Minor in Energy & Water Sustainability

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in collaboration with several other Rice University departments offers undergraduate students the opportunity to select a Minor in Energy and Water Sustainability (EWSU).

Download our 2020-21 Minor in EWSU flyer [PDF] for an overview of courses, focus areas, electives and ways to get involved at Rice University.

About the Minor

Sustainable development is a societal goal that challenges traditional ways of thinking and requires alternative approaches and solutions to balance environmental, economic, and social interests. Carbon management strategies and renewable resources will be key elements of energy policy for the coming decades. Similarly, the long-term viability of existing water use and human settlement patterns must be reconsidered given the effect of climate change in freshwater availability, as well as increasing competing demands for this limited resource. More generally, the dedication of materials, energy, and ecological resources will become more important in economic decision-making, while more and more members of society will demand equity in decision-making processes.

Students choosing this minor will gain knowledge of both the science and policy issues associated with the evaluation of sustainable energy and water strategies that will form a cornerstone of 21st century social systems. Students completing this minor will be better prepared for a global society that is attempting to understand and address the challenge of meeting basic human needs today and in the future while maintaining a functional natural system and social order.


For an overview of the Minor in Energy and Water Sustainability, outcomes, requirements and more, visit General Announcements.

Students pursuing the Minor in Energy and Water Sustainability must complete a minimum of 7 courses (at least 19 credit hours) to satisfy the minor requirements which includes both a design practicum of 1 credit. A maximum of 2 courses applied towards the minor can be used to fulfill a student's major requirements.

Advising Tools

Rice students are encouraged to reach out to their degree advisors when they have questions throughout the year and must follow the degree requirements outlined in the General Announcements for either matriculation or graduating year. To get started with declaring your major or for advising support, please make an appointment to meet with the E.W.S.U. adviser below. Bring a transcript copy to the visit, along with your declaration form.

Group advising sessions are also announced each semester by the department shortly before registration opens. These are led by CEE faculty advisors and Chi Epsilon and ASCE senior students.

Certifying Advisor

For declaring your minor, verification of degree plans or submission of specialty-specific advisor-approved course substitutions via petition in Degreeworks to Jim Blackburn.

Contact Us

Have a question or need guidance?

Jennifer Mashburn
Undergraduate Academic Administrator