Energy and Sustainability Policy
Program Office

Exciting news about the EMSAGE program!


While you won't be able to partake in the free nachos, you can still participate in the workshop by logging on via Zoom! There will be a Zoom facilitator on hand to make sure that our online students are included in the workshop. The materials needed for the workshop can be found on the EMSAGE Workshop Resources page; download/print it out before the workshop begins so that you are prepared to participate.

See the memo below about the EMSAGE program and the upcoming workshops from Dr. Yvette P. Richardson, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences:

Dear EMS Students,

I am excited to share with you some changes coming soon to the EMSAGE program!  EMSAGE stands for the EMS Academy of Global Experience, and it has been used to honor our graduates who achieved at least a 3.0 GPA as well as at least nine other measures of excellence across three areas: academics, experiential learning or global literacy, and service.  In their application for this honor, students provide an essay that tells the story of their experiences and how those experiences influenced their growth.  Successful applicants received the distinction of "EMSAGE Laureate"; you can check out the pillar in the Ryan Family Student Center to see the names of all of our EMSAGE Laureates!  EMSAGE Laureates are students who have done well academically but also have beyond-the-classroom experiences that set them apart and prepare them to have an impact on the world after they graduate.  Employers also value students who have had these experiences!

We would like to build on the success of this program by involving students at an earlier stage in their academic career, building an EMSAGE community that you can belong to throughout your time here as you work toward Laureate status.  

This program will have three stages:

EMSAGE Protégés:  Students in good standing who have completed at least 24 university credits (earned after high school) who are interested in becoming EMSAGE Laureates but have had limited experiences beyond the classroom (e.g., internships, co-ops, research).  To become a protégé, you will submit an engagement plan (more on this below!).  Protégés will receive mentoring from practitioners and laureates.

EMSAGE Practitioners: Students in good standing with at least 24 Penn State credits who are interested in becoming EMSAGE Laureates and have met at least half of the Laureate requirements, including experiences beyond the classroom.  It must be mathematically possible for students to reach a 3.0 with the remaining credits in their major.  To become a practitioner, you will submit an engagement plan (more below!) including your accomplishments and experiences thus far.  Practitioners will serve as valuable resources for protégés and will receive mentoring from Laureates.

EMSAGE Laureates: Each semester, we will accept EMSAGE Laureate applications for students who are within one year (i.e., within 36 credits) of completing their undergraduate degree(s) and have at least a 3.0 GPA.  For now, the overall criteria will remain the same as before (see the first paragraph), but students can now become Laureates prior to their graduation semester!  Laureates will serve as mentors and role models for practitioners and protégés.  Deadlines for 2019-2020 graduates will be announced in the fall.

Engagement plans for Protégés and Practitioners for fall 2019 will be due September 30, 2019.  You are not on your own in creating this!  Denice Wardrop, our interim director of engaged scholarship, and Stevie Rocco, the assistant director of the Dutton Institute, will be holding two workshops to help you develop your plan!  These Engagement Plan Workshops will be held April 15 and 18 from 5:30-7:30 pm in 22 Deike and by zoom. (See the EMS Announcements for more information!) 

We are very excited to roll out the revised EMSAGE program.  We hope you are too!  If you have any questions, please contact either me or Denice Wardrop ( 


Associate Dean Richardson

The ESP Program

ESPBA and ESPBS are both fully online degrees are offered by the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. The program is delivered by the College’s Dutton e-Education Institute in cooperation with the University’s World Campus.

The Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science in Energy and Sustainability Policy are both 120-credit programs, with the same General Education requirements and the same prescribed and additional coursework for the major. For a full listing of this common coursework, see Courses. The remaining requirements are specific to each degree, as described on the ESPBA and ESPBS pages.

All aspects of the program are carefully designed for online learners who require flexibility and are often managing full lives with career and family. Student advising is handled on a one-on-one basis, first-hand by faculty in the ESP program.

Both of the ESP programs' curriculum emphasize five competency areas:

  • Energy Industry Knowledge
  • Sustainability Ethic
  • Global Perspective
  • Analytical Skills
  • Communication Skills

In choosing which ESP program best meets your needs, students are encouraged to consider personal interests and strengths, professional aspirations, and plans you may have for graduate school. For those with prior learning experience, the applicability of earlier coursework to degree requirements may also be a consideration.