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College of Social Sciences, University of Hawaii at MānoaCollege Logo
College of Social Sciences, University of Hawaii at MānoaCollege Logo
College of Social Sciences, University of Hawaii at MānoaCollege Logo

Renewable Energy and Island Sustainability Graduate Certificate

Students seeking the REIS graduate certificate gain both breadth and depth in an energy and sustainability curriculum. Participants take classes in different colleges to reap a broad perspective of energy sustainability. In addition to attending courses and a REIS seminar class, students conduct a capstone project to demonstrate mastery of an energy research area.

REIS is a stand-alone graduate program. Some UH Mānoa students are enrolled in a master’s or a PhD program and apply for REIS concurrently. Others are enrolled in REIS without pursuing another graduate degree at UH Mānoa.

All applicants must meet Graduate Division admissions standards and documentation requirements. For example, they must hold or expect to hold prior to matriculation a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or an equivalent degree from a recognized non-U.S. institution of higher education. At minimum, applicant must demonstrate above average academic performance (B average, usually a 3.0 on a 1.0-4.0 scale) for undergraduate course work and for any post-baccalaureate or graduate course work.

We also request a brief statement of objectives (2 pages or less) that describes the applicant’s academic background, interest in pursuing the REIS Graduate Certificate, and future objectives. GRE is not required.

All applicants are encouraged to consult with the Program Director about the program course offerings.

To Apply

Submit a Concurrent Graduate Certificate Program application form to the Graduate Division (GD). Be sure to carefully review GD application requirements.

To obtain the graduate certificate in Renewable Energy and Island Sustainability (REIS), students must fulfill the following six requirements:

  1. Have passed the two Mandatory General Core Courses listed below.
  2. Have passed at least one course in Technological Specialization Courses.
  3. Fifteen credits (plus one for a REIS Seminar course) are required for the certificate in approved 600 and 400 level courses with at least nine units at the 600 level. For each course, student should earn at least a C- in that course (a Graduate Division requirement) and should have an overall grade point average of a B in the 15 units of approved 600 and 400 level courses.
  4. Have conducted a capstone research project in the area of energy and/or sustainability under the supervision of a REIS faculty member (this faculty member should be different than student’s primary thesis or dissertation advisor). The research project will result in a research paper in the area of energy or sustainability that will constitute the culminating experience for the REIS certificate. The quality of the paper should be similar to a refereed conference or journal paper or a chapter of a thesis dissertation. Note that this work is in addition to thesis/project requirements for an MS or PhD degree.
  5. Have completed at least one short course or workshop in advanced topics in renewable energy or sustainability, or attended a professional conference in renewable energy or sustainability.
  6. Have passed one-credit REIS seminar course (in addition to the 15-credit requirement described above). Note that the seminar course will expose students to different areas in renewable energy and island sustainability. The seminar course will provide students with more broad level knowledge and awareness of energy and sustainability research and education areas. This will be a one unit course.

Certificate Checklist

Required General Core Courses

  • ECON 636: Renewable Energy Economics and Policy
  • EE 635: Smart Grids and Renewable Energy Integration, or
    ME 610: Renewable Energy and Sustainability Engineering

These two core graduate courses are intended for a broad audience of graduate students with prerequisites of math and science that are usually obtained by undergraduate students by their sophomore year or consent of instructor.

Course descriptions of ECON 636EE 635, and ME 610

Technological Specialization Courses

The following are examples of elective 400/600 level courses that will be approved on a course-by-course basis by the REIS curriculum committee based on course syllabus and content in energy and sustainability topics. Note that, while most of the current courses are in Engineering, we anticipate that more courses in non-Engineering areas will be approved to met the needs of students from different backgrounds as they enter the program. We anticipate more courses from the UH Mānoa College of Social Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, School of Architecture, School of Law, College of Business, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, and School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. The intent of the REIS graduate certificate is to recruit, retain and graduate a broad spectrum of students who are interested in energy and sustainability. Some courses can be substituted for Mandatory General Core Courses upon Director’s approval.

  • ARCH 525: Architecture Systems IV: Sustainability
  • BE 410: Biomass Conversion to Biofuels and Bioenergy
  • ECON 637: Resource Economics
  • ECON 638: Environmental Resource Economics
  • EE 435: Electric Power Systems
  • EE 491I: Renewable Energy
  • EE 491K: Power Systems
  • EE 491K: Power Electronics
  • EE 635: Smart Grids and Renewable Energy Integration
  • EE 693D: Smart Grid Technology
  • EE 696: Renewable Energy Devices and Sensors
  • ICS 691: Smart Grid Software Engineering
  • ME 446: Advanced Materials Manufacturing
  • ME 447: Introduction to Nanotechnology
  • ME 491/EE 491: Solar Energy Engineering and Technology
  • ME 626: Viscous Flows or CEE622: Fluid Mechanics
  • ME 646: Mechanics and Design of Composites
  • ME 647: Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
  • ME 696: Hybrid Electric Vehicle Dynamics and Design
  • ME 696. Design of Wind Turbine and Wave Energy Converter
  • ME 696: Renewable Energy Material and Manufacturing Technology
  • ME 696: Working with Industries in Renewable Energy
  • ORE 607: Water Wave Mechanics
  • ORE 609: Hydrodynamics of Fluid-Body Interactions
  • ORE 612: Dynamics of Ocean Structures.

REIS Seminar Course

Examples include EE/ME/CE 696 REIS Seminar and ECON 696 Workshop on Energy and Environmental Research.

REIS Graduate Certificate

REIS Graduate Certificate


Anthony Kuh 
Professor, Electrical Engineering

Nori Tarui
Professor, Economics