Graduate Certificate/Concentration

Director: Associate Professor Matthew Lackner, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE)

Participating Faculty: Professor Matthew Lackner (MIE), Professor James Manwell (MIE), Professor Jon McGowan (MIE)

Purpose: The Graduate Certificate/Concentration in Wind Power Engineering offers graduate students the opportunity to have their work and interest in wind energy formally acknowledged as an important part of their graduate training, providing certification of relevant knowledge for those seeking academic positions and careers in industry. Certificate/Concentration students benefit from advanced study in a growing field, mentored by internationally renowned, award-winning faculty experts at the preeminent academic wind energy program in the U.S. The program of study is designed to meet the needs of students who are interested in either pursuing further academic studies in wind power or joining the burgeoning wind power industry. This Certificate/Concentration program responds to these professional currents, providing a clear but flexible curriculum for graduate students interested in wind energy, and preparing them with in depth skills and knowledge of all aspects of wind energy.

The Program: The Graduate Certificate/Concentration in Wind Power Engineering is the first ever wind energy certificate/concentration program in the U.S. This 15 credit program offers a unique opportunity for students or professionals to obtain in-depth knowledge of all aspects of wind energy including engineering topics (aerodynamics, structures and loads, design, electrical issues, support structures, wind and wave external conditions) as well as critical non-engineering issues (economics, permitting, standards, environmental impacts, policy). Students also have the flexibility to specialize in certain aspects of wind energy that are of particular interest. This program is ideally suited for: undergraduate engineers interested in graduate-level studies in wind energy industry, professionals in other industries interested in transitioning into the wind energy industry, and current industry practitioners interested in additional education and credentials.

Admission and Eligibility Requirements: There is no separate admissions process for the Certificate/Concentration. Students should apply as a graduate student to the MIE department through the UMass Amherst Graduate School. The starting date and fees are identical to all graduate students admitted to the MIE department.

  • The Concentration can be obtained concurrently with any ME Graduate degree, such as an M.S. or Ph.D. degree. Application to the Concentration program is NOT necessary after acceptance into one of the ME Graduate degree programs. Instead, simply completing the Concentration requirements (detailed below) during their graduate studies will automatically qualify students for the Concentration. For example, students pursuing a course-only M.S. degree are required to complete 30 credits of classes. If the courses taken also satisfy the Concentration requirements, then the student may also receive the Concentration. Thus, with proper planning, it is possible to obtain an ME Graduate degree and the Concentration simultaneously with no additional course work.
  • Students wishing to pursue a Certificate, rather than an ME Graduate degree, should apply as a non-degree student. In this case, students are admitted to the department as non-degree students and are not eligible to receive an M.S. or Ph.D. Instead, by fulfilling the Certificate requirements detailed below, then can obtain the Certificate through 15 credits or course work. Note, it is generally not possible to satisfy all the Concentration requirements in 1 semester.

The Certificate/Concentration requirements are identical: the Concentration is for degree-seeking graduate students and the Certificate is for non-degree students. 

Completion Requirements: The requirements for the Certificate/Concentration are successful completion of three core courses in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department (MIE), and two elective courses.

  • Core Course I: The one required core course is: MIE 573: "Engineering Wind Power Systems."
  • Core Course II: A second required core course must be either MIE 673: "Wind Turbine Design" or MIE 674: "Offshore Wind Energy Engineering."  
  • Core Course III: The final core course may be chosen from MIE 607: "Advanced Fluid Mechanics I" or MIE 597F: "Fluid-Structure Interaction." Furthermore, if a student completes both MIE 673 and MIE 674, these two courses may be used as Core Course II and Core Course III.
  • The elective courses may be any graduate level course that has a direct relevance to wind energy, including: fluid dynamics, controls, fluid structure interaction, and energy economics, as well as other core courses. The core courses listed above can be used as electives if other core courses have satisfied the core requirements. These courses may be taken in other departments if they have a direct relevance to wind energy.
  • Any student, whether a degree student or non-degree student, pursuing the Certificate/Concentration will be required to meet the same academic requirements as those defined for degree-seeking students to remain in "good standing."

Restrictions: Prerequisites for the core courses include undergraduate level calculus and physics, and fluid dynamics.

Completion Proceedure: When you have completed all required classes, you may submit an eligibility form found here.

Contact Info: Professor Matthew Lackner,, 413-545-4713