the Certificate.

  • Application Deadline: The application period for 2024-2025 has closed.

    Applications for the 2025-2026 academic year will open in mid-March 2025. As this is a new program, place watch for notifications from Dean Schiwietz and Professor Miller.
  • Eligibility: Applications are open exclusively to rising sophomores (students in their second semester of the first year) each spring.

Certificate Requirements

To receive a certificate, students must take two courses at GU-Q, two courses at TAMU-Q, two courses at CMU-Q,  and complete and present a senior capstone ePortfolio project.

  • Credit Hours: 18-credit hours, 6 (SIX) courses total
  • Partner University Courses: TWO courses from each partner university, in addition to two courses from GU-Q. (Note that in the certificate programs, only two courses may double-count with your major)
  • Capstone Portfolio: Senior capstone ePortfolio on a specific theme
  • Presentation: A public presentation of your capstone digital research project

Sample Courses at Each University

Once accepted to the program students will be notified of eligible courses for registration and cross-registration. The courses listed below are only examples and the course offerings will vary every semester. It is important that students discuss their graduation strategy with Dean Schiwietz and Professor Miller in order to successfully complete the program.

GU-Q (2 Courses)

  • International Political Economy 
  • Politics and Society in the Gulf 
  • Political Economy of the Gulf 
  • Energy Policy in the Middle East 
  • Gulf Security: Contemporary Era 
  • Qatar, Energy Security and Strategic Planning
  • Problems in US Energy History

TAMU-Q (2 Courses)

  • Engineering for Sustainable Development 
  • Energy Resources, Utilization, and Importance to Society

CMU-Q (2 Courses)

  • Operations Management 
  • International Management
  • Sustainability in the Digital Age
  • Digital Transformation, Strategy and Management

About the ePortfolio

The ePortfolio is a cumulative project that encourages students to reflect on the work they have done in the program as a whole. It serves as an online repository for student organization and learning and for advisor mentoring and monitoring.  On the student end, it organizes the students’ interdisciplinary and experiential connections throughout the Energy Studies Program, and fosters reflection and critical evaluation. On the faculty side, it facilitates student-advisor interaction and monitoring of progress. The capstone ePortfolio is done throughout the student’s learning trajectory in the CES certificate program and finalized in the senior year.

ePortfolio Requirements

A. Documentation of each of the six courses taken for CES

For each course taken, create a documentation file which includes a description of the course, relevant media images, at least one representative written work produced for the course, and a 300-word written reflection on the experience of the course as it relates to the certificate.

B. Capstone project

Complete a digital research project on an energy studies topic chosen in consultation with a faculty mentor and CES field chair. The capstone project should include visual infographics, images, digestible headers and paragraphs to visually categorize the research findings, hyperlinks to further information and references, and video and audio clips of the student describing the project (see C). For further guidelines, see the detailed eportfolio rubric below

C. Video narrative presentation of the capstone project

Develop a 15-minute video narrative describing the capstone project findings as well as personal reflections on the CES  journey. The video can show the student talking about the project, provide a voice-over narration of the project visuals, or combine both approaches.

D. Essay

Write a final reflective essay (1500-2000 words), which considers the interdisciplinary connections between classwork, concepts, and experiences acquired through CES.  The reflective essay not only establishes connections but also demonstrates a critical evaluation of these connections and self-assessment in a clear, well-written and organized prose. For further guidelines, see the detailed essay rubric below.

E. One (minimum) co-curricular enrichment activity reflection

Attend a relevant lecture, workshop, field trip, student club activity, webinar, or conference panel and write a 500-word reflection describing the experience and its connection to the certificate and/or the capstone project. 

Certificate in Energy Studies (CES) Expectations and Evaluation Rubrics

1. ePortfolio Capstone Project Rubric 

GU-Q students are required to complete a digital research project on an Energy Studies topic of their own choice (in consultation with faculty mentor and CES field chair). Students are expected to present their project through digital presentation tools.  These include visual infographics, images, digestible headers and paragraphs to categorize the  research findings visually, hyperlinks, when possible, to provide further information and  references, and video and audio clips through which the student talks about their project. The expectations and evaluation rubric for a CES ePortfolio capstone project are as follows: 

  • A. Relevance of topic to Energy Studies: Energy Studies provides the opportunity to explore any academic or policy-focused aspect of energy studies that is of particular interest. On this basis the ePortfolio capstone project should be located at the nexus of Energy Studies and the student’s chosen pursuit. This ePortfolio can address political, diplomatic, cultural, or policy-making processes more generally, as they relate to energy in the contemporary world.
  • B. Clarity of thesis, effectiviveness of analysis, and coherence of structure: The main argument and structure of the project should be clearly and succinctly stated. Major terms must be defined early and consistently used. Consider using subtitles to thematically structure the argument. Analytical reflections illustrate the student’s ability to effectively critique the topic and/or provide suggestions for constructive practical alternatives.   
  • C. Relevance of selected artifacts: All included artifacts (images, clips. links, videos, etc.) must be clearly and directly related to the purpose of the ePortfolio project. 
  • D. Effectiveness of digital presentation tools: The multimedia tools used to present the topic must enhance our understanding of concepts,  ideas and relationships, create interest, and are appropriate for the chosen purpose.  
  • E. Usage of descriptive texts and captions: All accompanying texts must be informative, explaining the significance and relevance of the  included digital artifacts.  
  • F. Citations of primary and scholarly sources: All images, media or text created by others should be captioned and cited with accurate, properly formatted citations. 
  • G. Organization and syntax: The ePortfolio project must be organized, easy to read and follow, and with no errors in grammar, capitalization, punctuation, or spelling.

2. ePortfolio Reflective Essay Rubric 

The reflective essay asks the student to consider the interdisciplinary connections between classwork, concepts, and experiences acquired through CES as they relate to their own learning journey, and is a key item of the ePortfolio as a cumulative project. Students are expected to identify and explain connections and themes, apply their ideas in-depth to relevant examples, and engage in self-reflection about his or her learning experience beyond just a chronological survey of the courses taken. The essay should be between 1,500-2,500 words. The CES committee’s evaluation of the essay will be based on answers to the reflection questions for each of the learning outcomes and rubrics.

A. Critical Evaluation of Interdisciplinary Connections: Make synthetic connections across concepts, theories, themes, disciplines, and perspectives. Evaluate carefully their relevance to interdisciplinary questions and contexts. Making thematic links and explaining how and why those connections were made forms the core of the essay and oral presentation. Identifying themes is a key step in the process of organizing the disparate material encountered in Energy Studies.

  • What kind of linkages do you see when you combine examples, facts, perspectives, or theories from the different kinds of courses you took under CES?
  • What ideas and concepts form a common theme or themes across your coursework in Energy Studies?
  • Which themes have helped you to best understand the relationship between energy and the contemporary world we inhabit?

B. Connections to Experience: Connect relevant experience and academic knowledge. 

  • In what ways have experiences outside of the formal classroom (including attending lectures, workshops, speaker series, etc.) deepened your understanding of the field of study and  broadened your point of view?
  • Have you been involved in organizing or participating in an event? 
  • Has your experience with a local or international issue of contemporary importance galvanized  your understanding of the role of Energy on the communal, national or international  levels?
  • How have your extra curricular experiences helped you better understand key issues that preoccupied you during this program?
  • How does this example express the theme or themes that you found most interesting or relevant across your learning experience in the Energy Studies Program?
  • What object, media artifact, phenomenon, or experience has crystalized this theme for you? 

C. Self-Assessment: Demonstrate a developing sense of self as a learner, building on prior experiences to respond  to new and challenging contexts. Discuss and evaluate the trajectory of your learning during the Energy Studies Program. Make it personal and bring it alive for your audience. At all times remember, this is your learning experience, and we want to hear about what it means to you. 

  • What does your experience with the Certificate in Energy Studies mean to you?
  • How did your understanding of the relationship between energy and society (both national and international) change over the course of the certificate and what influenced and shaped those changes?
  • What will you do differently now as a result of what you learned?
  • How has your participation in this program influenced your learning journey?

D. Organization and Style: Display a mastery of structure, tone, and diction. 

  • Does the essay clearly and succinctly communicate an insightful narrative?
  • Is the narrative supported by proper use of sources and evidence?
  • Does the essay have a strong organization, and effective style that skillfully communicates meaning with clarity and fluency?