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Atmosphere and Energy Program

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2023-24 Program Requirements

Atmosphere and energy are strongly linked: fossil-fuel energy use contributes to air pollution, global warming, and weather modification; and changes in the atmosphere feedback to renewable energy resources, including wind, solar, hydroelectric, and wave resources.

Because atmospheric problems can be mitigated by increasing energy efficiency, developing new energy technologies, and shifting to less-polluting energy sources, and because it is important to study the climate, air pollution, and weather impacts of new energy technologies, the two areas, atmosphere and energy, are naturally coupled together.

The Atmosphere/Energy (A/E) undergraduate curriculum prepares undergraduates for an A/E master’s degree program, as well as careers in industry, research, consulting, government, non-governmental organizations, and academia. The A/E degree is NOT an ABET-accredited degree, as ABET accreditation is advantageous only for obtaining specific jobs that do not overlap with those that students obtaining the A/E degree would generally consider. The degree is accredited as part of Stanford’s accreditation through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

A/E students take classes in both Atmosphere and Energy, as well as classes that integrate the two. The curriculum is flexible in that students more interested in one field can take most of their Engineering Depth classes in the area of their choice. Similarly, students desiring to focus more on technology or on science can take the appropriate Depth classes to suit their interest.

Qualified students may also apply to engage in the A/E Honors program (see Honors page).

Exploring the Atmosphere/Energy Major

Try one of these recommended Introductory Seminars:

APPPHYS 79N         Energy Options for the 21st Century, A, 3 units

CEE 34N        Wind Energy Explained, W, 3 units

ECON 17N               Energy, the Environment, and the Economy, W, 3 units

MS&E 92Q              International Environmental Policy, W, 3 units

Or one of these A/E courses that can also be used in some other School of Engineering majors:

CEE 63            Weather and Storms, A, 3 units

CEE 64            Air Pollution & Global Warming: History, Science & Solutions, W, 3 units

CEE 70            Environmental Science and Technology (same as ENGR 90), W, 3 units

ENGR 50E       Introduction to Materials Science, Energy Emphasis, W, 4 units

 In addition, the Math, Science, Technology in Society, and Engineering Fundamentals courses required by the A/E major will also count toward most of the other School of Engineering majors (see course lists below; other major programs and their specific requirements are listed elsewhere on this site).


For Excel or pdf program sheets and plans, see the Plans & Program Sheets page on this site.


Explore Degrees lists all School of Engineering major program requirements, as well as other major and minor programs across the University.

A total of 96 units are required, distributed as follows:

45 Units of Mathematics and Science Combined

Mathematics (23 units minimum, including at least one class from each group):

Group A:

MATH 53Ordinary Differential Equations with Linear Algebra5A,W,S,Sum
CME 102Ordinary Differential Equations for Engineers5A,W,S,Sum

Group B:

CME 106Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Engineers 4W,Sum
STATS 60Introduction to Statistical Methods: Pre-calculus5A,W,S,Sum
STATS 101Data Science 1015S
STATS 110Statistical Methods in Eng. and the Physical Sciences5A,S


Science (20 units minimum, including all of the following): 

PHYSICS 41Mechanics4A,W
PHYSICS 43Electricity/Magnetism (S) –OR– PHYS 45 Light/Heat (A)4W,S

CHEM 31B or


Chemical Principles II (or CHEM 31M [formerly 31X]) 

Chemical Principles From Molecules to Solids (formerly 31X)





CEE 70*Environmental Science and Technology (same as ENGR 90; can count as science or Fundamental but not both)3W

*Can count as science or as ENGR Fundamental, but not both

Technology in Society
One course required, see the Approved Courses TiS chart. Must be on the Approved List the year it is taken.


Writing in the Major (WIM): One 3-5 unit course required. Choose either:

Choose a TiS course that also fulfills WIM:
 BIOE 131Ethics in BioengineeringS3
OR a Skills Course:
CEE 102W/ENGR 102WTechnical and Professional CommunicationS3
CEE 100Managing Sustainable Building ProjectsA4
EARTHSYS 191Concepts in Environmental CommunicationA3


Engineering Fundamentals and Depth Units:

Engineering Fundamentals (two courses minimum, pick two out of the following):

ENGR 50EIntroduction to Material Science: Energy Emphasis4Sum
ENGR 10Intro to Engineering Analysis4A,Sum
CS 106A or 106BProgramming Methodology or Abstractions5A,W,S,Sum
ENGR 21Engineering of Systems3S
ENGR 60Engineering Economics and Sustainability (online only)3A,S,Sum

Engineering Depth (42 units minimum)

Of the 42 units required below, 30 units minimum must be School of Engineering coursework. One of CEE 176A, 176B, 162I, or 199 must be taken to satisfy the Capstone requirement.

1) Required Courses (6-8 units):


CEE 63 or

CEE 64 or

CEE 172

Weather and Storms (req’d)* or

Air Pollution & Global Warming: History, Science & Solutions

Air Quality Management







CEE 107A or 

CEE 107S

Understanding Energy or

Understanding Energy: Essentials





2) Skills Courses(elective; 0-5 units may count towards 42 units)  
CEE /ENGR 102WTechnical and Professional Communication (WIM)3S
CEE 100Managing Sustainable Building Projects (WIM)4A
CEE 199Undergraduate Research in CEE (must have A/E focus) ++3A,W,S
EARTHSYS 191**Concepts in Environmental Communication3A
EARTHSYS 194A**Environmental Justice Colloquium1A

3) Elective Courses (At least 29-36 units from the following, with at least 4 courses of 3 or more units from each group):

Group A: Atmosphere

AA 100Introduction to Aeronautics and AstronauticsW3
ANTHRO 103**The Archaeology of ClimateW5
CEE 63Weather and Storms (if not counted under ENGR depth)A3
CEE 64Air Pollution & Global Warming: History, Science & SolutionsW3

CEE 101B or

CEE 101E or

 ME 70

Mechanics of Fluids   or

Introduction to Mechanics of Fluids or

Introductory Fluids Engineering







CEE 162H

Big Earth Hackathon Wildland Fire Challenge

CEE 162IAtmosphere, Ocean, & Climate Dynamics: Ocean CirculationW3
CEE 172Air Quality Management (if not counted under Req'd depth)S3
EARTHSYS 2**Climate and SocietyA3
EARTHSYS 111**Biology and Global ChangeW4
EARTHSYS 123A**Biosphere-Atmosphere InteractionW4
EARTHSYS 144**Fundamentals of Geographic Information Science (GIS)A3-4
ESS 102**Scientific Basis of Climate ChangeS3
HUMBIO 116**Climate Perspectives: Climate Science, Impacts, Policy, Negot.A3
ME 133Intermediate Fluid MechanicsW4
SUSTAIN 2**Climate and SocietyW3
SUSTAIN 101C**Climate 101A3

** Courses outside the School of Engineering do not count toward the 30-unit engineering minimum in Fundamentals and Depth categories but can count toward the 42-unit Depth total.

Group B: Energy

CEE 107RExtreme Energy EfficiencyW,S3-5
CEE 108Explore EnergyA2
CEE 130BQuest for an Inclusive Clean Energy EconomyW3
CEE 130RRacial Equity in EnergyS2-3
CEE 156Building Systems Design & AnalysisW4
CEE 173SElectricity EconomicsW3
CEE 176AEnergy Efficient BuildingsA,Sum3
CEE 176B100% Clean, Renewable Energy and Storage for EverythingS3-4
CEE 176CEnergy Storage Integration-Vehicles, Renewables and the GridSum3
CEE 263GEnergy Policy in California and the WestS1
EARTHSYS 101**Energy and the EnvironmentW3
EARTHSYS 102**Fundamentals of Renewable PowerS3
ECON 156**Energy Markets and PolicyW5
EE 116Semiconductor Devices for Energy and ElectronicsS3
EE 153Power ElectronicsA4
EE 157Electric Motors for Renewable Energy, Robotics, and Electric VehiclesS3
ENERGY 104**Sustainable Energy for 9 BillionS3
ENERGY 153**Carbon Capture and SequestrationW4
ENERGY 191*Optimization of Energy SystemsS4
ENGR 50EIntroduction to Materials Science, Energy Emphasis (if not counted as an ENGR Fundamental)W4
MATSCI 144Thermodynamic Evaluation of Green Energy Technologies                  S            4
OSPSANTG 29*Sustainable Cities: Comparative Transportation Systems in Latin AmericaSum4-5

** Courses outside the School of Engineering do not count toward the 40-unit engineering minimum in Fundamentals and Depth categories but can count toward the 42-unit Depth total.

++ To fulfill the Capstone requirement, 3 units of CEE 161I (Atm), 176A (Energy), 176B (Energy), or 199 (Skill) must be taken.

A/E 4-Year Plans and Program Sheets can be found under the Plans and Program Sheets tab.

Suggested Course Concentrations and Sequences

Subject to the requirements outlined above, students have flexibility in selecting their depth electives and other courses to best suit their interests. If you would like to see two suggested programs outlined, one with an emphasis on energy studies and the other on atmospheric studies, go to the 4-Year Plans page and open the A/E plans. Either approach provides the necessary preparation for the master’s degree program in Atmosphere/Energy.

Instructions For Declaring Major in Engineering: Atmosphere/Energy (ENGR-BS)

  1. Enter your major declaration for Atmosphere/Energy in Axess. Select ENGR-BS as your major and Atmosphere/Energy as your subplan.
  2. Download your unofficial Stanford transcript from Axess.
  3. Download and complete the Excel major Program Sheet
    1. Open the A/E program sheet from the year you are declaring.
    2. Be sure and list all courses already taken and those you plan to take -- you will have the opportunity to revise this later, so please fill in as many courses as you can.
  4. Contact Jill Filice to have an advisor assigned to you (you may request a specific advisor if you wish). Meet with the advisor and have him/her review and sign your program sheet.
  5. Scan your transcript and completed program sheet to Jill Filice or bring to the CEE Student Services office, Room 316 of the Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment & Energy (Y2E2) Building. She can then approve your major declaration in Axess.
  6. You are encouraged to meet with your advisor at least once a quarter to review your academic progress. Changes to your program sheet can be made by printing out a revised sheet, obtaining your A/E undergraduate adviser’s signature, and returning the approved sheet to the CEE Student Services Office. NOTE – It is very important to hand in to student services your up-to-date program sheet immediately after the add/drop deadline of the quarter you plan to graduate.

Other information:

  • Procedures and forms for requesting transfer credits and/or program deviations are described in detail on the Petitions page. If you are requesting a program deviation, or transfer credit for use in Depth, you should bring your completed petition form with your transcript to the CEE Student Services office. Attach your program sheet on file in CEE.
  • Check with the CEE Student Services Office to make sure that you are on the CEE undergraduate student email list for important announcements about department events and activities.