Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Climate and Society program. For questions about admissions, please see the Admissions FAQ

Climate and Society FAQ

The MA in Climate and Society is the inaugural education program of the Columbia Climate School, which graduated its first class in 2022.

The program requires 12 months (3 semesters) of full-time study. It begins in September and ends in August. See below about part-time study.

Applicants may submit a request to complete the program part-time.

Climate and Society is designed to be completed in-person at Columbia University. Students are permitted to attend the summer course remotely if their internship is located outside of New York City. 

Yes, the MA in Climate and Society is a STEM-designated program. The STEM designation offers an additional benefit by allowing students in F-1 status to apply to extend their 12-month optional practical training (OPT) by an additional 24 months. 


Broadly speaking, our students typically come from the earth, natural and social sciences. Students from non-traditional backgrounds such as music, architecture and photography have also successfully completed the program. People from those backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

See our alumni and employer pages for details. 

Climate and Society is not affiliated with any PhD program and does not guarantee admission to a PhD program. Approximately 30% of graduates, however, go on to PhD, law or other graduate studies within three years of graduating. 

The MA in Climate and Society degree is awarded by Columbia Climate School.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Senior Director of Admissions, Alfred Ayoub at [email protected]