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Climate Change

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Climate change is the most pressing challenge we face. Climate change-related problems need to be understood and addressed by considering multiple interconnected systems and factors. This certificate program gives students an introduction to the causes and consequences of climate change as well as opportunities to explore potential solutions to climate change-related problems. 

Learning objectives


Gain exposure to natural and physical science principles of climate science and climate change causes, consequences, and solutions by taking SUSTAIN 101C.


Identify consequences of climate change on biological and social systems in a range of potential topic areas such as adaptation of built environment, disaster resilience, or health implications, by taking two elective courses.


Grapple with real climate issues through a project-based course. Apply knowledge and skills about climate science and from the students’ primary degree to complete a course-related project. 


You must complete the core course and 3 elective courses from the list below. 1 elective must be a project based course.

Reminder: All courses must be taken for at least 3 units. You cannot receive credit towards the program requirements for repeated courses or courses counted towards your graduate degree.

Core course

Elective courses

Course Title Project based
ANTHRO 203 The Archaeology of Climate  
CEE 172 Air Quality Management  
CEE 263C Weather and Storms ✔️
CEE 263D Air Pollution and Global Warming: History, Science and Solutions  
CEE 265I Poverty, Infrastructure and Climate ✔️
EARTHSYS 213 Hacking for Climate and Sustainability ✔️
EARTHSYS 217 Biology and Global Change  
ENERGY 203 Stanford Climate Ventures ✔️
ESS 185 Adaptation  
ESS 202 Scientific Basis of Climate Change  
ESS 213 Global Change and Emerging Infectious Disease  
ESS 223 Biosphere–Atmosphere Interactions  
ESS 246A Atmosphere, Ocean, and Climate Dynamics: the Atmospheric Circulation  
ESS 246B Atmosphere, Ocean, and Climate Dynamics: the Ocean Circulation  
ESS 271 Climate Models and Data  
HUMBIO 116 Climate Perspectives: Climate Science, Impacts, Policy, Negotiations, and Advocacy  
INTLPOL 271 Climate Politics: Science and Global Governance  
LAW 2513 Climate: Politics, Finance, and Infrastructure ✔️
LAW 2520 Climate Law and Policy  
MS&E 394 Advanced Methods in Modeling for Climate and Energy Policy  
POLISCI 111 The Politics of Climate Change  
SUSTAIN 210 Justice 40 Policy Lab ✔️
SUSTAIN 329 Policy Practicum: Smoke ✔️
SUSTAIN 332 Climate Tech for Rapid Decarbonization  

View Explore Courses for a current list of course offerings in this program