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. 

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 303N, 3 cr., Spring, online course (not offered in 2020)
  • Global Cycles and Climate: NRSM 408 (UG), 3 cr., Spring even years
  • Ecosystem Climatology: NRSM 418 (UG), 3 cr., Spring odd years 
  • Seminar in Paleoclimatology: GPHY 525, 3 cr., Fall intermittent *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: 

  • Intro to Ethics and the Environment;Honors: PHIL 112E, 80, 3 cr., Fall (not offered in 2020)
  • Climate Change Ethics & Policy: NRSM 349E, 3 cr., Fall
  • Communication, Consumption, & Climate: COMX 349, 3 cr., Spring
  • Public Policy Cycle and the Climate: PSCI 468, 3 cr., TBA
  • Climate & Society, NRSM 426, 3 cr., Fall odd years
  • International Environmental Economics & Climate Change: ECNS 445 (UG), 3 cr. (Prereq., ECNS 201S), Spring 2019, then intermittent
  • Society, Economy and Environment of the Mekong Delta: ENST 427/514,3 cr., May course 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
  • Environmental Citizenship/Service Learning: ENST 476, 3 cr., Spring (not offered in 2020)
Category B
  • Issues in Sustainability: BGEN 160S, 3 cr., Fall (class), Spring (online)
  • ST: Energy and Climate/Honors: ENST 391.80, 3 cr., Spring 2020
  • Sustainable Cities: GPHY 421, 3 cr., Spring even years
  • Sustainable Business Practices: BMGT 410, 3 cr., Fall
  • Sustainability Reporting: BGEN 445, 3 cr., Spring
  • Climate Change Effects and Adaptation in the Mekong Delta:ENST 427/514, 3 cr., May course 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

2019-2020 courses (pdf)

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.