Educational Programs

The University of Houston is uniquely positioned to be the Energy University. UH is focused on leading scholarly activities designed to diversify energy resources, and providing leadership in tackling the energy and sustainability challenges we face today and in the future. Involvement in energy-related initiatives spans virtually every UH college and includes faculty in a broad range of energy-related disciplines. Educational programs include undergraduate, graduate and certificate/continuing education in conventional fossil energy, alternate energy, sustainability, energy enablers, policy and management.


The University of Houston offers a variety of degree options within the fossil energy sector across the value chain and studies issues across all the phases of a field's development. The upstream area involves exploration and production. This includes geologists and geophysicists, who determine where resources can be found, as well as the ideal topographical locations for establishing drills and other methods of enhancing production. The important engineering and technology areas of petroleum, mechanical power and construction are involved in exploration and production; the University offers North America’s first subsea engineering master’s degree and graduate certificate program. Subsea engineers find new and innovative ways of extracting oil and gas trapped deep beneath the ocean floor.


The midstream sector is concerned with bringing oil and gas to the distributor, conversion, and storage. This includes the construction, maintenance and operation of pipelines, railcars, barges and ships, and other modes of transporting energy resources. Transporting oil and gas also involves geopolitics, for those interested in policy and law, and various technologies.


Refining crude oil and processing natural gas, production of value added materials and consumer products, and marketing occupy the downstream sector of the energy industry. Chemistry, chemical engineering and process technology are some of the degree programs that fall into this category.

Alternatives and Enablers

Is the energy demand of the world sustainable? As consumers look for more options to power their lives, innovative thinkers, researchers and inventors will be at the leading edge of the ever-changing energy industry. Various types of engineering, from chemical to industrial, will have a role in the burgeoning future. At UH, we believe that the world's energy demand and environmental stewardship go hand-in-hand. We exemplify this through our popular undergraduate minor in Energy and Sustainability and the globally recognized Energy, Environment and Natural Resource Law program in the UH Law Center. One of the most significant short-term gains in energy productivity are likely to arise from energy efficiency and reduction of transmission losses. UH has programs in sustainable architecture, environmental engineering, power engineering, power technology and superconductivity.

Policy and Management

Public policy, regulatory, financial, business, policy, and management issues are central to the implementation of energy programs. To address this, UH offers programs on energy management, energy finance, public policy, energy law and industrial psychology. Noteworthy are the Global Energy Management Institute (GEMI), and the Energy Law program that have a global focus. One of our newest programs in this area is the graduate certificate program called the Global Energy, Development and Sustainability program.