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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 and a letter grade. You cannot receive credit towards the program requirements for repeated courses or courses counted towards your graduate degree.

Core course

Elective courses

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

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