Mechanical Engineering - Sustainable Energy Certification

Sustainable Energy Certification

Online Program Overview

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

Energy issues facing society are seen as one of the biggest technological and policy challenges of the century. They have taken center stage receiving wide attention as 2012 was the Year of Sustainable Energy for All. Energy has a direct link with the Millennium Development Goals as productive capacity, industry and value addition would not be possible without energy.


My experience with CVN has been very good. They offer a wide variety of classes to choose from. They keep me up-to-date with all the happenings at Columbia University. My correspondence with them has always resulted in positive solutions and they accept Tuition Vouchers from Companies, unlike many other programs.
Tanvi Akkad, BBN Technologies

Admissions Requirements

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.

Degree required for admission: Students admitted to the program must possess a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering or other related field (subject to the approval of the Mechanical Engineering Program) from an accredited academic institution. Applicants should have a strong undergraduate record to be competitive for admission. 

GPA required: Minimum of 3.0 

Program requirements for completion of these Certification Programs are listed below:

  • 4 Graduate-level 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.


The curriculum of this program was designed to provide engineers with knowledge and expertise in (1) ensuring universal access to modern energy services, (2) increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, and (3) increasing the rate of improvement in energy efficiency.

Course List

The Certification of Professional Achievement in Sustainable Energy consists of four 3-credit courses. The specific topics that will be covered range from energy sources, energy conversion technologies, and energy infrastructure planning to applications and implementation as they pertain to different energy services. System level issues about integration of renewable energy and incorporating energy efficiency will be addressed. The students will be expected to successfully complete the 12 credit curriculum below with a minimum average GPA achieved of 3.0:

  • MECE E4304 Turbomachinery: This course introduces students to the basics of theory, design, selection and applications of turbomachinery. Turbomachines are widely used in many engineering applications such as energy conversion, power plants, air-conditioning, pumping, refrigeration and vehicle engines, as there are pumps, blowers, compressors, gas turbines, jet engines, wind turbines etc. Applications are drawn from energy conversion technologies, HVAC and propulsion. The course provides students with a basic understanding of the different kinds of turbomachines.
  • MECE E4312 Solar Thermal Engineering: Prerequisite: MECE E3311 Heat Transfer. Fundamentals of solar energy transport: radiation heat transfer, convention, conduction and phase change processes. Heat exchangers and solar collectors: basic methods of thermal design, flow arrangements, effects of variable conditions, rating procedures. Solar energy concentration. Piping Systems: series and parallel arrangements, fluid movers. Thermal response and management of photovoltaic energy conversion. Solar energy storage. Solar cooling, solar thermal power and cogeneration. Applications to the design of solar thermal engineering systems.
  • MECI E4210 Energy Infrastructure Planning: Prerequisites: One year each of college level physics, chemistry, and mathematics. Energy infrastructure planning with specific focus on countries with rapidly growing infrastructure needs. Spatiotemporal characteristics, scale, and environmental footprints of energy resources, power generation and storage, modeling demand growth, technology choices and learning for planning. Computer-assisted decision support and network design/optimization tools. Similarities, differences and interactions among electricity, gas, information, transportation and water distribution networks. Penetration of renewable and/or decentralized technologies into existing or new infrastructure. Special guest lectures on infrastructure finance, regulation and public-private partnerships.
  • MECE E4211 Energy: Sources and Conversion: Prerequisites: MECE E3301. Energy sources such as oil, gas, coal, gas hydrates, hydrogen, solar, and wind. Energy conversion systems for electrical power generation, automobiles, propulsion and refrigeration. Engines, steam and gas turbines, wind turbines; devices such as fuel cells, thermoelectric converters, and photovoltaic cells. Specialized topics may include carbon-dioxide sequestration, cogeneration, hybrid vehicles and energy storage devices.


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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