2022-2023 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 18, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Energy and Its Impacts, BA

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Describe physical science concepts that govern energy systems and their impact on the environment

2. Describe environmental science concepts that govern energy systems and their impact on the environment

3. Describe social science concepts that govern energy systems and their impact on the environment

4. Evaluate technical feasibility of possible solutions to energy problems

5. Calculate costs and benefits of proposed solutions to energy problems

6. Formulate validated practical solutions to energy problems

7. Defend proposed energy solution to a decision maker

Integrated Learning Major on Energy and its Impacts


Peter Saulson
(315) 443-5994


Mark S. Braiman, Douglas A. Frank, Chris E. Johnson, Jane M. Read, Christopher A. Scholz, Peter J. Wilcoxen


Many of the issues facing humanity today center on energy: its supply, its use, and the impact that our energy use technologies have on our environment. The Integrated Learning Major on Energy and its Impacts gives students the interdisciplinary background required to understand the origin of our current problems and the ability to seek solutions to them. Students from a broad range of primary majors (in the Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Engineering, or Management) will come together to confront some of the most important challenges that confront the world. A team-based capstone project will enhance interdisciplinary learning while building problem-solving skills.

Intended for students in the following primary majors: for College of Arts and Sciences students in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Earth Sciences, Physics, Environmental Sciences, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Public Affairs, or International Relations, for LCS students in Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, or Electrical Engineering, and for Whitman students in Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises or Finance. (Note: Engineering students must also enroll in the LCS Energy Systems Minor.) Other primary majors may also be possible with approval of the director.

Students must take three Foundation courses, four or five Elective courses, a Junior Seminar, and a Senior Capstone Seminar, as described below.

Foundation Courses

A course in environmental science (natural science).


A course in social science.



Electives, by taking 4 additional elective courses from the following list, at least one of which must be in social science (marked with * on list below.) No more than two courses from a single Department can be used to satisfy this requirement. Students may need to take a fifth course from this list to meet the requirement of 18 credits at the 300 level or above.

Junior Seminar

This one-credit course for junior majors in Energy and Its Impacts will focus student attention on the range of interdisciplinary problems associated with energy use and its impact on the natural and social environment.

Capstone Seminar

The capstone seminar (3 credits) will involve students in an interdisciplinary investigation of energy and its impacts. Term project carried out by teams that include at least one student each from Natural Sciences (or Engineering) and from Maxwell. Projects will focus on energy issues that arise in the Syracuse community.