Providing society with affordable and reliable energy, while limiting its negative social and environmental impacts, is one of the great global challenges of the 21st century. The Harris Energy and Environmental Policy Specialization is designed to provide students with the background, concepts, and tools necessary to understand and address pressing energy and environmental policy problems.

Students who complete this specialization will be able to:

  • Understand the scientific, economic, political, and regulatory forces that govern the production and consumption of both fossil and non-fossil fuel energy resources
  • Articulate when private markets and private property are likely or unlikely to safeguard environmental quality on their own
  • Analyze the efficacy and trade-offs of environmental policies such as pollution taxation, emissions standards, renewable subsidies and portfolio standards, technology standards, innovation subsidies, emission permit markets, conservation programs, and behavioral interventions.

The specialization's menu of electives is designed to allow students to explore the multiple disciplines and fields that speak to the global energy and environmental challenge, such as industrial organization and regulation, environmental science, international development, public finance, political economy, behavioral science, and program evaluation. In addition, we encourage students pursuing this specialization to participate in events sponsored by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and the student organization, Harris Energy and Environmental Association (HEEA) that bring industry and government practitioners to campus.

Harris specializations function as areas of focus within the degree. Specializations assume knowledge of the 6-course Harris Core and build upon that foundation with coursework in specific policy areas or technical skills.

Application Process

The specialization is open to any University of Chicago graduate student. Harris students please indicate your intent to pursue this specialization using the Harris Specialization Declaration Form.

For specialization registration questions, please reach out to

Planning for the Specialization

For information on which quarter(s) each course will be offered see the Harris Courses page and filter by specialization. For courses offered by other divisions the typical quarter a class is offered varies.

Specialization Requirements

The specialization requires completion of at least two courses from the “Required courses” list, along with two additional courses that come from either the “Required courses” list or the “Elective courses” list (four courses total). Students must achieve at least a B- grade in each course.  No course may be taken on a pass/fail basis, with the exception of PPHA: 39519 Energy Law and Policy. The courses do not need to be taken in a particular order. Students should complete the formal signup process to indicate their intention to pursue the specialization.

Required courses

Students must complete two of the following courses:

Elective courses

In addition to courses from the core list above, students must complete enough of the below courses in order to complete four total courses in the specialization:

Specialization Contact

Koichiro Ito, Interim Director

Ryan Kellogg, Specialization Director (on leave 23-24)

Ryan Kellogg photo

Professor and Deputy Dean for Academic Programs

Ryan Kellogg

Ryan Kellogg's research bridges industrial organization, energy economics, and environmental policy, focusing on the economics of resource extraction and on the transportation sector.