Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

Energy Analysis Certificate and the MPA or MIPA

The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies offers a certificate in Energy Analysis and Policy that may be completed while working on a La Follette School Master of Public Affairs (MPA) or Master of International Public Affairs (MIPA) degree. The Energy Analysis and Policy (EAP) curriculum is an 18-credit masters level curriculum available through any graduate degree granting department, including the La Follette School.

The EAP curriculum prepares students for professional work with governments, utilities, consulting firms, academia, nonprofits, and other organizations concerned with energy issues.

The EAP certificate requirements are consistent with the La Follette School degree requirements. Completing the EAP requirements does not normally require additional semesters beyond the two years required to complete the La Follette program.

MPA or MIPA students complete the La Follette core course requirements and take the 18-credit core course curriculum of the EAP as electives to earn their master's degree and the EAP certificate.

Admissions Information

A student may seek admission to the EAP after admission to La Follette up to the end of their first semester at La Follette by requesting an application from the Institute for Environmental Studies. Please contact:

Richard Shaten
EAP Coordinator
Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison
550 North Park Street, 80 Science Hall
Phone: (608) 265-0521
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

EAP Sample Curriculum for MPA and MIPA students

Course Descriptions

PA 866 Global Environmental Governance (crosslisted with Environmental Studies, Political Science) 3 credits. In-depth examination of the political and policy challenges posed by global environmental degradation. Analysis of international institutions for managing the global environment. P: Grad st or cons inst.

PA 881 Cost Benefit Analysis (crosslisted with Agricultural and Applied Economics, Environmental Studies) 3 credits. This course presents the welfare economics underpinnings for evaluating the social benefits and costs of government activities. Issues such as uncertainty, the social discount rate, and welfare weights will be discussed; case studies from the environmental, social policy, and agricultural areas will be studied. P: One yr intro econ or one semester intermed econ or Pub Affr 880.


EnvSt 761 Energy Economics (crosslisted with Agricultural and Applied Economics, Economics, Urban and Regional Planning, Transportation and Public Utilities) 3 credits. The method, application, and limitations of traditional economic approaches to the study of energy problems. Topics include microeconomic foundations of energy demand and supply; optimal pricing and allocation of energy resources; energy market structure, conduct, and performance; macro linkages of energy and the economy; and the economics of regulatory and other public policy approaches to the social control of energy. P: Sr or Grad st and intermed econ or appropriate substitute per cons inst.

PA 809 Energy Analysis and Policy Seminar (crosslisted with Urban and Regional Planning) 1-3 credits. Interdisciplinary seminar for the EAP curriculum. Strategy and policy problems in energy policy, both national and international. P: Grad st & admission to Energy Anal and Policy curric or cons inst.

EnvSt 539 Air Resources Science and Policy 3 credits. Overview of modern scientific methods, state-of-understanding, and current policy problems related to weather prediction, climate change, air pollution, and energy use. Problem sets, discussion, final paper with drafts. P: So st or cons inst.

EnvSt 367 Renewable Energy Systems (crosslisted with Biological Systems Engineering) 3 credits. Students will learn about the state of the art in renewable energy applications including biomass for heat, electric power, and liquid fuels as well as geo-energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydro power. Students will do engineering calculations of power and energy availability of renewable energy sources and learn about requirements for integrating renewable energy sources into production, distribution and end-use systems. P: College algebra, college-level phys sci crse

PA 810 Energy Analysis Seminar. (crosslisted with Urban and Regional Planning) 1-3 credits. Interdisciplinary seminar for the EAP curriculum. Quantitative energy content and energy flows as an aid to problem analysis and policy formulation. P: Grad st & admission to Energy Anal and Policy Curric or cons inst. Example of a group project

Energy Technology Elective (please consult with Professor Richard Shaten or Professor Greg Nemet) Possibilities include:

EnvSt 472 Scientific Background to Global Environmental Problems (crosslisted with Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Physics) 3 credits. A one-semester course designed to provide those elements of physics, atmospheric sciences, chemistry, biology, and geology that are essential to a scientific understanding of global environmental problems. Specific examples of such problems include global warming, stratospheric ozone depletion, acid rain, and environmental toxins. Three lectures per week. P: HS algebra & 1 sem college level chem or physics, or cons inst.

Bus 725 Public Utilities. 3 credits. Development of public utilities in the United States; evolution of public utility concept and emerging role of regulation; regulatory and public policy issues with emphasis on the pricing of utility services; relation of environmental and conservation goals to economic objectives of public utility sector. P: Grad st & Econ 101.