Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky


Graduate Certificate

The PEIK graduate certification program is built on a series of foundational courses at the graduate level, supplemented with a broad array of more advanced elective courses related to power and energy. 15 credit hours are required.

Application Form


Features of the Graduate Certificate Program at PEIK

Structured to allow MS students to satisfy the requirements in a calendar year (MS Project Option). The certificate may also be completed as part of a MS thesis program or PhD program.

These advanced courses will cover both conventional and emerging areas, including smart grid systems, distributed generation, system protection, energy storage, solar power systems, biofuels, and others. A Power and Energy Experiences course will be offered, where students will do field study by visiting sites such as a wind farm, a solar energy facility, a landfill gas site, a coal power plant, a pump‐storage site, a net‐zero energy building, and other sites, where they will interact with the engineers who design or operate these facilities and learn first hand of the engineering challenges in these operations.

MS project topics (and thesis topics) will be available through industry, the Center for Applied Energy Research, and faculty members.

Within one calendar year, students can be prepared to enter the power and energy workforce with a strong foundation of power and energy knowledge, deeper understanding through electives, and practical experiences through their MS project.

The one‐year graduate certificate should be especially attractive to students who are interested in extending their BS program to a MS. University of Kentucky has a [University Scholars program] that facilitates and encourages students taking their BS to continue for their MS.

Required Courses and Electives

Proposed one-year graduate coursework

PEIK Grad Semesters Media

Courses beyond the four required courses and one elective course necessary for the certificate should be able to be used to satisfy the requirements for the student’s graduate degree, as well as to provide depth in power and energy topics. Whereas the foundational core courses provide an introduction to topics, the power and energy electives courses give students in‐depth knowledge that allow them to design, analyze, or evaluate systems or devices associated with power and energy. These include courses targeted at topics in generation, transmission, distribution, renewable energy, storage, monitoring, control, system protection, power electronics, energy‐efficient facilities design, cybersecurity and telecommunications issues for power systems, and others.

The curriculum includes three required core courses (9 credits):

  • EGR 540 Power Economics and Public Policy: This is an overview class that provides background on: Tariff/rate structures, the role of public service commissions (public utilities commissions), economic dispatch and generation/load balancing issues, demand management, environmental issues (including emissions, water use, right‐of‐way, and waste disposal), regulated and deregulated markets, and business and environmental ethics.
  • EGR 542 Electric Power Generation Technologies: An overview of generation methods, including coal, nuclear, gas turbine, hydro, solar, wind, and biomass. This course also includes an introduction to energy storage technologies such as pumped water, compressed air, flywheel, and battery technologies. An overview of emissions control technologies is also included.
  • EGR 546 Electric Power System Fundamentals: This course is an introduction to power transmission basics, power flow, VARs, AC vs HVDC, NERC and ISOs and the larger interconnected grid, substations, control and stability issues, and distributed generation issues with the grid. This course will also introduce smart grid issues such as communications and cyber‐

These required core courses will provide a foundation in energy economics, public policy, generation, transmission, and distribution.

The graduate certificate requires an energyrelated elective, as well as an Experiences class:

  • EGR 649 Power and Energy Experiences: Unique experiences through visit to a variety of energy‐related sites and presentations from topical experts. Each week there will be planned full day field trips to selected energy related sites, including a biofuels facility, pumped storage site, coal mine, power plant, power operations center, windfarm, landfill gas site, ISO, smart grid demonstration center, solar farm, high efficiency building, etc. More than simply tours, these visits will be prepared for in the coursework and will be integrated into the design of the learning outcomes. Lectures and assignments will draw on what was learned during the scheduled field trips.

The Experiences class is a signature course for the Institute’s Graduate Certificate. It is intended to provide students with unique exposure to industry personnel and facilities. Almost all sites are within a four hour drive of the University, permitting each trip to be done within a day.

The students matriculating through the program will have an extensive and unique exposure to electric power and energy sites and industry experts as a result of these explorations. As with other aspects of the PEIK design, the course is intended to be multipurpose: in addition to providing a special perspective on classroom material, the visits will also provide another communication channel between students, industry and teaching faculty as well as providing industry an opportunity to meet and possibly recruit students in the program for co-ops, internships and positions upon graduation.

To apply or for more information about the Power and Energy Institute, contact:
Dr. Yuan Liao, 691 F. Paul Anderson Tower,  (859) 257-6064