Energy Environment: Science Technology and Management (STEEM) Master


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

A global consensus on the urgency to enact measures to mitigate climate change has emerged in recent years, culminating in December 2015 with the Paris Agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21). 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, global climate deal to limit to 2°C the rise in global temperatures. The agreement also states its aim of limiting the increase to 1.5°C, which would significantly reduce the risk of climate change for ecosystems and human populations. The future of energy production and particularly renewable energy generation capacities lies at the heart of efforts to reach these new goals.

The transformation in energy production is generally known as the “energy transition.” This shift away from fossil fuels and towards more sustainable alternatives has become not only a political and environmental imperative but also an economic one. The technologies and business models of this changing energy landscape call for increasingly sophisticated expertise.

Even if several renewable energy sources (wind, solar, biomass, hydro and marine power) are highly promising, there are still challenges involved with managing their intermittency and making accurate, reliable power generation forecasts. This, in turn, makes it difficult to determine their financial viability.

Finally, the capacity to manage environmental resources and to study the interactions between the geophysical environment, energy production and consumption will continue to grow more important. Corporations, research teams and public bodies alike will need experts that combine cutting-edge technical know-how, a complete understanding of the interactions between energy and the environment and a strong entrepreneurial streak to carry projects forward in this new landscape.

This is precisely the kind of rich, multidisciplinary training for which École Polytechnique is world-renowned. Treating energy and the environment as two equal parts that will determine our climate future, the Energy Environment: Science Technology and Management (STEEM) Graduate Degree provides a sophisticated understanding of energy in the 21st century. Based on a foundation of engineering and applied sciences training, the STEEM program offers graduates the tools to understand the socioeconomic context of climate change and to master the evolutions of our relationship with energy.

Program Description

At École Polytechnique, we are committed to delivering programs which emphasize excellence in the applied sciences while providing a complete understanding of their industrial, economic and social context.

The Energy Environment: Science Technology and Management (STEEM) Graduate Degree offers you real-world technical expertise on environmental issues and renewable energy sources, along with an in-depth understanding of the economic, social and geopolitical challenges to their development.

Our holistic approach includes a strong management component, taught by professors from our partner business school HEC, to ensure you are ready to tackle the business and organizational challenges of this rapidly evolving sector. Part of your technical training will also be delivered by ENSTA ParisTech professors researching cutting-edge energy engineering solutions.

Alongside your coursework and research, you will receive expert insight via a series of master classes, where leading industry and regulatory figures will outline their strategy for navigating the energy landscape in the 21st century.

The STEEM program emphasizes hands-on, experimental learning by inviting you into with the worlds of research and industry, notably through four to six-month internships. To begin with, each student will be assigned to one of our degree professors involved in high-level research in order to benefit from their one-on-one mentoring.

On the École Polytechnique campus and within the Plateau de Saclay business and research cluster, you will have access to an exceptional concentration of high-level research facilities, including:

  • Paris-Region Photovoltaic Institute, a partnership between École Polytechnique, the CNRS and global industry leaders including Total and EDF.
  • Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace (IPSL) environmental science research network, with strong ties to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and its on-site Sirta observatory.
  • École Polytechnique and Paris-Saclay campus research laboratories, startups, business incubator, fablab and experimental facilities.
  • Upcoming EDF R&D research center, a unique research environment on renewable energy sources, intermittency and smart grid management.

The professional orientation of the STEEM program is strengthened by our industrial partners, such as Total, EDF, Saint-Gobain, Air Liquide, Schneider and many more. These partnerships present a wide range of opportunities, including scholarships, high-value internships, and Ph.D. funding.

Finally, our program is part of the European KIC InnoEnergy Consortium and its Renewable Energy program. Therefore, candidates may also apply via this European Master's Program and spend one year at Ecole Polytechnique and another one at a partner university.

Program Structure


First period (mid-September to mid-December)

PHY530 Refreshers course in Physics

1. Three elective courses (3 x 4 ECTS) to be chosen among:

  • MEC558 Continental hydrology and water resources
  • MEC559 Mechanics for wind energy
  • PHY555 Energy and environment
  • PHY558B Photovoltaïcs Solar Energy
  • PHY559B Power electrical engineering for renewable energy

2. One management course (4 ECTS): MIE559 Energy Industry Value Chain

3. One Mathematical training (4 ECTS): MAP502 Refresher course in maths and a project on numerical modeling done in twos

Second period (January to March)

1. Three elective courses (3 x 4 ECTS) to be chosen among:

  • MEC565 Meteorology and environment
  • MEC561B Fluid-structure interactions
  • PHY563 Material science for energy
  • ECO569 Valuing and Managing Natural Resources
  • MIE564 Technology-based Entrepreneurship and New Business Creation
  • MIE569 Sustainable Strategy & Business Model

2. One elective advanced course (4 ECTS) to be chosen among:

  • MEC583 Projects in solar and wind energy: Resource and performance analysis
  • PHY589 Laboratory course in photovoltaic
  • PHY585 Experimental work in environmental physics
  • MIE582 Creation of a tech start-up

First & second periods

  • One Foreign language module (French language module for non-speaking students) - 3 ECTS
  • Two modules of Humanities and French Culture - 3 ECTS
  • Sport - 2 ECTS
  • Coriolis conferences
  • Field trip and company visits (e.g. STEEM Field Trip Fall 2016)

Third period (March to June/August)

4 to 6-month Research or industrial internship (PHY598): 26 ECTS


First and Second periods

(P1) are first period classes

(P2) are second-period classes

One management course (4 ECTS):

MIE669 Designing projects and managing operations in the energy industry

Over the year, six elective scientific courses (4 ECTS each), with at least two chapters concerned :

1. Atmospheric and oceanic environments in the energy context

1.a. Atmospheric and oceanic resources

  • MEC655A Energetics and dynamics of the Earth system (P1) (This course is not on the Ecole Polytechnique Campus. It is on the Jussieu Campus (Paris). The Ecole Polytechnique will not organize transportation. If they choose this course, students must go there by their own means.)
  • MEC662 Hydro, wind and marine resources (P2)

1.b. Air quality and greenhouse gases (GHG)

  • MEC655B Greenhouse gases (GHG) challenges and observations (P1)
  • MEC655C Introduction to atmospheric composition: from processes to modeling and air quality regulations (P1)

1.c. Climate change and energy

MEC666 Climate Change and Energy Transition (P2)

2. Renewable energies – scientific bases

2.a. Photovoltaic

  • PHY661A Thin film photovoltaics (P2)
  • PHY652B Polymers for photovoltaics (P1)
  • PHY661B Photovoltaic Technology in Industry (P2)

2.b. Wind and Hydro-energy

  • MEC652F Wind power (P1)
  • MEC661H Fluid-structure couplings in offshore wind and marine renewable energies (P1)
  • MEC661J Laboratory projects in hydro, wind and marine resources for renewable energy (P2)

2.c. Bioenergy

BIO652 Nature-based solutions to substitute fossil resources and address global change (P1)

3. Vectors, storage, and networks for energy

3.a. Vectors and storage

  • CHI661C Chemical storage of Energy (P1)
  • CHI661L Renewable thermal energy (P2)
  • MAP661D Stochastic optimization and management of energies (P2)

3.b. Grids

  • PHY661I Smart grid for renewable energy (P2)
  • PHY661K Advanced experimental smart grid (P2)

3.c. Markets

  • ECO567A Energy Economics with a Geographic Focus (P2)
  • ECO663 The Economics of Energy and Sustainable Development (P2)
  • MIE609 One Team management project - 4 ECTS
  • Coriolis conferences
  • One Foreign language module (French language module for non-French speaking students) - 3 ECTS
  • One module of Humanities and French Culture per Period - 3 ECTS
  • Sport - 2 ECTS

Third period

A 6-month research or industrial internship (PHY698): 30 ECTS

Please note this list is indicative of the structure of the program and may be subject to change.

Career Outcomes

Comprising high-value industrial partnerships, internships and international academic exchanges, the Energy Environment: Science Technology and Management (STEEM) Graduate Degree is designed to ensure you are ready for a new professional world upon graduation.

As evidenced by the considerable amount of industry support for this degree, the skills you will acquire are increasingly in high demand across corporate, research and public sectors. The COP21 alone resulted in commitments from 195 countries to submit an assessment of their renewable energy capacities, along with a timeline for their transition to a low-carbon or carbon-free society.

Our graduates will be ideally suited to meet the needs of both technical know-how and managerial expertise to implement energy and environmental policies for leading manufacturers, innovative start-ups, and public organizations.

During the two-year program, you will have a wide range of opportunities to build relationships with École Polytechnique’s local and international industrial and research partners. The management skills you acquire will be a significant asset in your career progression.

The STEEM program is also a gateway to a research career, with our proximity to numerous research institutions providing an ideal platform to pursue a Ph.D. with funding from our industrial or academic partners.

For the internationally focused, the perspectives offered by the STEEM Graduate Degree naturally carry over to career opportunities around the world. Our international partnerships in energy, environment, industry and research sectors provide you with the perfect platform from which to launch your global career.

Application requirements and deadlines

Applicants must hold or expect to hold a Bachelor's degree in Engineering Science, Mechanical Engineering or Physics or "Diplôme d'ingénieur" prior to the beginning of the program.

English Language requirements

Applicants must demonstrate full English-language proficiency. The tests that we accept are the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL ibt) and the following Cambridge General English Tests: First (FCE), Advanced (CAE) and Proficiency (CPE).

The minimum scores required are:

  • TOEFL IBT 90
  • IELTS 6.5
  • Cambridge Test - First (FCE) Grade B - 176

Scores must date no earlier than two years prior to the start of the program.

List of supporting documents needed

No paper copies are needed for the admission review process. If you are admitted, you may be required to submit official or certified hard copies before the start of the program. Supporting documents include:

  • Scanned copies of transcripts of all previous post-secondary education (including exchange programmes and programmes you did not complete)
  • Official document or letter from your university explaining the grading and ranking system
  • For completed programs: scanned copies of degrees
  • For programs still in progress: certificate of enrolment by your home university stating the title of the expected degree and date of completion. This document must prove that you are at least in your final year of undergraduate studies.
  • Personal Statement. Minimum: approx. 700 words, in French or English. Please use the form provided in the online application system.
  • Contact details for two referees (Names, positions & emails). A letter of recommendation form will be sent directly to them.
  • CV or resume, without any biographical gaps, maximum: 2 pages, in French or English;
  • Copy of passport (or ID card for European students)
  • Copy of TOEFL/IELTS (taken less than 2 years before)

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are €12,000 per academic year.

Health Insurance

Please note that registration with a health insurance scheme is compulsory in France when you enroll at a Higher Education Institution.

If you come from any of the 28 EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and are already registered with a national health insurance provider, you must apply for the European health insurance card. This card is free and will give you access to state-provided healthcare during your stay in France under the same conditions and at the same cost as nationals.

Students from Quebec are exempt from joining the French Student Social Security upon presentation of Form #SE401Q106.

Room & Board

Ecole Polytechnique is pleased to provide accommodation on campus for all graduate degree students given that they request it within the timeframe.

The rent is 617 euros per month (including housing insurance). You will also be required to pay a security deposit of 617 euros upon arrival. All residences are equipped with a shared-kitchen but you may also have your breakfast, lunch, and dinner at our university restaurant from Monday to Saturday. A lunch meal costs approximately 2 to 4 euros thanks to our student discount rate. Monthly expenses for meals usually range from 200 to 350 euros.

Financial aid

Students receive assistance from the Housing Office to apply for the French National Housing Benefit "CAF". Students usually obtain a financial aid of 150-200 euros per month.

All our students receive the ISIC card (International Student Identity Card) automatically and for free. They gain preferential and discounted access to over 150,000 products, services, and experiences relevant to all aspects of student life.

Additional scholarship opportunities can be found at CampusFrance website (e.g. French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development for international students). Please note that the French scholarship "CROUS" is not compatible with our degree.

Last updated May 2020

About the School

École Polytechnique is a leading French institute which combines top-level research, academics, and innovation at the cutting-edge of science and technology. Its curriculum promotes a culture of excel ... Read More

École Polytechnique is a leading French institute which combines top-level research, academics, and innovation at the cutting-edge of science and technology. Its curriculum promotes a culture of excellence with a strong emphasis on science, anchored in humanist traditions. The school produces socially responsible professionals who excel in leading complex and innovative projects which address current and future challenges facing our society. Read less