Jul 20, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog 
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Climate Change Minor

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study

Department of Environmental Studies, College of the Environment

20 credits


Climate Change is one of the most serious crises of our time. Human activities have drastically altered Earth’s atmosphere and climate, leading to cascading effects on ecosystems, water resources, and human health and wellbeing across our planet. These changes will continue into the foreseeable future, but what the future looks like will depend on the decisions human societies make now and in coming years.

The Climate Change Minor provides an interdisciplinary, holistic survey of the biophysical and societal causes and effects of climate change and the pathways we can take to mitigate and adapt to climate change. This degree draws on coursework from the social sciences, humanities, and physical and life sciences to help students understand climate change through multiple disciplinary perspectives.

Why Consider a Climate Change Minor?

What will our future climate look like at the end of the century? Why is climate change occurring? What effects will it have on both natural biophysical systems and human communities? What can we do to reduce the severity of future climatic changes through mitigation and adaptation? To answer these questions, we need to be familiar with the climate science, ecological, policy, economic, psychological, technological, and cultural dimensions of climate change. If you want to help find the answers to these questions, the Climate Change Minor will be an important part of your education.

The Climate Change Minor’s flexible and interdisciplinary curriculum prepares students to combine and synthesize knowledge from multiple fields of study. Because climate change will affect so many aspects of society throughout the 21st century, this minor will be a valuable addition for students pursuing numerous different careers. Students from all majors are welcome to join this minor. 

 Contact Information

Department Chair
Rebekah Paci-Green
Arntzen Hall 206

College of the Environment
Professional Advisor

Kathryn Patrick
Environmental Studies 539

 Sample Careers

A background in climate change will be valuable in numerous careers working with non-profits, government agencies, and private businesses in fields such as environmental policy, science, regulation, law, justice, health, conservation, and restoration. Sample careers include: Climate Policy Analyst | Environmental Analyst | Environmental Advocate | Natural Resource Manager | Educator

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

To declare a minor, set up an appointment with a professional adviser on our Undergrad Academic Advising website cenv.wwu.edu/academic-advising, by visiting the College of the Environment Student Support office in Environmental Studies Building 539, or by calling 360-650-3520.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.


Admission to the Climate Change Minor does not guarantee registration priority for classes in the minor. Prerequisites and major restrictions may restrict access to some classes. Students should work with their academic advisor to create an individualized plan of study.

Core Courses (4 credits)

Electives (6-10 credits)

Select additional courses from the Climate Science and Climate and Society course lists above to bring your total minor credits to a minimum of 20. Additional courses, including temporary and special topics class, may be used with faculty advisor approval. Please keep an eye on our program web site (wp.wwu.edu/ClimateChangeMinor) for new class suggestions.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study