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Degree Requirements

Climate Change Studies is an interdisciplinary minor program open to all majors. The Climate Change Studies minor requires students to complete 21 total credits: a three-credit interdisciplinary, team-taught introductory course and 6 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 UM General Education requirements. Students can choose any course in each of the three areas, totaling at least six credits. While some courses are cross-listed with the Climate Change Studies rubric, CCS, most must be found via their home departmental listing.

Introductory Course

Introduction to Climate Change: Science and Society, CCS 103X, 3 cr, Fall semester
This is an introductory and foundational course on the scientific and social dimensions of global climate change. The course provides students with a breadth of knowledge that builds connections across the scientific, social, political, and technolgical dimensions of this complex global issue. This 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.

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:

  • Science of Climate Change: NRSM 291, 3 cr, Fall
  • Weather and Climate: ERTH 303N, 3 cr, Spring, online course
  • Global Cycles and the Climate: NRSM 408 (UG), 3 cr, Spring even years
  • Ecosystem Climatology: NRSM 418 (UG), 3 cr, Spring odd years
  • Global Change: GEO 482 (UG), 3 cr requires solid background in geology, physics, math, and chemistry, Spring intermittent

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 at the local, national, and international levels. Students choose any six credits from the following courses: 

  • Climate Change Ethics & Policy: NRSM 449E (UG), 3 cr, Fall
  • Communication, Consumption, & Climate: COMM 379, 3 cr, Spring (not 2015)
  • ST-Climate and Clean Energy Policy, ENST 367/CCS 395, 3 cr, Spring intermittent
  • Sustainable Cities: GPHY 421, 3 cr, Spring (can count for Solutions area, not both)
  • Climate & Society, NRSM 426, 3 cr, Spring odd years
  • International Environmental Economics & Climate Change: ECNS 445 (UG), 3 cr (Prereq., ECNS 201S), Fall even years
  • Sustainable Climate Policies: China & the US: PSCI 324, 3 cr, Summer first session
  • Society, Economy and Environment of the Mekong Delta: Wintersession in Vietnam: NRSM 391, 3 cr, Wintersession (part of a 6-credit course)

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:

Category A
  • Climate Change Internship: CCS 398, 2-4 cr, Spring, arrange
  • Climate Change Practicum: CCS 391, 2-4 cr, Spring or fall, arrange
  • Energy Internship: NRGY 298, 2 cr, Spring or Fall, arrange
  • Environmental Citizenship: ENST 476, 3 cr, Spring
Category B
  • Intro to Sustainable Energy II: NRGY 102, 3 cr, Spring
  • Issues in Sustainability: BGEN 160S, 3 cr, Fall, Spring
  • Sustainable Business Practices: BMGT 410, 3 cr, Fall
  • Sustainability Reporting: BGEN 445, 3 cr, Spring
  • Sustainable Cities: GPHY 421, 3 cr, Spring
  • Energy Practicum: NRGY 195, 2 cr, Summer
  • Climate Change Field Studies: CCS 352, 3 cr, Summer
  • Climate Change Effects and Adaptation in the Mekong Delta: Wintersession in Vietnam: NRSM 395, 3 cr (part of a 6-credit course)
  • Cycle the Rockies: Energy and Climate Change in Montana: NRSM 321, 3 cr and ENST 311, 3cr, Summer

Climate Change Studies program overview (pdf) 
View requirements for the climate change studies minor in the UM catalog 

Climate Change Studies Advising

Students interested in the Climate Change Studies minor should see Nicky Phear, Program Coordinator, to learn about course options and for help with a curricular plan. If you plan to enroll in the minor, you must fill out a registration form with Nicky. See the advising page for contact information and upcoming courses.