University of Calgary : Energy & Environmental Systems Interdisciplinary Specialization

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Graduate Studies Calendar 2013-2014 Interdisciplinary Specializations Energy & Environmental Systems Interdisciplinary Specialization EESS
Energy & Environmental Systems Interdisciplinary Specialization
Contact Information

Location: Energy, Environmental, Experiential Learning Building, Room 467
Faculty number: 403.210.6965
Fax: 403.220.2400
Email address:
Web page URL:

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

The University offers an interdisciplinary specialization in Energy and Environmental Systems to students registered in an existing graduate program currently offered through one of the following Faculties that are affiliated with the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE):

  • Faculty of Arts
  • Faculty of Environmental Design
  • Haskayne School of Business
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Science
  • Schulich School of Engineering

In cases where the student's proposed research area cannot be supported through a single academic program, and which would necessitate the combination of at least two academic areas, they may seek admission and earn the EES specialization through the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP) of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies' requirements, all applicants must meet the minimum admission requirements of the home graduate program and ISEEE. To apply for the specialization, students must complete an online EES specialization application form:

When applying to the EES specialization, students MUST simultaneously apply to a home graduate program, faculty, or department. Successful candidates must be approved for admission by both the home graduate program as well as by EES. Admission to a degree program does not guarantee entrance to the EES specialization. Likewise, admission to the EES specialization does not guarantee entrance to a degree program.

3. Application Deadline

The deadlines for the submission of complete applications correspond to those of the respective home graduate program to which students are applying.

4. Advanced Credit

Requests for advanced credit must be made at the time of application. Credit will not be granted for course work taken as part of another completed degree/diploma or for courses taken to bring the admission GPA to the required level.

5. Program/Course Requirements

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the home graduate program's requirements, students undertaking the EES specialization must successfully complete the following:

EES Specialization at the Master's Level

Students in the EES specialization are required to complete four courses, which include:

  • Energy and Environmental Systems 601: Introduction to Energy and Environmental Systems
  • Energy and Environmental Systems 607: Tools for System Analysis
  • The remaining two courses must be electives approved by the EES Graduate Studies Committee. These courses are intended to bolster a student's background in energy and environmental systems and/or interdisciplinary research methods, and may be taken in other faculties, schools, or departments at the University of Calgary.

Master's students must also comply with the requirements of their home graduate program. In addition these course requirements, students must conduct research that takes an interdisciplinary approach to a real-world problem in the area of energy and environmental systems. Students must also actively partake in EES seminars and activities, and contribute meaningfully to the interdisciplinary culture of the specialization.

EES Specialization at the Doctoral Level

Doctoral students are required to take the same EESS core courses that are required at the Master's level if they have not previously completed the course requirements for the EES specialization. Doctoral students must also comply with requirements of their home graduate program. Students who have previously earned a Master's degree with the EES specialization have no additional required EES courses. However, they may need to take courses relevant to their area of study as recommended by their thesis supervisor and/or the EES Graduate Studies Committee.

EES Specialization with MGIS Degree (course-based)

Students enrolled in the Master of Geographic Information Systems degree program who wish to earn the EES specialization will need to take three of the EES courses (Energy and Environmental Systems 601, 603, and one other). Students are not required to take Geography 683, but must take the other core courses in the MGIS program (Geography 647, 633, 639, and 681). Finally, students will still be required to fulfill the 10 half course requirement of the MGIS program, and can select the remaining three courses from Geography optional courses or EES related courses. It is not recommended that students required to complete the MGIS upgrade courses undertake the EES specialization.

EES Specialization with the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP)

The course curriculum for IGP students will be determined at the IGP admission seminar. Course requirements will typically include the EES core courses, but may also include other courses to ensure adequate coverage of the relevant disciplines involved. Changes to the student's curriculum after the admission seminar will require the approval of the Supervisory Committee, IGP Director, and the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

6. Additional Requirements


7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

Students are allowed to take only one 500-level course for graduate credit, subject to the approval of the EES Program Director.  Graduate students taking a 500-level course for graduate credit will be required to complete additional assignments.

8. Time Limit

Expected completion time for a Master's degree is two years and the maximum completion time is four years.
Expected completion time for the PhD degree is four years and the maximum completion time is six years.

9. Supervisory Assignments

Students must meet supervisory requirements of home department.

10. Required Examinations

Final thesis orals follow the requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the home graduate program. Students in doctoral programs must fulfill the written candidacy examination requirement of the home graduate program. All doctoral students must complete the candidacy oral examination in accordance with Faculty of Graduate Studies' regulations.

11. Research Proposal Requirements

Doctoral students and thesis-based Master's students must present a written and oral research proposal to their supervisory committees no later than twelve (Master's) and twenty (PhD) months after initial registration. The research proposal must be submitted to the EES Program Director for approval and placed on file. This requirement of research proposal approval does not apply to students pursuing the EES specialization through the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program, since the research proposal must be approved as part of IGP's admission process.

12. Special Registration Information


13. Financial Assistance

Financial assistance may be available on a competitive basis to all qualified full-time graduate students enrolled in the EES specialization. Students are also encouraged to seek funding opportunities through the Faculty of Graduate Studies' Open Scholarship Competition (contact the home program for application deadlines), as well as external funding agencies.

14. Other Information

Given limited resources, the specialization may, in any year, admit fewer applicants than those who are qualified to undertake graduate studies.

15. Faculty Members/Research Interests

At least one member of an EES student’s supervisory committee, which may include the supervisor, must be associated with the ISEEE and the EES Specialization. For bios and research interests of faculty associated with EES, see: