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.

Program overview

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 technological dimensions of this complex global issue. This course counts for General Education credit in the “X” perspective. It is open to all students and required for the Climate Change Studies minor. There is also a section for Honors students.

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 281, 3 cr., Fall
  • Weather and Climate: ERTH/CCS 303N, 3 cr., Spring, online course
  • Global Cycles and Climate: NRSM/CCS 408 (UG), 3 cr., Spring even years
  • Ecosystem Climatology: NRSM/CCS 418 (UG), 3 cr., Spring odd years (not in 2017)
  • Seminar in Paleoclimatology: GPHY 525, 3 cr., Fall odd years *Open to seniors

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: COMX/CCS 379, 3 cr., Spring
  • Public Policy Cycle and the Climate: PSCI 468, 3 cr., Fall 2017, then spring odd years
  • Climate & Society, NRSM 426, 3 cr., Spring even years
  • International Environmental Economics & Climate Change: ECNS/CCS 445 (UG), 3 cr. (Prereq., ECNS 201S), Fall even years
  • Society, Economy and Environment of the Mekong Delta: ENST 427/514, 3 cr., Wintersession in Vietnam (part of a 6-credit course), co-convenes with ENST 437/516

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/Service Learning: CCS 398, 2-4 cr., Spring, arrange
  • Climate Change Practicum: CCS 395, 2-4 cr., Spring or fall, arrange
  • Energy Practicum: NRGY 195, 2 cr., Summer mid-June, 10 days
  • Environmental Citizenship/Service Learning: ENST/CCS 476, 3 cr., Spring
Category B
  • Issues in Sustainability: BGEN/CCS 160S, 3 cr., Fall (class), Spring (online)
  • Sustainable Cities: GPHY/CCS 421, 3 cr., Spring, even
  • Energy and Climate/Honors: ENST 291, 3 cr., Spring 2017
  • Sustainable Business Practices: BMGT 410, 3 cr., Fall
  • Sustainability Reporting: BGEN 445, 3 cr., Spring
  • Energy Internship: NRGY 298, 2 cr., Spring or Fall; arrange
  • Climate Change Effects and Adaptation in the Mekong Delta: ENST 427/514, 3 cr., Wintersession in Vietnam (part of a 6-credit course), co-convenes with ENST 437/516
  • Cycle the Rockies: Energy and Climate Change in Montana: NRSM 321, 3 cr and ENST 311, 3cr, Summer

2018 courses

Download program overview (pdf)

View requirements in UM catalog

Students interested in the Climate Change Studies minor should see Nicky Phear, Program Director, 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.