Master of Science in Carbon Management (MCM) Program

While more than 2 billion people have been working themselves out of poverty, world energy demand has been growing rapidly. The management and abatement of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emission and access to secure and plentiful energy remain two of the biggest and interconnected challenges currently faced by humanity with implications for climate change, economic development, and ecosystem stability. To meet these challenges, the Master of Science in Carbon Management (MCM) program has been created to provide a unique educational experience for students with a wide range of backgrounds and different career paths. The courses taught in this program include multifaceted aspects of Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) technology areas and low-carbon energy conversion systems. They are designed to be highly interdisciplinary. This Masters level program will uniquely prepare students to create and implement the multi-faceted solutions to the carbon problem with an in-depth understanding of the complexity and multidisciplinary nature of the issues at hand.

Program Director: Prof. Shaina Kelly


The MCM requires 30 points (letter grade) of graduate coursework.

Depending on your ​academic ​background, you may also need to take some undergraduate level ​science ​courses to bone up on the basics. MCM candidates have three options:

  • Each incoming student will develop an academic plan with the Program Director. The approved academic plan is due at the end of the second month of their first semester at Columbia. All 30 points towards the MCM degree can be taken in the form of lecture courses.
  • Take 24 points in the form of lecture courses recommended by the program (see a later section of this document) plus 6 points in the form of research (the advisor selection should be discussed with the Program Director) culminating in a Master’s Thesis consisting of original, publication-quality research. The thesis will be published on the web pages of the research group and the MCM program website, and enrich your professional dossier.
  • You may also opt for taking 27 points in the form of lecture courses recommended by the program (see a later section of this document) plus 3 points of research (the advisor selection should be discussed with the Program Director). Instead of a MS thesis, you will write a report describing your research.


*Classes with two course numbers are jointly taught. You only need to register for one.

SEAS = School of Engineering and Applied Science

EEE = Earth and Environmental Engineering Department

EES = Earth and Environmental Science Department

EEEB = Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology Department

SIPA = School of International and Public Affairs

LAW = Law School

All courses are 3 points unless specified.

Note that the course offerings can change each semester depending on the availability of the instructors.

Core Courses (12 credits)

EAEE E4300/E6212* (SEAS): Introduction to Carbon Management (Sara Hamilton, Fall)

EAEE E4302 (SEAS): Carbon Capture (Athanasios Bourtsalas, Fall)

EAEE E4301 (SEAS): Carbon Storage (Shaina Kelly, Spring)

EAEE E4305 (SEAS): CO2 Utilization and Conversion (Robert Farrauto, Spring)

Recommended Elective Courses (9 – 18 credits: Take Minimum 9 credits from this list)

Fall semester

EAEE E4304 Closing the carbon cycle (Peter Eisenberger, Fall – not offered in Fall 2021)

CHEN E4231 (SEAS): Solar Fuels (Daniel Esposito, Fall)

EAEE E4220 (SEAS): Energy System Economics and Optimization (Bolun Xu, Fall)

MECE E4211 (SEAS): Energy Sources and Conversion (Vijay Modi, Fall)

EESC 4600 (EES): Earth Resources and Sustainable Development (Peter Kelemen, Fall)

EESC GU4020 (EES): Humans and the Carbon Cycle (Galen McKinley, Fall 2021, alternate Falls)

CIEN E4111 (SEAS): Uncertainty/Risk – Civil infrastructure syst. (George Deodatis, Fall)

EAEE E4000 (SEAS): Machine learning for environ. engineering (Pierre Gentine, Fall)

Spring semester


EAEE E4160 (SEAS): Solid and hazardous waste manag. (Athanasios Bourtsalas, Spring)

EAEE E4257 (SEAS): Environmental data analysis and modeling (Bolun Xu, Spring)

EAEE E4002 (SEAS): Alternative Energy resources (Spring – not offered in spring 2022)

EAEE E4011 (SEAS): Industrial ecology of manufacturing (Athanasios Bourtsalas, Spring)

MCM Research (0 – 6 credits)

EAEE E9273x-E9274y (SEAS): Earth and Environmental Engineering Reports (Instructors: any faculty member teaching MCM courses, and other EEE and EES faculty members – approved based on each project topic, Fall/Spring, (max. 3 credits / semester and total number of credits = 6 credits)

Recommended Policy, Law and Economics classes (0 – 3 credits)

MCM students can take 1 course from this list. Note that most of these classes require an approval from the instructor to enroll.

DEES 5403 (EES): Managing & adapting to climate (Ben Orlove, Fall)

INAF U6074 (SIPA): Current issues in energy policy (David Sandalow, Spring)

LAW L6038 (LAW): Climate change law (Michael Gerrard, Spring)

INAF U8537 (SIPA): Climate change policy (Scott Barrett, Spring)

Other suggested Courses

These are other suggested courses. MCM students can take classes that are not listed here, if they are approved by the MCM Program Director.

Fall semester

EAEE E4200 (SEAS): Intro to Sust. Prod. of earth minerals & metal (D.R. Nagaraj, Fall)

EESC 4330 (EES): Terrestrial Paleoclimate (Schaefer, Fall 2022. Alternate Falls)

EESC 4550 (EES): Plant Ecophysiology (Kevin Griffin, Fall) 

EEEB 4111 (EEEB): Ecosystem Ecology & Global Change (Duncan Menge, Fall)

Spring semester

EAEE E4009 (SEAS): GIS (Yuri Gorokhovich, Spring)

EESC 4524 (EES): Biogeochemistry (Hugh Ducklow, Spring)