Curriculum at a Glance

Climate and Society is a 12-month interdisciplinary MA program. A set of tailor-made core courses provide a scientific basis for inquiry. They stress interdisciplinary problem solving for how to address the climate crisis. Elective courses allow students to apply their climate knowledge to other subject matters and tailor the program to their interests.

Students start as a cohort in the fall, attend classes full-time during the fall and spring semesters and complete an internship or a capstone and coursework over the summer.

Course of Study

+One elective must be a social science course

*Students complete the Summer Internship or the Capstone Workshop

Students in the MA in Climate and Society must complete a minimum of 34 graduate-level credits for a letter grade and maintain an overall 3.0 GPA to graduate. In addition, students must achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0 across the core courses. The core courses are:

In addition to the core courses, our students must take a minimum of four graduate-level elective courses for a letter grade for a total of 12 elective credits. Any graduate-level course at Columbia can count as an elective, but at least one elective course must be taken in the social sciences. Courses taken pass-fail or for R credit will not count toward the degree.

During the summer semester, our students complete an internship or a capstone workshop for academic credit in addition to coursework. Internships can be completed domestically or abroad and must be relevant to the intersection of climate and society. Students must complete a minimum of 210 internship hours.

Students can monitor their progress with a curriculum worksheet. Students must complete one residence unit in the fall, one residence unit in the spring, and an extended residence unit in the summer.

Degrees for the MA in Climate and Society are awarded in October.