Financing and Deploying Clean Energy Certificate Program
Frequently Asked Questions
This FAQ page is updated regularly, so make sure to check it frequently for new information. All updates are added to the bottom of the page.
Do I have to submit a GRE/GMAT score?
No. More information on the documents and steps required for the application process are available here.
Are there scholarships available?
We offer a small number of merit-based scholarships. The scholarship application is available within the application system. Please do not send us any financial information as part of your scholarship application; it will not be reviewed. Scholarships, if awarded, may cover up to 75% of the tuition for a few outstanding scholarship recipients. What does merit mean? It can mean many different things, but what we care most about for scholarship awards is the potential for impact you have in accelerating the deployment and/or financing of clean energy.
Three Cairns Fellows, another scholarship opportunity provided through the Three Cairns Climate Program for the Global South, supports mid-career environmental professionals seeking to enroll in Financing and Deploying Clean Energy certificate program. Three Cairns Fellows will receive 100% tuition scholarships. Three Cairns Fellows are from the Global South and demonstrate a commitment to tackling climate change in their home countries and/or throughout the Global South. In order to apply, on the FDCE application, you will indicate your interest in the Fellowship and complete the standard scholarship essay. No additional essay or documentation is needed.
You will be notified of any scholarship award at the time of your admissions decision.
Note that scholarship amounts are applied to the Spring semester tuition payment first.
What is the application deadline?
The application cycle dates are posted on the application page of this website and on the Important Dates page here. Make sure to review these dates thoroughly before you apply! To be notified when the application system opens, sign up for our mailing list on our Homepage.
We encourage candidates to submit their applications as early as possible. Please refer to the application page here to learn why, and to prepare your application.
What is the weekly time commitment?
The weekly time commitment is five hours per week for the average learner. Note, however, that no one will be an "average" learner in all of the courses. For instance, if you have stronger quantitative skills but weaker qualitative skills, you may find the Clean Energy Policy course more challenging, requiring more hours. Conversely, if you have stronger qualitative skills, you may find the Technology Transitions Course more challenging, thus requiring additional hours. On average though, the program was designed for a 5-hour weekly commitment.
How are the certificate courses delivered?
The one-week How to Study Online Module and the Foundations Courses in Energy and Finance are self-paced and entirely asynchronous. While you can engage with peers (and we encourage you to do so), you are not required to while those courses are in session. No mandatory live sessions will be held during asynchronous courses.
The four eight-week Core Courses are delivered at the same pace to the whole FDCE cohort and include both synchronous and asynchronous activities. During the Core Courses, participants are expected to spend about five hours a week on course content. Participants are required to connect with peers each week through discussions and into class sessions using video-conferencing once per week on Thursday.
This weekly time commitment will generally involve:
- One hour of video;
- Two to three hours of individual or group work; and
- One hour participating in live sessions (mandatory).
You can find more information on course delivery here and read more about course content, including a week-by-week outline of the program here.
Do I need to come to campus?
Really? I thought this was a hybrid online and in-person program!
In response to the ongoing public health emergency, and in order to increase access to the program to people around the world, we have removed the requirement that participants come to campus during what was called the On-Campus Week. We replaced some of the social and onboarding elements of the On-Campus Week with an Online Orientation and the How to Study Online course.
In addition, for FDCE participants who would like to meet in person, we invite current and past FDCE participants to join us on campus for optional events, including an annual Yale Clean Energy Conference which gathers all members of our community to experience Yale, hear from world experts on clean energy, and unleash the creativity and innovation of our phenomenal group of FDCE alums! This is so much fun! FDCE-only reunion events are also held during the conference.
Do I need to log in to a lecture at a certain time?
You can watch the pre-recorded lectures at any time and at your own pace within the week when they are assigned. However, the live sessions will require you to connect online for one hour every week. All cohort-wide live sessions will be held at noon EST on Thursdays except during Thanksgiving Week. Some smaller optional group sessions may be held at different times, which will be announced based on speakers' and instructors' availability.
What kind of access will I have to the teaching team?
You will participate in live sessions led by an instructor (guest expert, faculty member, or teaching fellow) every week. Some of your assignments will be graded and you will receive feedback. In contrast, the first course, Foundations, is entirely self-paced and asynchronous.
Can I work ahead of the certificate's pace?
No. Modules will become accessible on Monday mornings, and participants will have a week to go through the materials and assignments. Course materials will remain accessible throughout the entire duration of the certificate to allow course participants to return to previous weeks. A notable exception to this schedule is the Foundations Courses (energy + finance), which are entirely self-paced and will be accessible in its entirety from the date it opens and for the duration of the certificate. Read more about important dates here.
What engagement opportunities with others in the cohort do participants have?
There are multiple ways that participants engage with each other in the program.
During the [Required] Orientation Week, participants meet each other remotely and engage through both unstructured social Zooms and more structured activities.
When the courses are ongoing, participants engage through studying, attending events, and other community-building activities, specifically via:
- [Required] Discussion Boards, which are a required part of weekly assignments. Participants both learn from each other through reading Canvas posts and replying to one another. Some assignments require participants to reply or vote on others’ responses. Other assignments require that participants take a particular viewpoint and role-play a situation. These posts are a very valuable part of the experience and tap into the broad and varied experience of the cohort, leading to very rich discussions.
- [Required but flexible] Study Groups, which are a way to connect a little deeper with five to six people. These groups change at the beginning of every course so that people meet more of their peers.
- [Required] Group Assignments, which we’ve limited to a small number to avoid the hassle of coordination across time zones for people who have busy professional and personal lives. This takes the form of peer reviews, a final group assignment in the Innovation course, and a collective assignment with the whole cohort.
- [Required] Some Live Sessions, but not all, include opportunities to engage, either through class exercises, where faculty call on the participants, or for a few of them through breakout sessions. For the most part, these should be considered class time.
- [Optional] Office Hours with either teaching assistants or faculty, which allow participants to work through problem sets or have semi-structured discussions with one another. These are recorded so that those who cannot attend because of life getting in the way can still enjoy the benefit of the extra help if they need it.
- [Optional] Water Cooler sessions, which are impromptu sessions where a faculty member or a speaker will stick around after a Thursday Live Session, and just chat with folks about whatever they want to talk about.
- [Optional] Events, like the What The Heck Do I Actually Do event series, which allows FDCE participants to discuss their careers with professionals across the sector together with Yale students, or other events that may be put together by other parts of our community and that we make available to the FDCE network.
- [Optional] The Community Platform, our private social network, which is where your cohort, previous FDCE cohorts, and Yale faculty, staff, students, and alum interested in clean energy can discuss whatever they want to discuss, from cool articles they read to events to jobs to vacation plans to recipes to clean energy puns! The platform is a phenomenal opportunity to connect not only with current and former FDCE participants, but also folks across Yale and in the broader alumni community. We will continue experimenting with how we can best use it to strengthen the impact of our network in fulfillment of our mission to accelerate the deployment of clean energy.
- [Optional] The Yale Clean Energy Conference, held annually on Yale's campus, gathers all members of our community to experience Yale, hear from world experts on clean energy, and unleash the creativity and innovation of our phenomenal group! This is so much fun! FDCE-only reunion events are also held during the conference.
- [Optional] Informal Regional Groups, where participants self-organize to socialize, go out for drinks, attend conferences together, etc. We hope that the Community Platform, the arrival of vaccines, and some financial support from CBEY can help foster more safe gatherings in the future!
Is the certificate a degree?
No. The certificate is not a degree-bearing program and participants are not students but working professionals in the clean energy industry. Participants who complete the requirements of the certificate led by CBEY will receive a certificate of completion from the Yale School of Management and the Yale School of the Environment. We do not, however, offer transcripts.
If you are interested in a degree program with a clean energy technology, policy, or finance focus, consider applying to one of the programs offered by the Yale School of the Environment or the Yale School of Management.
Is the certificate credit-based?
No. At this stage, you may not earn credits for this certificate. As a result, we do not offer transcripts.
Will I need to purchase any additional materials?
No. All of the course materials for the certificate courses will be provided on the course website (Canvas). You do, however, need to have your own computer, software, and internet access. Please consult the Technical Requirements.
In addition, please note that the costs of transportation to New Haven and accommodation for any on-campus events that might be held are NOT included in the tuition. For additional information on tuition, costs, and payments, please refer to this page.
What supporting documents should I send and where?
All supporting documentation should be submitted using the online application form available from the application page of our website when admissions are open. A Readiness Checklist (a list of supporting documents required for your application) is also available on the same page.
You should not send any hard or soft copies of any documents to the Yale School of Management, the Yale School of the Environment, or the Yale Center for Business and the Environment. These will neither be read nor returned. All supporting documents must be submitted through the online application form before the application deadline.
How long should the resume be?
Your resume or cv may be up to three pages, but we strongly encourage brevity.
Once I submit my application, how quickly can I receive an admission decision?
Decisions are all sent at the same time, generally in May. For information specific to your admissions cycle, please refer to the application page of our website.
Can I get my decision earlier?
No. We receive and manage hundreds of applications, so we are unable to keep people personally updated.
What does it mean to be on a waitlist?
Candidates who completed an application online before the deadline and who would have been accepted into the program if not for the cohort reaching its maximum size will be placed on a waitlist. Candidates that have been placed on a waitlist will be notified if a spot becomes available before the start of the program. If you are on the waitlist, no further action is required from you at this time.
How do I talk about this with my employer?
We encourage you to enquire with your employer whether training and professional development funds may be applied to finance this program. You can use this sample email to start the conversation.
As a participant in the CBEY certificate program, can I audit on-campus classes?
Is there a capstone project?
No, not at this time. In future years, we may develop a capstone project based on faculty and participant interest.
How will I stay connected to the faculty, program, and new research projects once I’ve completed the program?
An online platform dedicated to the CBEY certificate program was launched in December 2020 for all current, past, and future cohorts to connect with each other and with Yale faculty, staff, students and alum who elect to participate. The Community Platform is a place to keep in touch, share ideas, research, events, resources, and job postings for all who participate.
Do the topics covered apply worldwide?
The topics covered in the certificate broadly apply throughout the world, but the policy and technology discussions are, for now, mostly intended for a U.S. audience. Particularly, clean energy policy is an inherently jurisdictional discipline, but the tools and frameworks taught in the Clean Energy Policy Course have broad applicability.
Financial modeling skills in the context of project finance are applicable worldwide, but several aspects of the renewable energy project finance course, like the use of tax incentives, are also U.S. specific.
How many credit-hour equivalents is this?
This certificate is not for credit. An equivalent in credit hour cannot be provided because the structure of Yale courses in general and of the courses in this online certificate is different.
A 3-credit course at Yale College would generally mean that students receive three hours of instruction per week, and are expected to work an extra six hours on assignments and readings over the course of 13 to 15 weeks. This means for instance that for a 14-week long semester, a student in a 3-credit class would work a total of 126 hours, including 42 instruction hours.
This certificate is structured with three hours of readings and assignments and two instruction hours weekly for the Core Courses, in addition to a week-long Online Orientation and a Foundations Course. It requires in excess of 200 hours of work, including about 100 hours of instruction in total over the course of an academic year. Thus the ratio of instruction hours to assignment hours is higher, and credit equivalent cannot be provided.
What is the tuition?
All tuition information is available on this page.
Can I take only part of the certificate? Is there anything I can point to having already completed that would allow me to take an abridged version of the program?
No. Participants must commit to the whole program. The admissions committee considers motivation and commitment to the whole program when evaluating candidates for several reasons.
First, one of the goals of the programs is to create cohorts of diverse profiles from across industries. Thus the structure of the program will facilitate interaction among classmates throughout the year. This is because innovation happens at the margins of disciplines, and we want this program to catalyze change and on-the-ground impact.
Second, online learning requires that people be self-starters and more motivated than on-campus learners. We will evaluate candidates on that basis.
Can I replace some courses with another project that can potentially lower the cost?
No. For the reasons explained above, participants must commit to the whole program.
Is there an application fee?
How long has this certificate program existed?
The program was launched in 2019.
Is there a minimum amount of professional experience you're looking for in applicants?
No. Our cohorts include participants who just graduated from college and others with PhDs and decades of experience. We’ll seek to balance the cohort across industries, functions, and experience levels. Making a cohort and creating a network for participants is as important to us as the content being taught.
Where can I find information about the core curriculum?
A broad description of the core curriculum content and a detailed week-by-week document including themes and learning objectives are both available on this page.
I have taken the "General Training IELTS" test. Do you require the academic version of the test?
No. General Training IELTS is fine.
I've seen references to both Canvas and Zoom being used. What's the difference?
Canvas is the learning management platform we use. It is a website that learners go to, using their browsers, to access all asynchronous (not in real-time) course content. All technical requirements are available here.
Zoom is the video-conferencing platform we use. Learners will click on a link provided on Canvas to access the video conference line. Please use this link to check the Internet speed from your location.
Do you accept Segal AmeriCorps Education Award funds as tuition payments?
Yale University is a Title IV institution. Under AmeriCorps classification, you should refer to rules applicable to "Non-Title IV educational courses offered by a Title IV institution." Please refer to the AmeriCorps website for more details and to verify eligibility and amounts based on your personal situation.
If you plan on using an AmeriCorps award to submit your payment should you be admitted, please send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was admitted to the program. I filled out my intent to enroll form, and I paid my tuition. Now what?
Congratulations! Now, just sit tight, and wait for an email from us with details on the enrollment process. Fret not, we are just as excited about your joining the cohort as you are!
You will also receive general information about your cohort and information on how to access Canvas when the first course opens.
To see when the first course will open this year, please refer to the communications you received from the team. Again, all important dates are available here.
I missed the application deadline. Can I still apply?
Sadly no. But there is always next year! Please make sure you subscribe to the CBEY newsletter and check our website regularly. We announce the date of the following year’s admissions deadline at the latest by December. We hope to see you in next year’s applicant pool!
Can I use GI Bill benefits to pay for this program?
Not yet, but we're working on it! If this is what you're planning to do, please email us at email@example.com as soon as you start your application!
Will I receive a Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement? Will my FDCE program tuition be considered a qualifying tuition expense for U.S. Federal tax purposes?
We do not provide 1098-T tax forms, but you could talk to a tax expert about your eligibility to claim a credit or deduction using your receipts. Some information is provided, here.
What do you mean by "supervisor" when referring to the right person to write my recommendation letter?
Your supervisor should be someone who oversees your work but it doesn’t have to be your direct supervisor. A letter from someone higher up in your organization who is familiar with your work is entirely acceptable.
We do recommend that you pick someone who will be able to provide specifics when speaking to your skills and abilities, your potential to put knowledge and skills into practice to accelerate the financing and/or deployment of clean energy, and your personal character.