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Energy Policy

The Energy Policy concentration includes courses that address policy and politics, institutions, markets, economics, technologies, and human impacts; and requires students to complete their MPP essay or PhD dissertation on a topic related to energy policy.

The concentration has two core courses that examine US energy policy. One, called “US Energy Policy,” focuses on how the U.S. currently and historically has addressed its energy needs via the development of policies, institutions and markets with respect to coal, oil, gas, nuclear, and conventional hydropower, as they pertain to electricity generation and transportation. The second course, PS 599, has a focus on renewable energy resources and technologies (wave, solar, wind, biomass and geothermal), where Oregon is a national leader. Students will then have two additional elective courses to take.

This concentration provides students with a broad knowledge of US energy policy and institutions, how these impact the development of energy markets, and the major and emerging technologies and resources currently in use and under development.

The Energy Policy Concentration Advisor is Professor David Bernell.

Energy Policy Faculty available for PhD Student Committees.


OSU Energy Initiatives:

OSU Sustainable Energy and Infrastructure Initiative:

Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center:

OSU Sun Grant Program in Biomass Energy:

Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center:


Minimum 16 credit hours of the following courses:

  • PS 573: U.S. Energy Policy [4 credits]
  • PS 599: Renewable Energy Policy and Management [4 credits]

In addition to the two core courses, at least eight additional course credits would be required, to be chosen from the following (these offerings may be expanded in the future, as new faculty join the School of Public Policy and current faculty develop new courses):

  • ECON 566: Energy Economics [4 credits]
  • PS 575: Environmental Politics and Policy [4 credits]
  • PS 599: The (Geo)Politics of Oil and Energy [4 credits]
  • PS 549: Climate Change Politics [4 credits]