Certificate in Engineering for Energy Sustainability

UW-Madison undergraduate students enrolled in a first-year sustainability course tour bioenergy research plantings to learn more about the agronomical impacts of different cropping systems.


Scott Williams
(608) 890-2199


Equity and sustainability of energy resources in the face of increasing global population and economic development are key issues at the center of the public discourse today. The objective of this certificate program is to offer undergraduate students a suite of courses addressing energy sustainability that span across the engineering curriculum, with firm roots in “real world” design and engineering practices.

**Please note: the requirements and declaration process for this certificate have changed as of Fall 2020. Some information below is provided for students who declared prior to Fall 2020 and are completing under the previous requirements.

If you are not sure which set of requirements you are completing the certificate under, please contact certificate coordinator Scott Williams at spwilliams@wisc.edu


All students who declare after Fall 2020 should follow the declaration process outlined in the "How to Get In" section of the UW Guide

Students are required to either complete this video orientation or meet with the certificate coordinator, Scott Williams (spwilliams@wisc.edu), before declaring the certificate.

If you are still exploring options for undergraduate certificates in energy, the environment, or sustainability, this info session from Spring 2021, hosted by the Wisconsin Energy Institute and Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, provides details on the similarities and differences among the options as well as benefits to all of the programs.


Fall 2020 and Beyond:

Refer to course "Requirements" section in the UW Guide

Prior to Fall 2020:

Refer to course "Requirements" section in archived UW Guide from Summer 2020 (PDF)

Please note the Sustainability credits listed for each course. Not all courses have the same number of sustainability credits as academic credits; some courses have fewer sustainability credits depending on how closely related they are to energy and sustainability.

Course Authorization

Fall 2020 and Beyond:

Refer to the Capstone heading under the "Requirements" section in UW Guide for details about authorizing courses taken toward the optional Capstone requirement.

Prior to Fall 2020:

Some courses may require additional approval to appear in students’ DARS reports as having fulfilled part of the certificate requirements. Students who are taking a course for the capstone requirement must fill out a DARS authorization form to receive the proper number of sustainability credits.

DARS Authorization Form

Capstone Course Guidelines

In addition, students who wish to receive sustainability credits for courses that are not currently on the pre-approved list may also complete the DARS Authorization Form and explain why the course should receive sustainability credits.

Once a form is filled out, it will be sent to the certificate faculty committee for approval. To expedite the approval process, students should submit their DARS Authorization Form prior to or during the semester in which they plan to take the course.

The certificate faculty committee reviews authorization forms twice a semester in the fall and spring. The deadlines for students to submit their forms are listed below:

Fall Semester:

  • Early Semester Deadline: October 1
  • Late Semester Deadline: November 15

Spring Semester

  • Early Semester Deadline: March 1
  • Late Semester Deadline: April 15

Students will be notified of approval approximately two weeks following each submission deadline.