Renewable Energy and Resources, AS

This Associate of Science, Renewable Energy and Resources Degree is an interdisciplinary that draws on courses in Engineering, Environmental Science, Geography, and Geoscience. The emphasis is designed for students seeking a broad exposure to the spectrum of renewable energy technologies and resources. Some specific components of the emphasis include:

  1. understanding what constitutes a source of renewable energy and how renewable energy relates to the energy mix, currently dominated by the fossil fuels (coal, petroleum, and natural gas);
  2. learning about the different types of renewable energy technologies, including the attributes and limitations of each; and
  3. understanding the differences between renewable and nonrenewable resources and the implication their development has on global processes, including global climate change.

Students completing this degree will partially fulfill requirements for multiple baccalaureate degree programs at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), specifically in Engineering, Environmental Science, Geography, and Geology, and similar programs at other four year institutions. Completion of the degree can fulfill half the requirements for the renewable energy minor at UNR for any baccalaureate major.


Students completing the degree will:

  • Describe the various types of renewable energy technologies and renewable resources available and identify the attributes and limitations of each.
  • Relate how sources of renewable energy and traditional sources of energy affect the environment locally and globally.
  • Apply concepts learned in course work to laboratory activities and field studies that allow hands on learning simulating real-world investigations.

AA/AS degrees are designed for students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university.  

To earn an AA/AS degree, students must:

  1. Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (see requirements for graduation.)
  2. Complete a minimum of 15 units within the college.
  3. Satisfy General Education requirements for the AA/AS.
  4. Have no financial or library obligation to the college.
General Education Requirements
Must include ENG 102 or ENG 114 1
Fine Arts3
American Experiences and Constitutional Change (also satisfies U.S. and Nevada Constitutions)
Pre-Calculus II (or higher)
CHEM 121General Chemistry I4
CHEM 122General Chemistry II4
Social Science3
World Regional Geography (also satisfies Diversity)
Additional College Requirements
Diversity 2[3]
World Regional Geography
PHYS 151General Physics I4
or PHYS 180
Physics for Scientists and Engineers I
and Physics for Scientists/Engineers Lab I
CHEM 121General Chemistry I (additional unit satisfied through General Education)[1]
CHEM 122General Chemistry II (additional unit satisfied through General Education)[1]
U.S. and Nevada Constitutions 2[3]
American Experiences and Constitutional Change
Degree Requirements
ENV 101Introduction to Environmental Science3
or NRES 100 Prin of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences
ENGR 110Introduction to Renewable Energy3
GEOG 121Climate Change: the Science Basis4
GEOL 206Geology of Geothermal Energy Resources3
GEOG 210Introduction to Geotechnology3
NRES 210Environmental Pollution3
STAT 152Introduction to Statistics3
Elective Requirements
Select 8-11 units from the following: 38-11
Course(s) from BIOL, ENGR, ENV, GEOG, GEOL, or MATH
Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Natural Disasters
Geology: Exploring Planet Earth
Total Units60

If you place into ENG 102 or ENG 114 the additional 3 required units will become elective units.


Course may also count toward degree requirements. Please consult with Academic Advisement.


Students transferring into a specific program at a university should choose appropriate transferable electives. Please meet with Academic Advising. 

Plan of Study Grid
1st semesterUnits
Elective 5 3
ENG 101
Composition I
or Composition I for International Students
ENGR 110 Introduction to Renewable Energy 3
Fine Arts 4 3
MATH 127 Pre-Calculus II (or higher) 3
 Semester Total15
2nd semester
CHEM 121 General Chemistry I 4
ENG 102
Composition II
or Composition II For International Students
ENV 101 Introduction to Environmental Science 3
GEOL 206 Geology of Geothermal Energy Resources 3
STAT 152 Introduction to Statistics 3
 Semester Total16
3rd semester
CHEM 122 General Chemistry II 4
GEOG 210 Introduction to Geotechnology 3
Humanities/U.S. and Nevada Constitutions 5 3
NRES 210 Environmental Pollution 3
Social Science 5 3
 Semester Total16
4th semester
Elective 5 5
GEOG 121 Climate Change: the Science Basis 4
PHYS 151
General Physics I
or Physics for Scientists and Engineers I and Physics for Scientists/Engineers Lab I
 Semester Total13
 Total Units60

See approved General Education list for the AA/AS Degree.


See program recommendations or requirements.