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.

CCS Courses

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, psychological, 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.

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 (each 3 credits unless otherwise specified):

  • Science of Climate Change: NRSM 281
  • Weather and Climate: ERTH 303N
  • Soil, Water and Climate: NRSM 210N
  • Global Cycles and Climate: NRSM 408 (UG)
  • Ecosystem Climatology: NRSM 418 (UG)
  • Seminar in Paleoclimatology: GPHY 525 *Open to seniors
  • Earth's Changing Climate: GEOS 318
  • Snow, Ice, and Climate: GEOS 488
  • Climate Sensitivity Analysis: GEOS 568

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
  • Climate Change Ethics & Policy: NRSM 349E
  • Communication, Consumption, & Climate: COMX 349
  • Climate & Society, NRSM 426
  • International Environmental Economics & Climate Change: ECNS 445 (Prereq., ECNS 201S)
  • Environmental Ethics: Global Climate Change & Visions for a Sustainable Future (Wild Rockies Field Institute): PHIL 323
  • Society, Economy and Environment of the Mekong Delta: ENST 427/514: May course in Vietnam (part of a 6-credit course), co-convenes with ENST 437/516
  • Literature and Climate Change: LIT 491
  • Petromodernity: LIT 491
  • Climate Policy: NRSM 428
  • Regulatory Process: PUAD 595 (by permission from instructor)
  • Policy Analysis: PUAD 503 (by permission from instructor)
  • Climate Change and Media: JRNL 291
  • Climate Change Policy: China and the USA: PSCI 428
  • Ecomusicology: HONR 391 (may also count towards Solutions)

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., arrange with instructor
  • Climate Change Practicum: CCS 395, 2-4 cr., arrange with instructor
  • Community Sustainability in Practice: ENST 476
  • Climate Solutions: CCS 391
Category B
  • Issues in Sustainability: BGEN 160S
  • Energy and Climate/Honors: CCS 391
  • Sustainable Cities: GPHY 421
  • Sustainable Business Practices: BMGT 410
  • Sustainability Reporting: BGEN 445
  • Climate Change Effects and Adaptation in the Mekong Delta:ENST 427/514, 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
  • Human Health and Climate Change: AHHS 495 (Includes virtual exchange), 1-3 cr.
  • Biomimicry: HONR 391
  • Soil-to-Soil: Food and Climate: HONR 391