Gennadiy Ratushenko/ World Bank


Tran Thi Hoa/World Bank


Curt Carnemark/World Bank


Energy, Environment and Natural Resources

The Energy, Environment and Natural Resources area of concentration aims to instruct students in understanding and solving complex international environmental problems by drawing on the fields of political science, law and economics. Students will be exposed to leading research in the field and primary emphasis will be placed on application of policy analysis in energy, environment, and natural resource problems as well as political, legal and economic aspects of the world's energy system. There are three sub-concentrations, which are: energy, environment and food and agriculture.

Research Centers


The Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD) is a multi-year, interdisciplinary program that draws on the fields of political science, law and economics and whose mission is to investigate how the production and consumption of energy affect sustainable development. It sponsors world-class research on the political, legal, and economic aspects of the world's energy system and is catalyzing the creation of a funded, worldwide network of researchers working on these issues.


The Center for Environmental Science and Policy (CESP) began as a specialized research center within the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) in September 1998. It evolved as an outgrowth of the more informal Global Environmental Forum, which had existed within FSI for nearly a decade. CESP is also an affiliated center of the Woods Institute for the Environment. Formed in 2004, Woods is Stanford's principal initiative for assessing environmental science, technology, and policy at local, national, and global scales.

Food & Agriculture

Stanford’s new program on Food Security and the Environment (FSE) generates innovative solutions to the persistent problems of global hunger and environmental damage from agricultural practices worldwide through a focused research portfolio and an interdisciplinary team of scholars. It also links food and resource issues to security issues more traditionally defined. The program provides direct science and policy outreach through international development and aid institutions, the international agricultural research centers (CGIAR), the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), environmental non-profit organizations, private sector firms, and other groups that play significant roles in the agricultural development and environment arenas.

Gateway Courses


Comprehensive overview of fossil and renewable energy resources and energy efficiency. Topics covered for each resource: resource abundance, location, recovery, conversion, consumption, end-uses, environmental impacts, economics, policy, and technology. Applied lectures in specific energy sectors: buildings, transportation, the electricity industry, and energy in the developing world. Required field trips to local energy facilities. Optional discussion section for extra unit.

Food & Agriculture

The interrelationships among food, populations, resources, and economic development. The role of agricultural and rural development in achieving economic and social progress in low-income nations. Emphasis is on public sector decision making as it relates to food policy.

Elective Courses

A full list of electives for the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources concentration can be found online at Explore Degrees.