School of Engineering Renewable and Clean Energy

Renewable and Clean Energy (M.S.)

You can help determine the future of clean and economical energy sources and alternatives.

Thirty-six states have adopted renewable, clean energy or energy reduction requirements, and utility companies say that 40 percent of their workforce is expected to retire within 10 years.

They will need new experts — they will need you — to move forward to meet regulations and the needs of our planet.

Our program emphasizes:

  • Renewable energy systems 
  • Energy efficiency 
  • Energy economics 
  • Development of next-generation systems 
  • Real-world projects and research

Our master's degree program requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of course work. You have the flexibility to take courses at the University of Dayton, Wright State University and the Air Force Institute of Technology. Thesis and non-thesis options are available.

Our Renewable and Clean Energy degree is available either in a traditional classroom setting or as a fully online program.  The online program is ideal for students unable to attend on campus class sessions or students for whom self-paced learning is more desirable.  For more information, see the RCL program detail website >>

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the renewable and clean energy program should submit the following information in addition to the online application:

  1. Official academic records of all previously attended colleges or universities must be submitted directly from the colleges or universities to the Office of Graduate Admission Processing. Hand-carried transcripts, official copies marked Issued to Student and unofficial copies are not acceptable.
  2. Three letters of recommendation from professors or employers
  3. A personal statement or résumé
  4. Results from the GRE are not required. However, candidates are welcome to submit a score in support of their application.

Applicants must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited program in engineering, physics, chemistry, applied mathematics or other appropriate program of study. Applicants with a different undergraduate degree may be required to complete prerequisites. Applicants should have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average on a 4.0 scale. Some programs require higher GPAs for admission. In some cases, applicants with a GPA below 3.0 may be admitted on a conditional basis.

Additional requirements apply for international students.

Additional Information
Graduate assistantships are available; however, restrictions may apply to international students. Some of the graduate assistantships are at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and require citizenship or permanent residency. Please contact individual programs for details.

Degree Requirements

Program requirements can be found in the online Catalog. Click the "Review Degree Requirements" link and select your area of interest.

Frequently asked questions

What is the focus of this program?
Our goal is to develop the talent needed to:

  • Integrate renewable energy systems into existing infrastructure 
  • Design and develop low-energy and zero-sum energy buildings 
  • Assess the energy and environmental impact of products and manufacturing processes 
  • Prioritize demand-side energy reduction opportunities for utilities 
  • Design and develop low-energy products and manufacturing systems 
  • Develop novel renewable energy technologies 

What is the pre-requisite knowledge for admission?
Students coming from all engineering and science backgrounds are eligible for admission. A mathematics background including differential equations is needed.

Additionally, some foundation in energy (thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer) is needed. An online foundational course is available for students without this background.

What kind of financial aid is available?
Funding is available through research opportunities. Scholarships are available through governmental organizations. Contact the program director for more information.

What kinds of research are students engaged in?
Students are engaged in a variety of research activities:

  • The Industrial Assessment Center, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the state of Ohio, conducts energy assessments of regional manufacturers. Students are continuously evolving the processes and tools used to conduct these assessments. 
  • The Building Energy Center is seeking to evaluate and reduce energy use in residences and buildings, as well as integrate renewable energy systems into existing infrastructure. The goal is to combine energy billing, weather and building information on a utility-wide scale. 
  • Students are developing concepts for low-speed wind turbines tailored for use in the Midwest. 
  • For renewable energy storage, students are researching supercapacitors and battery systems. 
  • Students are conducting research aimed at using the Miami Valley aquifer as a renewable geothermal energy resource on a utility scale. 

What additional practicum opportunities are available?
Our Innovation Center draws in industry-sponsored projects from regional and national manufacturers. Projects include:

  • Developing an energy/climate change benchmarking system for a major aerospace manufacturer 
  • Developing low-cost integrated solar thermal systems for buildings 
  • Developing products that utilize the geothermal energy offered in aquifers, lakes and oceans 

What kind of job opportunities are available after graduation?
Employment opportunities range from utility companies to green design and manufacturing — but the field is rapidly expanding. Many different sectors are seeking to “go green.” Because of our emphasis on demand-side management and reduction, the University of Dayton is routinely contacted by national companies hiring in this arena.

For more information, see the RCL program detail website >>