Low Carbon and Efficiency Technology

Earth and Environmental Engineering

Online Program Overview

Degree Level
Total Credits
Fully Online
Contact Us
Minimum GPA
Qualifying Exam
GRE Not Required

One of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century is to enable economic growth, while simultaneously reducing global greenhouse gas emissions to avoid dangerous impacts on the climate. Meeting the goal of building a low-carbon economy requires new technologies and approaches led by a workforce trained in understanding carbon management systems.

    Admissions Requirements

    Columbia Video Network now offers a Certification of Professional Achievement in Low Carbon and Efficiency Technology designed for students and professionals to become leading experts in carbon management to work in industry, academia, NGOs, and public policy. The Certification will teach students to:

    • Understand the science and technology underlying energy systems and carbon capture and storage;
    • Understand the role of terrestrial ecosystems in sequestering carbon and methods to monitor and verify biological capture;
    • Shape regulatory frameworks to enable ground breaking change, while incorporating the latest scientific and engineering information;
    • Understand the interdisciplinary nature of carbon management, which includes science, engineering, business, law, policy, and psychology;
    • Engage in systems thinking that relates practical problem-solving to sustainable development, upgrading energy systems, and other global challenges.

    Applicants to the Certification of Professional Achievement Program must submit official transcripts, 3 letters of recommendation, personal-professional statement, resume, and the $150 application fee.

    Candidates for the Certification of Professional Achievement Program must complete the program of study as defined by the appropriate department. Program requirements for completion of these Certification Programs are listed below:

    Program requirements for completion of these Certification Programs are as follows:

    • 4 classes all earned through CVN, as a non-degree student.
    • Minimum of 12 credit points
    • Minimum GPA of 3.0
    • Completion of program within two (2) calendar years.


    Core courses

    • Introduction to Carbon Management (EAEE E4300)
    • CO2 Utilization and Conversion (EAEE E4305).

    Electives (select two of the following):

    • Alternative Energy Resources (EAEE E4002),
    • Photovoltaic Systems Engineering and Sustainability (EAEE E4190),
    • Solar Energy and Smartgrid Powersystems (ELEN E4510)

    Course List

    EAEE4300 - Introduction to Carbon Management

    This course offers an introduction to the natural and anthropogenic carbon cycle and carbon and climate. Using an interdisciplinary approach, we explore the rationale and need to manage carbon, and the tools with which to do so. These include basic science, psychology, economics, policy, negotiations, and an understanding of societal impacts. We use a simple carbon emission model to estimate the impacts of a specific intervention for national, per capita and global emissions. Students lead case studies (e.g., reforestation, biofuels, carbon capture and storage, efficiency, and alternative energy) to illustrate necessary systems approaches required to tackle global challenges.

    EAEE4305 - CO2 Utilization and Conversion

    This course provides an introduction to various CO2 utilization and conversion technologies that can reduce the overall carbon footprint of commodity chemicals and materials. The fundamentals of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, reaction kinetics, catalysis, and reactor design will be discussed using technological examples such as enhanced oil recovery, shale fracking, photo and electro-chemical conversion of CO2 to chemical and fuels, and the formation of solid carbonates and their various uses. Life cycle analyses of potential products and utilization schemes will also be discussed, as well as the use of renewable energy for CO2 conversion.

    EAEE E4190 - Photovoltaic Systems Engineering and Sustainability 

    A systems approach for intermittent renewable energy involving the study of resources, generation, demand, storage, transmission, economics and politic. Study of current and emerging photovoltaic technologies, with focus on basic sustainability metrics (e.g., cost, resource availability, and life-cycle environmental impacts). The status and potential of 1st and 2nd generation photovoltaic technologies (e.g., crystalline and amorphous Si, CdTe, CIGS) and emerging 3rd generation ones. Storage options to overcome the intermittency constraint. Large scales of renewable energy technologies and plug-in hybrid electric cars.

    Tuition & Fees

    2023–2024 Tuition & Fees

    Please note that all tuition and fees are in U.S. dollars and are estimated. Tuition and most fees are prescribed by statute and are subject to change at the discretion of the Trustees.

    CVN Credit Tuition: $2,462.00 per point (Credit Hour)
    CVN Fee: $395 non-refundable fee per course
    Transcript Fee: $105 non-refundable one-time fee
    Tuition Deposit: $1,000 (More information on our Resources page)

    Estimated cost of one nondegree course: $7,886.00
    Estimated total cost of certification (four courses): $31,229.00

    Estimated total cost of MS (ten courses): $77,915.00
    *Estimated total cost of DES (ten courses plus a minimum of 12 research credits): $108,249.00

    Graduate Admission Application Fee: $85 non-refundable one-time fee 
    Certification Program Application Fee: $85 non-refundable one-time fee 

    Late Registration Fee: $100 non-refundable fee

    CVN Withdrawal Fee: $75, plus prorated tuition and all non-refundable fees
    For example: A three-credit course would be $7,781 + transcript fee $105 (one-time) + CVN fee $395 = $7,886

    *Assumes DES student enrolls in two six-credit research courses.

    For Drop/Withdrawal fees and dates, refer to the Academic Calendar for the current term.

    Please note: CVN no longer offers courses for audit.

    Payment should be mailed to:

    Attn: Shewanna House
    Accounting & Business Management
    Senior Student Services Rep
    Payments & Deposits
    210 Kent Hall, Mail Code 9205
    1140 Amsterdam Avenue
    New York, NY 10027

    Before you mail your check or money order, please take careful note of the following requirements to ensure the timely processing of your payment: https://sfs.columbia.edu/content/pay-mail.

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