Master of Science in Energy

Through a 10-month long program, featuring thesis and non-thesis tracks, the Master of Science in Energy aims to expose students and professionals to (a) important energy challenges and opportunities, and (b) advances in theory, methods, technologies, and applications delivered by energy leaders from academia, industry, and government, through a module-based structure and a distinguished seminar series.

Emphasis will be placed on creating the new generation of energy educated students and professionals who will be broadly educated on all components of energy through quantitative analytical methods and multi-scale systems based approaches.

The aims of the Master of Science in Energy degree program are:

  • Educate students/professionals with the broad spectrum of important energy issues, energy technologies based on fossil and non-fossil resources, sustainable energy technologies, and their interactions with energy economics, entrepreneurship, law, and policy.
  • Enhance the quantitative skills and knowledge of students/professionals for the analysis, simulation, and optimization of energy systems, and prepare them for practical applications.
  • Develop and enhance students’ skills for independent research in energy.
  • Educate and train the new generation of “energy experts” to leading and impactful careers in the multi-faceted energy industry, the energy business domain, the law sector, the public policy sector, and the government.
  • Integrate and synergize educational efforts in energy from all parts of Texas A&M University that include (a) the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; (b) the College of Engineering, (c) the College of Geosciences; (d) the College of Sciences; (e) the Bush School of Government and Public Policy; (f) the Mays Business School; (g) the College of Liberal Arts; and (h) the School of Law.

Program Website

http://energy.tamu.edu/education

The Master of Science (MS) curriculum is designed to develop new understanding through research and creativity. Students have the option to pursue a thesis or non-thesis Master of Science degree.

Steps to Fulfill Master's Degree Requirements

1Meet with departmental graduate advisor to plan course of study for first semester.When: Before first semester registration.
Approved by: Graduate advisor or chair of the intercollegiate faculty.
2Establish advisory committee.
Submit a degree plan.1
When: Prior to the deadline imposed by the student's college and no later than 90 days prior to final oral or thesis defense.
Approved by: Advisory committee, department head or chair of the intercollegiate faculty, and Office of Graduate and Professional Studies (OGAPS).
3If thesis is required, submit thesis proposal to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.When: At least 20 working days prior to the submission of the Request for the Final Examination.
Approved by: Advisory committee, department head or chair of the intercollegiate faculty and OGAPS.
4Apply for degree2; pay graduation fee.When: During the first week of the final semester, see OGAPS calendar.
5Check to be sure degree program and advisory committee are up to date and all ELP requirements (if applicable) and coursework are complete.When: Well before submitting request to schedule final examination.
6Complete residence requirement.When: If applicable, before or during final semester.
Approved by: OGAPS.
7Submit request to schedule final examination.When: Must be received by OGAPS at least 10 working days before exam date. See OGAPS calendar for deadlines.
Approved by: Advisory committee, department head or chair of the intercollegiate faculty, and OGAPS.
8Successfully complete final examination.When: The Report of the Final Examination Form should be submitted to OGAPS within 10 days following the exam.
Approved by: Advisory committee and OGAPS.
9If required, upload one approved final copy of thesis as a single PDF file (http://ogaps.tamu.edu) and submit signed approval form to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.When: See OGAPS calendar for deadlines.
Approved by: Advisory committee, department head or chair of the intercollegiate faculty and OGAPS.
10Graduation; arrange for cap and gown.For more information, visit http://graduation.tamu.edu.
1

The online Document Processing Submission System is located on the website https://ogsdpss.tamu.edu.

2

Complete the application for degree form via the student's Howdy portal.

The Master of Science in Energy is designed to introduce students and professionals to the multiple interdisciplinary facets of energy ranging from an overview of energy technologies (fossil-based, renewable, and non-fossil based) to multi-scale energy systems engineering methods, to energy economics, law, security, policy, and societal impact. The structure of the degree will be based on (a) non-overlapping modules, (b) distinguished seminar series, and (c) research thesis (thesis track only).

Each module will be 1.5 weeks long and will have 5 teaching days, including a total of 22 hours of lecture/lab material (22 contact hours) with 4.4 hours of lectures per teaching day. Therefore, two weekly modules will be equivalent to a semester-long course, and will correspond to 3.0 credits. Seminars will be delivered by distinguished energy experts from academia, industry, and government. Research thesis topics will be provided and supervised by faculty members affiliated with the Texas A&M Energy Institute.

The Master of Science in Energy degree will be offered in two tracks. The thesis option will require a research thesis, and the non-thesis option will require only course work (i.e., without research thesis). The duration of both tracks will be about 10 months (i.e., September 1 – June 30). 

Course List

Required Courses (All Tracks)  
ICPE 601 Environmental Issues of Energy Systems 1.5
ICPE 602 Reservoir Characterization and Modeling 1.5
ICPE 603 Bioenergy 1.5
ICPE 604 Energy Systems Engineering I 1.5
ICPE 605 Energy Systems Engineering II 1.5
ICPE 606 Introduction to Optimization 1.5
ICPE 607 Energy Accounting 1.5
ICPE 608 Beyond Science and Technology 1.5
ICPE 609 Introduction to U.S. Energy Law and Policy 1.5
ICPE 611 Economics of Energy 1.5
ICPE 612 Entrepreneurship in Energy 1.5
ICPE 613 Natural and Shale Gas Monetization: Technologies, Fundamentals, Economics and Applications 1.5
ICPE 614 CO2 Sequestration 1.5
ICPE 618 Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage, CCUS 1.5
ICPE 681 Seminars 2
Thesis (Thesis Track Only)  
ICPE 691 Thesis - Fall Semester 3
ICPE 691 Thesis - Spring Semester 3
Prescribed Electives (All Tracks)  
Thesis Track: Select two of the following:
Non-Thesis Track: Select nine of the following:
3
13.5
The Global Energy Future  
Smart Grid Fundamentals  
Multi-functional Materials for Energy Conversion  
Gas Separations for Energy: Fundamentals, Applications and New Directions  
Nanomaterials Engineering and Energy Storage  
Thermoelectric Materials and Devices  
Thermoelectrics: Fundamentals of Electronic and Thermal Transport  
Energy Efficiency in Buildings  
Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Towards Sustainable Resource Allocation  
Energy-Water-Nexus  
Integrated Risk Management for Exploration and Production Projects  
Safety in Energy Systems  
Interfacial Phenomena of Energy Systems  
Multi-physics Geomechanisms for Energy Applications  
Total Semester Credit Hours (Thesis Track)
Total Semester Credit Hours (Non-Thesis Track)
32
36.5

Program Requirements

Student’s Advisory Committee

After receiving admission to graduate studies and enrolling for coursework, the student will consult with the head of his or her major or administrative department (or intercollegiate faculty, if applicable) concerning appointment of the chair of his or her advisory committee. The student’s advisory committee for the MS degree will consist of no fewer than three members of the graduate faculty, representative of the student’s fields of study and research. The chair or the co-chair of the advisory committee must be from the student’s major department (or intercollegiate faculty, if applicable), and at least one or more of the members must have an appointment to a department other than the student’s major department. The outside member for students in an interdisciplinary program must have an appointment to a department different from the chair of the student’s committee.

The chair, in consultation with the student, will select the remainder of the advisory committee. The student will interview each prospective committee member to determine whether he or she is willing to serve. Only graduate faculty members located on Texas A&M University campuses may serve as chair of a student’s advisory committee. Other graduate faculty members located off campus may serve as a member or co-chair (but not chair) with a member as the chair. The chair of the committee, who usually has immediate supervision of the student’s research and thesis, has the responsibility for calling required meetings of the committee and for calling meetings at any other time considered desirable.

If the chair of a student’s advisory committee voluntarily leaves the University and the student is near completion of the degree and wants the chair to continue to serve in this role, the student is responsible for securing a current member of the University Graduate Faculty, from the student’s academic program and located near the Texas A&M University campus site, to serve as the co-chair of the committee. The Department Head or Chair of Intercollegiate faculty may request in writing to the Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies that a faculty member who is on an approved leave of absence or has voluntarily separated from the university, be allowed to continue to serve in the role of chair of a student’s advisory committee without a co-chair for us to one year. The students should be near completion of the degree. Extensions beyond the one year period can be granted with additional approval of the Dean.

If the chair of the student’s advisory committee is unavailable for an extended time in any academic period during which the student is involved in activities relating to an internship, thesis or professional paper, and is registered for courses such as 5V98, 5V99, 684, 691, 692 or 693, the student may request, in writing, that the department head appoint an alternate advisory committee chair during the interim period.

The duties of the committee include responsibility for the proposed degree plan, the research proposal, the thesis and the final examination. In addition, the committee as a group and as individual members are responsible for advising the student on academic matters, and, in the case of academic deficiency, initiating recommendations to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

The committee members’ approval on the degree plan indicate their willingness to accept the responsibility for guiding and directing the entire academic program of the student and for initiating all academic actions concerning the student. Although individual committee members may be replaced by petition for valid reasons, a committee cannot resign en masse.

Degree Plan

The student’s advisory committee, in consultation with the student, will develop the proposed degree plan. The degree plan must be completed and filed with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies prior to the deadline imposed by the student’s college or interdisciplinary degree program, if applicable, and no later than 90 days prior to the date of the final oral examination or thesis defense.

A student should submit the degree plan using the online Document Processing Submission System.

A student submitting a proposed degree plan for a Master of Science degree should designate on the official degree plan the appropriate program option.

Additional coursework may be added to the approved degree plan by petition if it is deemed necessary by the advisory committee to correct deficiencies in the student’s academic preparation. No changes can be made to the degree plan once the student’s Request for Final Examination or Request for Final Examination Exemption is approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Credit Requirement

A minimum of 32 semester credit hours of approved courses and research is required for the thesis option Master of Science degree. The thesis option requires 16 modules, thesis, and seminars. This track will be offered for the first time in residence in fall 2016. It includes a research thesis and will require students to be in College Station and work in research with faculty members affiliated with the Texas A&M Energy Institute. The fall semester structure of the thesis track will have 8 modules, the distinguished seminar series, and research thesis work. The spring semester structure of the thesis track will consist of 8 modules and research thesis work. The additional 2 months will be devoted towards the completion and defense of the research thesis work. The total number of semester credit hours will be 32 (i.e., 24 for the 16 modules, 2 for the seminars, and 6 for the research thesis work).

A minimum of 36.5 semester credit hours of approved coursework is required for the Non-Thesis Option. The non-thesis option requires 23 modules and seminars. This track will be offered for the first time in residence in fall 2016 to students or professionals in College Station. Beginning in fall 2017, this track will be available by distance to students or professionals via distance learning. The Fall semester structure of the non-thesis track will have 10 modules and the distinguished seminars. The spring semester structure of the non-thesis track will consist of 10 modules. Three additional modules will be offered upon completion of the spring semester. The total number of semester credit hours will be 36.5 (i.e., 34.5 for the 23 modules, and 2 for the seminars).

Transfer of Credit

A student who has earned 12 hours of graduate credit in residence at Texas A&M University may be authorized to transfer courses in excess of the limits prescribed below upon the advice of the advisory committee and with the approval of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. Courses taken in residence at an accredited U.S. institution or approved international institution with a final grade of B or greater may be considered for transfer credit if, at the time the courses were completed, the courses would be accepted for credit toward a similar degree for a student in degree-seeking status at the host institution. Otherwise, the limitations stated in the following section apply. Coursework in which no formal grades are given or in which grades other than letter grades (A or B) are earned (for example, CR, P, S, U, H, etc.) is not accepted for transfer credit. Courses appearing on the degree plan with grades of D, F or U may not be absolved by transfer work. Credit for thesis research or the equivalent is not transferable. Credit for coursework submitted for transfer from any college or university must be shown in semester credit hours or equated to semester credit hours. An official transcript from the university at which the transfer coursework was taken must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions.

Courses used toward a degree at another institution may not be applied for graduate credit. If the course to be transferred was taken prior to the conferral of a degree at the transfer institution, a letter from the registrar at that institution stating that the course was not applied for credit toward the degree must be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Grades for courses completed at other institutions are not included in computing the GPR.

Limitations on the Use of Transfer, Extension and Certain Other Courses

Some departments may have more restrictive requirements for transfer work. If otherwise acceptable, certain courses may be used toward meeting credit-hour requirements for the master’s degree under the following limitations.

  1. The maximum number of credit hours which may be considered for transfer credit is the greater of 12 hours or one-third (1/3) of the total hours of a degree plan. The following restrictions apply:
    • Graduate and/or upper-level undergraduate courses taken in residence at an accredited U.S. institution, or approved international institution with a final grade of B or greater will be considered for transfer credit if, at the time the courses were completed, the student was in degree-seeking status at Texas A&M University, or the student was in degree-seeking status at the institution at which the courses were taken; and if the courses would be accepted for credit toward a similar degree for a student in degree-seeking status at the host institution.
    • Courses previously used for another degree are not acceptable for degree plan credit.
  2. The maximum number of credit hours taken in post-baccalaureate non-degree (G6) classification at Texas A&M University which may be considered for application to the degree plan is 12.
  3. Not more than 12 hours may be used in any combination of the following categories:
    • Not more than 8 hours in the combination of 5V98, 5V99, and 691 (research), 684 (Professional Internship) or SOPH 680 may be used.
    • Not more than 8 hours of 685 (Directed Studies) may be used.
    • Not more than 3 hours of 690 (Theory of Research) may be used.
    • Not more than 3 hours of 695 (Frontiers in Research) may be used.
  4. A maximum of 2 hours of Seminar (681).
  5. A maximum of 9 hours of advanced undergraduate courses (300- or 400-level).
  6. For graduate courses of three weeks’ duration or less, taken at other institutions, up to 1 hour of credit may be obtained for each five-day week of coursework. Each week of coursework must include at least 15 contact hours.
  7. Continuing education courses may not be used for graduate credit.
  8. Extension courses are not acceptable for credit.

Exceptions will be permitted only in unusual cases and when petitioned by the student’s advisory committee and approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Thesis Option

An acceptable thesis is required for the Master of Science degree for a student who selects the thesis option program. The finished work must reflect a comprehensive understanding of the pertinent literature and express in clear English, the problem(s) for study, the method, significance and results of the student’s original research. Guidelines for the preparation of the thesis are available in the Thesis Manual, which is available online at the  Office of Graduate and Professional Studies website.

After successful defense (or exemption) and approval by the student’s advisory committee and the head of the student’s major department (or chair of the intercollegiate faculty, if appropriate), the student must submit his/her thesis in electronic format as a single PDF file. The PDF file must be uploaded to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies website. Additionally, a signed paper approval form with original signatures must be received by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. The PDF file and the signed approval form are required by the deadline.

Deadline dates for submitting the thesis are announced each semester or summer term in the “Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Calendar” (see Time Limit statement). These dates also can be accessed via the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies website.

Each student who submits a document for review is assessed a one-time thesis/dissertation processing fee through Student Business Services. This processing fee is for the thesis/dissertation services provided. After commencement, theses and dissertations are digitally stored and made available through the Texas A&M Libraries.

A thesis that is deemed unacceptable by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies because of excessive corrections will be returned to the student’s department head (or chair of the intercollegiate faculty, if applicable). The manuscript must be resubmitted as a new document, and the entire review process must begin again. All original submittal deadlines must be met during the resubmittal process to graduate that semester.

Thesis Proposal

For the thesis option Master of Science degree, the student must prepare a thesis proposal for approval by the advisory committee and the head of the major department or chair of the interdisciplinary faculty, if applicable. This proposal must be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies at least 20 working days prior to the submission of the request for the final examination.

Compliance issues must be addressed if a graduate student is performing research involving human subjects, animals, infectious biohazards and recombinant DNA. A student involved in these types of research should check with the Office of Research Compliance and Biosafety at (979) 458-1467 to address questions about all research compliance responsibilities. Additional information can also be obtained on the Office of Research Compliance and Biosafety website.

Final Examination/Thesis Defense

A student must pass a final examination by dates announced each semester or summer term in the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Calendar. The Office of Graduate and Professional Studies must be notified in writing of any cancellation. To be eligible to take the final examination, a student’s GPR must be at least 3.000 for courses on the degree plan and for all courses completed at Texas A&M which are eligible to be applied to a graduate degree, and there must be no unabsolved grades of D, F or U for any course listed on the degree plan. To absolve a deficient grade, the student must repeat the course at Texas A&M University and achieve a grade of C or better. All coursework on the degree plan must have been completed with the exception of those hours for which the student is registered. Additionally, all English Language Proficiency requirements must be satisfied prior to scheduling the examination. If applicable, an approved thesis proposal must be on file in the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies according to published deadlines.

A request to hold and announce the final examination must be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies a minimum of 10 working days in advance of the scheduled date for the examination. Examinations which are not completed and reported as satisfactory to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies within 10 working days of the scheduled examination date will be recorded as failures. A student may be given only one opportunity to repeat the final examination for the master’s degree and that must be within a time period that does not extend beyond the end of the next regular semester (summer terms are excluded).

For thesis option students, the final examination covers the thesis and all work taken on the degree plan and at the option of the committee may be written or oral or both. The final examination may not be administered before the thesis is available to all members of the student’s advisory committee in substantially final form, and all members have had adequate time to review the document. The examination is conducted by the student’s advisory committee as finally constituted. A thesis option student must be registered in the University in the semester or summer term in which the final examination is taken. Persons other than members of the graduate faculty may, with mutual consent of the candidate and the major professor, attend final examinations for advanced degrees. Upon completion of the questioning of the candidate, all visitors must excuse themselves from the proceedings. A positive vote by all members of the graduate committee with at most one dissension is required to pass a student on his or her exam. A department, or interdisciplinary degree program, may have a stricter requirement provided there is consistency within all degree programs within a department or interdisciplinary degree program.

A thesis option candidate may petition to be exempt from his/her final examination provided his/her degree plan GPR is 3.500 or greater and he/she has the approval of the advisory committee, the head of the student’s major department, or intercollegiate chair, if appropriate, and the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. It is required that the petition for exemption be submitted the same semester the student intends to submit the thesis.

Non-Thesis Option

For non-thesis option students, a final comprehensive examination may be required. 

The final exam cannot be held prior to the mid point of the semester if questions on the exam are based on courses in which the student is currently enrolled. If a student has completed all required degree plan coursework, the student is not required to be registered for classes in the semester the final examination is administered (unless he/she holds an assistantship). For specific final examination requirements, a student should check the program requirements for the degree which he/she is pursuing. 

Exam results must be submitted with original signatures of only the committee members approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. If an approved committee member substitution (1 only) has been made, his/her signature must also be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

A student pursuing the non-thesis option is not allowed to enroll in 5V98, 5V99, or 691 (research) for any reason and 691 may not be used for credit toward a non-thesis option Master of Science degree. A maximum of 4 credit hours of 684 (Professional Internship), 8 credit hours of 685 (Directed Studies), and up to 3 credit hours of 690 (Theory of Research) or 695 (Frontiers in Research) may be used toward the non-thesis option Master of Science degree. In addition, any combination of 684, 685, 690 and 695 may not exceed 25 percent of the total credit hour requirement shown on the individual degree plan. All requirements for the non-thesis option Master of Science degree other than those specified above are the same as for the thesis option degree.

Additional Requirements

Residence

In partial fulfillment of the residence requirement for the degree of Master of Science, the student must complete 9 resident credit hours during one regular semester or one 10-week summer semester in resident study at Texas A&M University. Upon recommendation of the student’s advisory committee, department head or Chair of the Interdisciplinary Program, if appropriate, and with approval of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, a student may be granted exemption from this requirement. Such a petition, however, must be approved prior to the student’s registration for the final 9 credit hours of required coursework.

Students who are employed full-time while completing their degree may fulfill total residence requirements by completion of less-than-full time course loads each semester. In order to be considered for this, the student is required to submit a Petition for Waivers and Exceptions along with verification of his/her employment to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

See Residence Requirements.

Continuous Registration

A student in the thesis option of the Master of Science program who has completed all coursework on his/her degree plan other than 5V98, 5V99, and 691 (research) is required to be in continuous registration until all requirements for the degree have been completed. See Continuous Registration Requirements.

Time Limit

All degree requirements must be completed within a period of seven consecutive years for the degree to be granted. A course will be considered valid until seven years after the end of the semester in which it is taken. Graduate credit for coursework which is more than seven calendar years old at the time of the final examination (oral or written) may not be used to satisfy degree requirements.

A student who has chosen the thesis option must have the final corrected version of the thesis cleared by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies no later than one year after the final examination, or approval of a petition for exemption from the final exam, or within the seven-year time limit, whichever occurs first. Failure to do so will result in the degree not being awarded.

Foreign Languages

No specific language requirement exists for the Master of Science degree.

Application for Degree

For information on applying for your degree, please visit the Graduation section.