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Departments & Programs


B.S. Program and Course List

Bachelor of Science

The requirements for the B.S. degree in Energy Resources Engineering are similar to those described in the "School of Engineering" section of the Stanford Bulletin. Students must satisfy the University general education, writing, and language requirements. The normal Energy Resources Engineering undergraduate program automatically satisfies the University General Education Requirements (GERs) in the Disciplinary Breadth areas of Natural Sciences, Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Mathematics. All ERE Major courses must be taken for a letter grade, including all Engineering fundamentals courses and Energy Resources Engineering depth and elective courses.

Energy resources engineers work on many facets of energy production including natural gas and oil production, renewable energy sources such as geothermal, subsurface resource characterization and quantification, the storage of wastes and energy byproducts, such as carbon dioxide, in geological settings, and multiphase flow in contaminated groundwater systems. We are also poised to contribute to the production of energy from alternative sources, such as tidal and wave energy. The energy resources engineer focuses on the "upstream" or production aspects of energy.

The Energy Resources Engineering undergraduate curriculum is designed to prepare students for immediate participation in many aspects of the energy industry, or for graduate studies, while providing them with the requisite skills to evolve as the energy landscape shifts over the next half century. The program provides a sound fundamental background in mathematics, basic sciences, and engineering fundamentals such as multiphase fluid flow in the subsurface. In addition, the curriculum is structured with flexibility that allows students to explore in depth energy topics of particular individual interest.

The ERE BS degree, represents an evolution toward a broader forward-looking energy curriculum, while still providing an Earth-sciences based engineering approach to energy resources.

Within ERE, a professor will serve as the director of undergraduate teaching and advising. Professor Jen Wilcox is the current director. The undergraduate coordinator from the dean's office will work in collaboration with Professor Horne in advising, assessment of student curricular needs, and retention. Students may choose any faculty member from ERE to serve as their major advisor. In collaboration with their advisor, students will develop their individual course of study. The curriculum is designed to provide students with a sound basis in engineering Earth sciences and flexibility to choose courses of special interest.

Additionally, the curriculum incorporates gateway, writing in the major (WIM), and capstone experiences. The gateway courses include ENERGY 101–Energy Resources and the Environment, ENERGY 102–Renewable Energy Resources, and ENERGY 104–Transition to Sustainable Energy. These courses represent relatively new offerings, which ERE has developed over the past 5 or so years. ENERGY 101 attracts students with interest in the impact of current energy trends on regional and global environmental issues. ENERGY 102 is an in-depth survey of renewable energy resources and discusses the complexities involved in converting these resources to useful energy. ENERGY 104 has previously been offered as a sophomore seminar. The course employs an engineering problem solving approach to investigate technologies that can impact significantly global greenhouse gas emissions. These three courses, while they are engineering courses, are designed to be approachable by sophomore and freshman prospective majors with high-school level math and science backgrounds.

On the other end of the undergraduate course spectrum is ENERGY 199–Senior Seminar in Energy Resources Engineering. This course functions as the capstone experience for students and fulfills WIM requirements. The course will emphasize written and oral communication skills. Each student will present results of either an internship or a research experience. Peer review of papers and presentations is planned. A quarter-long group project employing energy resources engineering skills will accompany the individual work elements.

With respect to existing programs and majors, the ERE major is intended to be complementary to degree offerings in Earth Systems and Geological and Environmental Sciences (within the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences) and degrees within the School of Engineering (SOE). By design, the ERE degree offering is situated at the intersection of Earth sciences and engineering; the curriculum, course content, and unit counts clearly distinguish it as an Earth-sciences based engineering program. The environmental science, policy and economics, and other Earth Systems elements, while present (to a degree that depends on the student’s particular interest), are emphasized much less than in the Earth Systems program. In comparison to degree offerings in the SOE, the degree in ERE is distinguished by its emphasis on the upstream, or resource extraction, side of energy engineering. We also contribute on the extreme downstream end by considering the emerging field of carbon sequestration in geological formations. Finally, we note that the new ERE course offerings (e.g., ENERGY 102) have appealed to students from many departments seeking breadth and depth of study. We expect this appeal to continue.

Specific Course Requirements

Energy Resources Core 15-16
Energy Resources Depth 18
Engineering Fundamentals and Depth 20-24
General Education Requirements
(IHUM, DB-HUM, DB-SocSci, Citizenship, Writing, Language)
Mathematics 25
Science 29-32
Technology in Society 3-5
Total 170-190

Requirements by Concentration


Math 41 Single variable calculus 5
Math 42 Single variable calculus
(Math 19, 20, 21 may be substituted for Math 41 and 42)
CME 100 Vector Calculus for Engineers
(or Math 51)
CME 104 Linear Algebra and Partial Differential Equations for Engineers
(or Math 52)
CME 102 Ordinary Differential Equations for Engineers
(or Math 53)
Total: 25


Physics 41 Mechanics 4
Physics 43 Electricity and Magnetism 4
Physics 45 Light and Heat 4
Physics 46 Light and Heat Laboratory 1
Chem 31 A Chemical Principles I 4
Chem 31 B Chemical Principles II
(Chem 31X may be substituted for Chem 31 A&B)
Chem 33 Structure and Reactivity 4
GES 1 Fundamentals of Geology 4-5
Total: 29-30

Engineering Fundamentals and Depth

ENGR14 Applied Mechanics: Statics 3
ENGR 30 Engineering Thermodynamics 3
CEE 146A Engineering Economy
(or Econ 155 or Econ 250 or Econ 251) 
ME 70 Introductory Fluids Engineering 4
CS 106A Programming Methodology 3-5
CS 106B Programming Abstractions
(CS106X may be substituted for CS106A&B)
Total: 19-23


Technology in Society, 1 course 3-5
Total: 3-5

Required Core in Energy Resources

ENERGY 101 Energy Resources and the Environment 3
ENERGY 104 Transition to Sustainable Energy 3
ENERGY 120 Fluids in the Subsurface 3
ENERGY 160 Modeling Uncertainty in the Earth Sciences 3
ENERGY 199 Senior Project and Seminar in Energy Resources (WIM) 4
Total: 16

Earth and Energy Depth Concentration

Choose courses from the list below for a total of at least 18 units. At least one course must be completed in each category. Courses must be planned in consultation with the student’s academic advisor. Appropriate substitutions are allowed with the consent of the advisor.

Fluid Flow and the Subsurface

ENERGY 120A Flow Through Porous Media Laboratory 1
ENERGY 121 Fundamentals of Multiphase Flow 3
ENERGY 130 Well Log Analysis 3
ENERGY 175 Well Test Analysis 3
ENERGY 180 Production Engineering 3
ENGR 62 Introduction to Optimization 4
GEOPHYS 181 Fluids and Flow in the Earth: Computational Methods 3

3D Modeling of Subsurface Structures

ENERGY 125 Modeling and Simulation for Geoscientists and Engineers 3
ENERGY 141 Practice of 3D Subsurface Modeling with Geostatistics 3
ENERGY 146 Reservoir Characterization 3
GP 112 Exploring the Geosciences with MatLab 3
GP 182 Reflection Seismology 3
GES 151 Sedimentary Geology 3
GEOPHYS 183 Reflection Seismology Interpretation 4
GEOPHYS 185 Rock Physics for Reservoir Characterization 3
GEOPHYS 186 Tectonophysics 3

Earth and Energy Systems

CEE 64 Air Pollution: From Urban Smog to Global Change 3
CEE 70 Environmental Science & Technology 3
CEE 176B Electric Power: Renewables and Efficiency 3-4
ENERGY 102 Renewable Energy Resources 3
ENERGY 153 Carbon Capture and Sequestration 3-4
ENERGY 269 Geothermal Reservoir Engineering 3
ENERGY 191 Optimization of Energy Systems 3
ENERGY 301 Energy Seminar 1
GP 150 General Geophysics and Physics of the Earth 3
GEOPHYS 120 Ice, Water, Fire 3-5
MATSCI 156 Solar Cells, Fuel Cells, and Batteries:
Materials for the Energy Solution (MATSCI 256)


To be recommended for a B.S. degree with ERE as a minor subject, a student must take a small set of required courses plus 3 elective courses for a total of 6 courses in ERE. Courses must be planned in consultation with the student's ERE advisor. Appropriate substitutions are allowed with the consent of the advisor.

Required Courses

ENERGY 101 Energy Resources and the Environment 3
ENERGY 120 Fundamentals of PE 4
ENERGY 160 Modeling Uncertainty in the Earth Sciences 3-4

Elective Courses (at least 3 courses from the list below)

GES 151 Sedimentary Geology 3
GP 182 Reflection Seismology 3
ENERGY 102 Renewable Energy Resources 3
ENERGY 104 Transition to Sustainable Energy 3
ENERGY 121 Fundamentals of Multiphase Flow 3
ENERGY 125 Modeling and Simulation for Geoscientists and Engineers 3
ENERGY 130 Well Log Analysis 3
ENERGY 269 Geothermal Reservoir Engineering 3
ENERGY 175 Well Test Analysis 3
ENERGY 180 Production Engineering 3
ENERGY 141 Seismic Reservoir Characterization 3-4
ENERGY 146 Reservoir Characterization and Flow Modeling with Outcrop Data 3
ENERGY 153 Carbon Capture and Sequestration 3-4

Honors Program

The program in Energy Resources Engineering leading to the Bachelor of Science with Honors provides an opportunity for independent study and research on a topic of special interest and culminates in a written report and oral presentation.

The Honors Program is open to students with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.5 in all courses required for the ERE major and minimum of 3.0 in all University course work. Qualified students intending to pursue honors must submit an Honors Program Application to the Undergraduate Program Director no later than the eighth week of their ninth quarter, but students are encouraged to apply to the program during Winter Quarter of their junior year. The application includes a short form, an unofficial transcript, and a 2-3 page research proposal prepared by the student and endorsed by a faculty member who will serve as the research advisor.

Upon approval, students enroll in the Honors Program via Axess. Students must enroll in a total of 9 units of ENERGY 193; these units may be spread out over the course of the senior year, and may include previous enrollment units for the same research project. Research undertaken for the Honors Program cannot be used as a substitute for regularly required courses. A formal written report must be submitted to the student's research advisor no later than the fourth week of the student's final quarter, and the report must be read, approved, and signed by the student's faculty advisor and a second member of the faculty. Each honors candidate must make an oral presentation of his or her research results.