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Announcing a New Undergraduate Major: Climate System Science

view of the globe with data superimposed in colors

Image: NASA

Columbia University proudly announces its first climate science major. The ‘Climate System Science major’ launched in November 2022 in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, in partnership with the Columbia Climate School. A central goal of the new major is to attract a large and diverse pool of undergraduate students to address the critical needs of climate science, beginning with an education at Columbia and its new Climate School. These students will join an inclusive program that will prepare them as highly informed citizens and professionals in the rapidly growing and diversifying climate job market, from academia to Wall Street to Big Tech to the United Nations.

The Climate System Science major is designed for students who are interested in how the past, present, and future climate system works — and in creating solutions to the rapidly accelerating climate crisis. While building a fundamental science understanding of the climate system, Climate System Science majors will develop solution-oriented analytical thinking and expertise. The flexible course structure combines geology, physics, biology, chemistry and math with a core in climate-system science and additional electives focused on climate solutions, justice, policy and communications courses. Tracks like those in sea-level change, decarbonization, and modern climate link to the mission and applied centers of Columbia’s Climate School.

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