Many U.S. colleges and universities offer courses, Associate Degrees, and advanced degrees for solar energy and renewable energy technologies. The following list of institutes, colleges, and universities, derived from the US Department of Energy and other sources, though comprehensive, is not intended to be exhaustive. National and on-line courses are listed first, followed by educational institutions organized alphabetically by state.
On Line Courses
Allied's programs provide understanding of essential solar panel installation methodologies, and sales and marketing strategies toward green-minded consumers. Enhances business knowledge with advanced understanding of solar panel functions, installation, maintenance, and more.
International Center for Appropriate & Sustainable Technology
Online courses offered: Residential Energy Efficiency Auditor, Solar Power Systems Installation, Residential Energy Efficiency Installation, and Introduction to the Wind Energy Industry.
NTER National Training & Eduction Resource - Photovoltaic Online Training For Code Officials
This course is worth 6 continuing education credits hours (or 0.6 IAEI CEUs). (Note: FIREFOX or Google "CHROME" browser required. Internet Explorer and other browsers are not yet supported as of January 10, 2013). For additional assistance or information, visit the course website.
Solar Pro Magazine National Training Course Listings
More than 300 training courses offered throughout the United States and other countries. Course complexities range from introductory beginner level to expert professional.
Sun Pirate, Cotati, California.
Sun Pirate offers online courses to qualify to sit for the NABCEP Entry Level Certificate Of Knowledge Exam. Interstate Renewable Energy Council and Institute for Sustainable Power Quality Accredited and NABCEP-approved online solar training courses.
US Department of Energy
Extensive lists of courses. Type "Solar courses" into the search box and select from the extensive list of information. Optionally, click on the link of interest to you in the "Energy Efficiency" or "Renewable Energy" columns.
The Evergreen Institute offers nationally recognized certificates in Residential Renewable Energy, Residential Green Building, and Renewable Energy Educator. Evergreen Institute's Center for Renewable Energy and Green Building offers hands-on workshops in solar electricity (photovoltaics), wind energy, solar hot water (solar thermal) systems, and passive solar heating and cooling. They also offer workshops in residential energy efficiency, natural building, straw bale building, natural plasters, and green building. Solar training and green building workshops are geared to a diverse audience of homeowners, professionals, aspiring professionals, and educators. The Evergreen Institute is a nationally accredited training center, so classes in solar electricity and wind energy satisfy requirements for NABCP solar PV and small wind installation certificates. Their solar PV and small wind courses satisfy all of the Task Analyses required for NABCEP certification. Solar and wind energy workshops and green building and natural building workshops are primarily taught at Evergreen's facility in Gerald, Missouri, but are also offered in Denver, Colorado in conjunction with the Continuing Education Program of the University of Colorado in Boulder. Solar training and wind energy workshops are also offered in Western New York at Evergreen's educational center in Clarendon near Rochester, NY; in St. Louis, Missouri in conjunction with various organizations including Show Me Solar and the St. Louis chapter of the USGBC, and in Kansas City, Missouri in conjunction with Hathmore Technologies.
Arizona State University, School of Sustainability, Tempe, Arizona.
Arizona State University's School of Sustainability is a comprehensive degree-granting program with a transdisciplinary focus on finding real-world solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges.
Coconino Community College, Flagstaff, Arizona.
Associate of Applied Science in Alternative Energy Technology will provide students with the skills to pursue a career in the Alternative Energy field. The student will be instructed through mastery learning components and field study workshops arranged with local contractors.
Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona.
Designed for individuals with building trades experience, this certificate provides Photovoltaic Installer preparation training for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Photovoltaic Installer Certification exam and the Photovoltaic Installer Advanced Certification exam.
Solar Institute, Tucson, Arizona.
The Solar Institute is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that conducts research and offers a broad range of information, consulting and referral services for effectively applying sustainability on a practical and cost-effective basis for individuals, communities, businesses and governments. Solar Institute services include planning, design, construction, renovation and improvement of homes, buildings, communities, landscapes and ecosystems.
John Brown University, Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
Students in the program will study wind, solar and biomass energy. They will also gain practical experience in designing, constructing and monitoring renewable energy systems. Program details can be obtained here.
Deanza College, Cupertino, California.
Students in Deanza College's Environmental Studies are trained for career opportunities in some of the fastest growing fields in the country. Participants range from entry-level students to trained professionals.
Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill and San Ramon, California.
This program prepares students for jobs installing, designing, servicing and maintaining photovoltaic systems. Students from this program will be able to work with residential, commercial and industrial size photovoltaic systems. Many of the skills learned in these courses relate to solar thermal systems as well. For students with no previous education or experience in the building fields, upon completion of the certificate of achievement/associate degree requirements in photovoltaic systems, you will be prepared for entry level jobs as photovoltaic systems installers, designers, and sales people.
East Los Angeles Skills Center, Los Angeles, California.
Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, ELASC is a full-time Employment Preparation and Training Center operated by the Los Angeles Unified School District's Division of Adult and Career Education. ELASC offers PV Installer Introduction and Certification preparation courses.
Green Career Institute, San Francisco, California.
Green Career Institute offers courses that provide the necessary skill sets needed for the sustainability industry. GCI offers live classroom, hands-on training, and self-paced on-demand online training developed by industry-experienced educators.
Humboldt State University, Arcata, California.
Humboldt State University's Environmental Resources Engineering (ERE) program prepares its students to design innovative systems that sustainably manage the earth's air, water, land, and energy resources. Environmental engineering programs focus on conventional engineering problems and solutions by combining traditional environmental engineering with management of natural resources in applications such as ecological restoration and energy resource management.
MiraCosta College, Ramona, California.
MiraCosta College's Alternative Energy Program offers unique "one-week" Solar and Telecommunications training courses tailored to individuals wanting to enter the fields of Solar Photovoltaic (Solar Energy) and Small Wind energies. Other course topics include Solar Business Strategies, Small Wind Generation Fundamentals, and olar Photovoltaics (PV) – Our Solar Energy PV training course follows the NABCEP Learning Objectives.
Solar Living Institute, Hopland, California.
Established in 1998, the Solar Living Institute in Hopland, CA, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a national reputation for solar training and sustainable living education. Its mission is to promote sustainable living through inspirational environmental education.
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Santa Rosa, California.
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Photovoltaic Design & Installation. This is a continuing education class with 36 CEU.
Skyline College, San Bruno, California.
Skyline College, in collaboration with the San Mateo County Workforce Investment Board, is offering a Career Certificate in Solar Installation and Integration focused to transition dislocated workers and veterans released after 2003 into positions in the Clean Energy Industry. More information is available directly from the college.
Solar Training Institute, San Jose, California.
The Solar Training Institute provides accelerated training classes for contractors, electricians, engineers, solar energy entrepreneurs, sales people and anyone who is considering a career change in the growing solar industry. Solar training programs, which are based on NABCEP task analysis, are structured to help individuals and licensed contractors get in, get out and get into the solar industry or solar job market. Courses in Photovoltaic (PV) system design, installation, OSHA Safety, and solar sales help business owners and workers meet the requirements of launching a solar panel installation business or finding green collar jobs in the solar industry.
Solar Tech Institute, San Jose, California.
Founded in 2008, the Solar Tech Institute provides learning through hands-on experience on actual mock roof, along with well rounded lecture. Courses include solar-electric system design, installation, and safety procedures as well as business and industry topics.
Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California.
An interdisciplinary science-based study plan for students who intend to pursue a career or graduate study in a variety of fields related to conservation, restoration, and management of habitats, ecosystems, and biological resources. Electives in the plan are organized to facilitate a double major or minor in biology or geography.
University of California at Berkeley, Energy and Resources Group, Berkeley, California.
Established as an academic degree-granting program at UC Berkeley in 1973, ERG has become a unique interdisciplinary community of graduate students, core faculty, and over 100 affiliates and researchers. ERG produces cutting edge research to inform scientific, policy, and business communities. ERG is an intellectual hub for research on clean energy, climate science, ecosystems and biodiversity, energy systems, international development, technology and society, and water policy. Programs of study in Energy & Resources lead to MA, MS, and PhD degrees, as well as an undergraduate minor.
University of California Extension Specialized Programs, Berkeley, California.
If you are a post-baccalaureate architect, planner, engineer, builder, construction manager, facility manager, LEED consultant, project manager, utility manager, policy maker, attorney, developer, investor, real estate professional, or entrepreneur, this program offers you the essential resources to plan effectively your career in the solar and green building industry.
University of California, Energy Efficiency Center, Davis, California.
The UC Energy Efficiency Center's mission is to accelerate the development and commercialization of energy efficiency technologies and to train future leaders in energy efficiency.
Arapahoe Community College, Littleton, Colorado
Offering courses in: Solar Thermal Systems, Energy Analysis (Auditing), Energy Technology, Environmental Science, Solar Photovoltaic Systems, and Solar Thermal Systems.
Solar Energy International ("SEI"),Carbondale, Colorado.
SEI is a USA non-profit organization whose mission is to help others use renewable energy and environmental building technologies through education. SEI teaches individuals from all walks of life how to design, install and maintain renewable energy systems, and how to design and build efficient, sustainable homes. SEI offers trainings online and in 22 locations around the world.
University of Delaware, Institute of Energy Conversion, Newark, Delaware.
IEC provides students with opportunities ranging from purely theoretical research to laboratory work geared toward practical applications. Students involved with IEC learn how to interact effectively with engineers and scientists engaged in long-term research programs in photovoltaics. IEC has collaborated with the University of Delaware's Center for Energy and Environmental Policy in its effort to educate the public on the need for photovoltaic electric power generation as part of our national environmental and energy policy.
Florida Solar Energy Centger, Cocoa, Florida.
A a research institute of the University of Central Florida, the Florida Solar Energy Center works with educators to engage and interest students of all levels (K-12, college, and post-grads) to help create a brighter energy future. Select the "Education Link" for a wealth of educational resources.
Illinois State University Department of Sustainability, Normal, Illinois.
The ISU Renewable Energy Degree program is designed to prepare students to enter an emerging field with employment opportunities across a variety of industries including biofuels, solar, wind, regulatory and government agencies.
Boston University Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, Boston, Massachusetts.
The Center for Energy and Environmental Studies engages in education, research, and professional training in the fields of energy and environmental analysis.
University of Massachusetts Amherst Wind Energy Center, Amherst, Massachusetts.
Since 1972, the University of Massachusetts Wind Energy Center has been a leading institution in wind energy engineering nationally and internationally. The Center hosts the country's oldest energy education program, offering Masters and Doctoral-level degrees in wind energy.
Macomb Community College, Warren, Michigan.
MCC's Renewable Energy Technology Certificate provides the knowledge and skills required for positions involving the integration of renewable energy applications in a variety of business and industrial environments. The certificate focuses on a "holistic" approach, emphasizing the importance of scientific principles coupled with industrial processes, professional proficiencies, and practical laboratory experiences. Examples of some of the course topics are: hybrid electric vehicles, wind, solar electricity, biomass, geothermal energy, fuel cells, renewable energy power systems, and photovoltaic design and installation.
Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, Michigan.
Northwestern Michigan College offers energy training in Solar Photovoltaic Systems; Geothermal; wind power; building analysis and performance; advanced solar photovoltaics, and the Solar PV NABCEP test.
Oakland Community College, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Oakland Community College's alternate energy classes focus on harnessing energy from renewable sources – sun, wind, water, underground (geothermal) heat, and growing plants. Energy management, energy efficiency and energy conservation are all covered. OCC offers a Certificate of Achievement and a Certificate in Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living. In addition, the Environmental Systems Technology Program has four options to meet students needs, including a customized option for students with a previous background in renewables. Options cover: 1) heating, cooling and refrigeration technicians; 2) facilities management; and 3) green building, renewable energies, and energy management.
University of Montana, Missoula, Montana.
The University of Montana Energy Technology Program introduces students to the full suite of energy systems and technologies—traditional and renewable—and prepares them for careers in the rapidly expanding energy industry. Graduates of the program are general practitioners skilled in design, installation, maintenance, and operation of energy systems; site identification and assessment; structural audits for energy efficiency and conservation; project management; regulatory compliance; and basic economic, environmental and social impact assessments.
San Juan College, Farmington, New Mexico.
The Renewable Energy Program gives a solid foundation in the fundamental design and installation techniques. Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal Systems is offered as an A.A.S. Degree and/or a One-Year Certificate. Both avenues include hands-on training in our laboratory setting where the National Electrical Code is emphasized. While the Passive Solar Design and Analysis program has a strong focus on photovoltaics, it also covers understanding energy quantification, usage and conservation along with building energy analysis emphasizing passive solar design. Additionally, active solar thermal systems for space and domestic water heating are covered.
Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
SFCC's Solar Energy certificate program provides the skills required to design, plan, install and troubleshoot photovoltaic solar electric energy systems. The certificate also includes a foundation in AC and DC electricity, grid-tie applications, and an introduction to solar thermal systems.
Ulster County Community College, Stone Ridge, New York.
Comprehensive 64-hour certificate series designed for those with little knowledge of Photovoltaics (PV) systems. This certificate consists of a focused curriculum of six core courses detailing Mathematics & Electrical Theory, Photovoltaics Systems Design, Worker Safety and Controlling Electrical Hazards, Battery Workshop, Hands-on Photovoltatics Installation Workshop, and PV Systems Review. This certificate series is tailored to those students who are looking for a hands-on, slower paced approach with more individual attention than our standard Photovoltaics Installer’s Course.
Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina.
Appalachian is committed to protecting the environment and promoting sustainability in the forms of alternative energy, economic development and research that benefits the state, nation and world. More than 60 faculty members in various disciplines focus their research in these areas. Appalachian’s environmental leadership is evident through its sustainable development program, appropriate technology program, environmental science degree program, Appalachian Energy Center, biodiesel research, student-led Renewable Energy Initiative and Sustainable Energy Society, and more.
Northwest Energy Education Institute, Eugene, Oregon.
Renewable Energy Technician Program. This professional technical program is offered as a second year option within the Energy Management Program. The coursework prepares students for employment designing and installing solar electric and domestic hot water systems. An advisory committee made up of renewable energy practitioners guides program development. Renewable students, along with Energy Management students, take a first-year curriculum in commercial energy efficiency giving them a solid background that includes residential energy efficiency, HVAC systems, lighting, and the usual requirement of physics and math.
Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls, Oregon.
The OIT Environmental Sciences program builds on principles of hands-on learning, in-depth understanding of scientific principles, and application of knowledge to real-world environmental challenges. The curriculum is designed for completion in 4 years. Students can choose an emphasis area in watershed science, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), or sustainable technologies, or take courses from all emphasis areas. Students can also take advantage of research opportunities focusing on vegetation response to wetlands restoration, climate change impacts in National Parks, and amphibian ecology at Crater Lake National Park.
Portland Community College, Portland, Oregon.
Comprehensive Renewable Energy Systems (RES) training offering in the State of Oregon preparing technicians for solar power, wind power, fuel cell and other renewable energy fields. Graduates can be hired as technicians in the wind manufacturing/servicing, solar manufacturing/installation, fuel cell, and other renewable energy areas. Offering AAS degrees in Energy Management, Renewable Energy Technician, Water Conservation Technician. Certification in Sustainable Building Advisor, Residential Energy Auditor, Building Operators Certification, Energy Management Certification. ISPQ Accredited.
Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.
Slippery Rock University Environmental Science program is the integration of scientific knowledge from many disciplines in order to understand the interrelationships between human activities and the environment. Environmental Science majors are exposed to general principles of biology, chemistry, geology, geography, meteorology, and physics.
Alamo College, San Antonio, Texas.
Alamo College offers courses in alternative energy technologies including green entrepreneurship, photovoltaics and solar panel installation, wind, wind turbine troubleshooting, and more.
Austin Community College, Austin, Texas.
Austin Community College offers a wide range of programs and courses focusing on the renewable energy field, with a strong emphasis on solar power technologies. Additional renewable energy technologies (i.e. wind, geothermal, etc.) are under development as of April 3, 2011.
Cedar Valley College, Dallas County Community College District, Lancaster, Texas.
If you're interested in a "green" career, Cedar Valley College offers a specialized degree for building performance specialists and is one of the few colleges that offer technical training in fields related to energy efficiency and green building technology. Cedar Valley College currently offers credit courses and certificates in the green building field. This includes information about HERS and LEED rating concepts.
Dallas County Community College District
Renewable/Sustainable Energy offered by the Dallas Community College District is one of a number of green programs growing in the Dallas County Community College District. DCCCD offers a core associate degree designed for a broad foundation of understanding renewable and sustainable energy sources, plus a certificate with options for learning to install solar and wind turbine devices for both residential and commercial use.
Imagine Solar, Austin, Texas.
Imagine Solar offers in-classroom and on-line courses in PV system design and installation, utility-scale photovoltaic systems, and NABCEP exam preparation. Technical Sales Workshops and Courses include "Business Professional Series", Introduction to PV Technical Sales and Marketing, and consulting services based on ISPQ Standards.
Tarrant County College, Fort Worth, Texas.
Courses in renewable energy are presently offered at the South Campus only. 5301 Campus Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76119. For more information, call 817-515-8223, or contact Tomas Hart, Department Chair, 817-515-4529, firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas State Technical College, Waco, Texas.
TSTC's course offerings include classes in solar photovoltaics, wind energy, fuel cells, alternative fuels, and other areas.
Lake Washington Technical College, Kirkland, Redmond, and Duvall Washington.
Energy & Science Technician Degree. The Energy & Science Technician AAS degree prepares students to meet the increasing demand for jobs related to green technology and alternative energy. The program prepares students for employment as tech-nicians in areas such as biomedical and industrial laboratories, manufacturing operations, energy companies, and environmental positions in public and private institutions. Graduates will be qualified to serve as technical representatives across a range of industries that include developmental technologies in the renewable energy field.
Shoreline Community College, Shoreline, Washington.
Professional/Technical Programs in Solar and Zero Energy Technology, Shoreline Community College offers courses online and on-campus in solar energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable practices.
Washington State University, Pullman, Washington.
Offering courses in bioenergy, geothermal systems, hydrogen & fuel cells, solar and wind energy.
Consortium for Education in Renewable Energy Technologies, Madison, Wisconsin.
CERET Offers an extensive list of technical training and education courses to incumbent workers, students, and teachers in renewable energy technologies. Working together, CERET partners provide training for the renewable energy workforce, and collaborate to offer a Renewable Energy Certificate for individuals pursuing careers as renewable energy technicians. To insure that college and high school faculty have the necessary knowledge and experience in renewable energy technology, CERET also conducts workshops and professional development courses for science, engineering, and technical education teachers. Courses include: Solar & Other Renewable Energy Systems; Energy Management; Solar Electric Fundamentals and Grid-Direct Design; Off-grid solar electric systems; Alternative fuels; Hybrid vehicles; Photovoltaic Systems, Basic to Advanced; Solar hot water systems; Wind power; Anaerobic Digester Technology; and Wood Combustion Heating Systems.
Midwest Renewable Energy Association, Custer, Wisconsin.
MREA is a national leader in providing high quality education and training programs for consumers, businesses, and renewable energy system installers. For more than 18 years, MREA has offered workshops, seminars, and conferences that demonstrate that renewable energy is practical, reliable, and ready for mainstream use.
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College's Associate Degree programs are offered in Energy Management Technology and Solar Energy Technology.
University of Wisconsin Solar Energy Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin.
Recognized nationally and internationally for accomplishments in practical applications for solar energy. UW-Madison's Solar Energy Laboratory was awarded the highest distinction given by the International Solar Energy Society, the Weeks Award, for outstanding achievements in developing practical uses of solar energy. The goal of the laboratory is to educate students through research experiences in solar and conventional energy utilization, and to remain on the competitive edge of new developments. The Solar Energy Laboratory emphasizes applications of engineering fundamentals to energy problems, and leads students to advanced degrees in mechanical and chemical engineering. Graduates obtain positions in industry, government laboratories and academic settings. Many students have taken research and development jobs in large heating, ventilating and air conditioning firms, control companies, renewable and conventional energy firms, and consulting architectural and engineering firms involved in engineering applications.