Atmosphere and Energy Program

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Atmosphere and energy are strongly linked: Fossil-fuel energy use contributes to air pollution, climate change, and perturbations to the weather, and the atmosphere feeds back as renewable wind, solar, and hydroelectric energy sources. Because atmospheric problems can be mitigated by increasing energy efficiency, developing new energy technologies, and shifting to less-polluting energy sources, and because it is important to study the atmospheric impacts of new energy technologies, the two areas, atmosphere and energy, are naturally coupled together.

The Atmosphere/Energy (A/E) undergraduate curriculum prepares undergraduates for an A/E master’s degree program, as well as careers in industry, research, consulting, government, non-governmental organizations, and academia. The A/E degree is NOT an ABET-accredited degree, as ABET accreditation is advantageous only for obtaining specific jobs that do not overlap with those that students obtaining the A/E degree would generally consider. The degree is accredited as part of Stanford’s accreditation through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

A/E students take classes in both Atmosphere and Energy, as well as classes that integrate the two. The curriculum is flexible ― students more interested in one field or the other can take most of their Engineering Depth classes in the area of their choice. Similarly, students desiring to focus more on technology or on science can take the appropriate Depth classes to suit their interest.

Students can tailor a minor focusing on A/E within the minor for Environmental Engineering. Qualified students may also apply to engage in the A/E Honors program (see Chapter 6).


A total of 101 units are required, distributed as follows:
Mathematics (23 units minimum, including at least one class from each group):
Group A:
MATH 53 Ordinary Differential Equations with Linear Algebra (A,W,S) 5
CME 102 Ordinary Differential Equations for Engineers (W) 5
Group B:
CME 106 Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Engineers (W) 4
STATS 60 Introduction to Statistical Methods: Pre-calculus (A,W,S) 5
STATS 110 Statistical Methods in Eng. and the Physical Sciences (A) 4-5
Science (22 units minimum, including all of the following):
PHYSICS 41 Mechanics (W) 4
PHYSICS 43 Electricity/Magnetism (S) –OR– PHYS 45 Light/Heat (A) 4
CHEM 31B Chemical Principles II (or CHEM 31X or ENGR 31) 4
CEE 70 Environmental Science and Technology (A) 3

Engineering Fundamentals (three courses minimum, including the following):
ENGR 25E. Energy: Chem. Transformations for Products, Storage, & Use (W) 3 units at least one of the following courses:
ENGR 15. Dynamics(A,S) 3 units
ENGR 30. Engineering Thermodynamics (A,W) 3 units
ENGR 60. Engineering Economy (last offering Summer 2012) 3 units
ENGR 70A. Programming Methodology (Same as CS 106A) (A,W,S) 5 units one elective from above or from others on the ENGR Fundamentals Approved Courses List. Note that ENGR 70B/X cannot be used if ENGR 70A is taken as the second Fundamental; nor is ENGR 25B allowed as the elective course

Technology in Society
STS 110. Ethics and Public Policy (also fulfills Writing in Major req.)(W) 5units

Engineering Depth (42 units minimum):
CEE 64. Air Pollution & Global Warming: History, Science & Solutions (W) 3 units
CEE 173A. Energy Resources (A) 5units

At least 34 units from the following, with at least 4 courses from each group:
Group A: Atmosphere
AA 100. Introduction to Aeronautics and Astronautics (A) 3 units
BIO 164. Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions 4 units
CEE 63. Weather and Storms (A) 3 units
Either CEE 101B. Mechanics of Fluids (S) 3 units
–OR– ME 70. Intro Fluids Engineering (W,S) 4 units
Either CEE 164. Intro to Physical Oceanography (W) 4 units
–OR– EESS 146B. Atmosphere, Ocean, & Climate Dynamics (S) 3 units
CEE 172. Air Quality Management (W) 3 units
CEE 172A. Indoor Air Quality (S) (Alt. years) 2-3 units
CEE 172S. Tech & Business Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions (S) 3 units
CEE 178. Introduction to Human Exposure Analysis (S) 3 units
EARTHSYS 111. Biology and Global Change (W) 3 units
Either EARTHSYS 142. Remote Sensing of Land (W) 4 units
–OR– EARTHSYS 144. Fundamentals of GIS (A) 4 units
EARTHSYS 146A. Atm, Ocean, Climate Dynamics: Atmos. Circ (W) 3 units
EARTHSYS 184. Climate and Agriculture (S) 3-4 units
EARTHSYS 188. Social and Env. Tradeoffs in Climate Dec. Making (W) 1-2 units
ME 131B. Fluid Mechanics: Compr. Flow & Turbomachinery (W) 4 units
MS&E 92Q. International Environmental Policy (W) 3units

Group B: Energy
CEE 109. Creating a Green Student Workforce 2 units
Either CEE 142A. Negotiating Sustainable Development (W) 3 units
–OR– CEE 156. Building Systems (S) 4 units
CEE 136. Green Architecture (W) 4 units
CEE 176A. Energy Efficient Buildings (W) 3-4 units
CEE 176B. Electric Power: Renewables and Efficiency (S) 3-4 units
CEE 176F. Energy Systems Field Trips (W) (Alt. years) 1-2 units
CEE 177S. Design for a Sustainable World (S) 1-5 units
CHEMENG 35N. Renewable Energy for a Sustainable World (A) 3 units
EARTHSYS 101. Energy and the Environment (W) 3 units
EARTHSYS 102. Renewable Energy Sources and Greener Energy Processes (S) 3 units
Either EE 25Q. Electric Automobiles and Aircraft (A) 3 units
–OR– EE 26N. Green Electronics (W) 3 units
EE 151. Sustainable Energy Systems (W) 3 units
ENERGY 104. Transition to Sustainable Energy Systems (S) 3 units
MATSCI 156. Solar Cells, Fuel Cells, and Batteries (A) 4 units
ME 185. Electric Vehicle Design (S) 3 units
MS&E 93Q. Nuclear Weapons, Energy, Prolif., & Terrorism (S) 3 units

See the Navigation Bar at left for A/E 4-Year Plans and Program Sheets; any plan from a year you are enrolled at Stanford as an undergraduate is allowed.


Subject to the requirements outlined above, students have flexibility in selecting their depth electives and other courses to best suit their interests. If you would like to see two suggested programs outlined, one with an emphasis on energy and the other on atmospheric studies, go to the 4-Year Plans page and open the A/E plans for 2011-12. Either approach provides the necessary preparation for the master’s degree program in Atmosphere/Energy.

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