UM Home | UM A-Z | UM Search


2014 course offerings that will apply toward a Climate Change Studies minor

Students share their stories and impressions from studying in Vietnam

College of Forestry and Conservation

The University of Montana Logo

The Curriculum

Mangrove forests in Vietnam buffer against storm surges.Climate Change Studies is an interdisciplinary program open to all majors. The program educates students in three areas of the climate change issue: science, society, and solutions. Coursework in the minor provides a foundation that enables students to engage the scientific, societal and political dimensions of global climate change. Further, the focus on solutions with its orientation toward applied learning will help students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Participating students, building on their major field of study, will be prepared to enter a broad range of professions and graduate programs where they can meet the emerging challenges and opportunities arising from climate change.

The Climate Change Studies minor requires students to complete 21.0 total credits: a 3.0 credit interdisciplinary, team-taught introductory course and 6.0 credits in each of the science, society and solution areas listed below. To provide students with flexibility and appeal to a diversity of interests, each area has a variety of courses to choose from, several of which will fulfill General Education requirements. Students can choose any course in each of the three areas, totaling at least 6.0 credits. While some courses are cross-listed with the Climate Change Studies rubric, CCS, most must be found via their home departmental listing.

The Climate Change Studies minor is coordinated by a program director, program coordinator, and steering committee made up of faculty from each of the science, society and solutions areas. Students should review their course of study with the program coordinator, who will advise students on planning their course sequence, and will also sign their application for a minor.


The areas of study are:

Introductory Course:

Introduction to Climate Change: Science and Society, CCS 103X, 3 cr. Offered fall.

This course provides students with a comprehensive look at the major scientific and social dimensions of global climate change. The course is divided into three sections: Science, Society, and Solutions. The Science section, taught primarily by Steve Running, a lead author on the Nobel Prize winning IPCC Report, focuses on foundational climate change principles and ecosystem impacts. The Society section covers climate change ethics, policy, communications, denial, and other topics, taught by professors involved in the Climate Change Studies minor. The final section covers solutions, both adaptation and mitigation strategies, as well as social change processes. Students are challenged to build connections across these varied dimensions. The course counts for General Education credit in the global X perspective. It is open to all students and required for the Climate Change Studies minor. Honors section available.

Climate Change Science (natural and physical sciences)

The climate change science area introduces students to the basic processes by which the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and cryosphere interact to produce and respond to climatic change.

Students choose any six credits from the following courses: (see course descriptions here):

Climate Change and Society (social sciences and humanities)

The climate change and society area provides students with the opportunity to evaluate the social, political, economic, and ethical dimensions of climate change on the local, national, and international levels.

Students choose any six credits from the following courses: (see course descriptions here):

Climate Change Solutions (practical application)

The climate change solutions area creates opportunities for students to study and engage in solutions to global climate change. Course options range from studies of clean energy technology and sustainable business to internships and other applied coursework that engages students in solutions to climate change.
Students choose six credits from the following courses, with at least one course taken in category A, which requires practical application (see course descriptions here):

Category A

Category B