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Degrees and Certificates

Before beginning your engagement with the RESS Program, you may have some questions, such as, what is the difference between a Graduate Certificate and a Master of Professional Studies (MPS)?

A Graduate Certificate is an academic credential that indicates the completion of a course of study and/or specialized training in a specific subject area. Graduate Certificates can typically be completed in two or three semesters and are of a shorter duration than a master’s degree. Graduate Certificates are typically taken to add specializations to existing undergraduate and graduate degrees and are typically part of an existing graduate curriculum. For example, one can take a RESS Graduate Certificate (12-credits) and use those same courses and credits towards a master’s degree (33-credits). The RESS Program currently offers two Graduate Certificates, one in Solar Energy and the other in Sustainability Management and Policy.

A Master of Professional Studies (MPS) is a degree where the typical disciplinary graduate degrees, such as a Master of Science (MS) or a Master of Business Administration (MBA), are combined with industry-specific skillsets to train students whose talents are directly applicable to the workforce. Working with Industrial Advisory Board members and other professional liaisons, the RESS MPS degree emphasizes the skills employers want today. With a focus on application and project development, the RESS MPS degree focuses on firsthand experiences where you are able to practice what you learn. Currently, RESS has three different tracks for earning an MPS, namely, the Renewable Energy Track, the Sustainability Management and Policy Track, and the General RESS Studies Track.

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