Focus on Renewable Energy in iCons (Integrated Concentration in Science) Program

UMass Amherst


iCons is a new undergraduate science program aimed at training students to synthesize and apply integrated scientific knowledge to solve society’s biggest problems. Embedded with a traditional science or engineering major, iCons is an interdisciplinary science concentration based on theme areas such as Renewable Energy, Biomedicine, Clean Water and Climate Change. Responding to these global challenges, the iCons mission is to produce the next generation of leaders in science with the attitudes, knowledge and skills needed to solve the inherently multi-disciplinary problems facing our world.

The 18-credit iCons curriculum consists of one course per year over four years, culminating in world-class research experiences. Instruction involves student teamwork on case studies, laboratory experiments, and research, fostering cross-disciplinary communication and integrated problem-solving skills.

The iCons Program is a specialized undergraduate concentration embedded with a traditional science or engineering major.

The areas of specialization include:

  • Renewable Energy
  • Biomedicine
  • Clean Water and Climate Change (Coming Soon)

Program Link:

Additional Details

iCons is a vertically-structured program of four courses (18 credits) as indicated in the list below, ideally taken in the first, second, third and final years of college:

  • iCons Intro: Case studies on theme areas; teaching integrated thinking
  • Communications: Reading, writing, speaking, debating on theme areas
  • Laboratory Course: Student-driven laboratory projects in theme areas
  • Capstone Research: Interdisciplinary research using methods from more than one lab


  • Institution Name: UMass Amherst
  • Department: College of Natural Sciences
  • Address: 181 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA 01003
  • Website:


  • Name: Dr. Scott Auerbach
  • Title: Director of iCons Program and Professor of Chemistry
  • Email:
  • Phone: 413-545-3056