Graduate Portfolio Program in Energy Studies (GPPES)

Program Overview and Objectives

The Graduate Portfolio Program in Energy Studies (GPPES) is designed to give students a broad picture of the energy sector and equip them to deal with energy issues from an overall policy perspective. The program takes advantage of UT’s strength in energy-related topics to create a genuinely interdisciplinary program. Completion of the program is noted on the student’s final transcript, providing documentation of their study of energy policy issues that should enhance their attractiveness to employers in the private sector, government agencies or not-for-profit institutions in the energy sector.

The program is a cooperative effort involving the Energy Institute, which manages the program, together with eight schools and colleges. These include the Cockrell School of Engineering, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Natural Sciences, the Jackson School of Geosciences, the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, the McCombs School of Business, the School of Law and the School of Architecture. Other schools and colleges on the UT Austin campus may elect to participate. Graduate students from any UT school or department may register for the program.

Students can design their own program to meet the coursework requirements of the GPPES by choosing from the wide range of energy-related courses offered at UT. The diversity of available courses enables students to combine an overview of energy policy issues with the opportunity to dig more deeply into specific areas of interest. It is expected that, in almost all cases, the GPPES requirements can be met within the timeframe of the student’s original degree plan.

A core requirement of the GPPES is the gateway course, “Energy Technology and Policy,” offered by a number of colleges and schools at UT. This course focuses on the economic and environmental issues raised by both traditional and emerging energy technologies. GPPES students also attend a weekly symposium in which distinguished speakers from UT and elsewhere discuss current concerns and recent developments in the energy field.  Participants in the program carry out an energy oriented research project – this can be a Master’s thesis, a doctoral dissertation or a stand-alone project – and make a professional presentation of their results.

The GPPES was offered for the first time in the Spring 2014 semester. Note that the transcript notation that signifies completion of the program cannot be made until the program is listed in the Graduate Catalog, which will be in Fall 2015.

See the GPPEES information sheet for additional information.