Climate and Society

Program Category: MA Programs
Director of Graduate Studies: Ben Orlove and Mingfang Ting
Degree Programs: Full time: Free-Standing MA

The MA in Climate and Society is offered by the Columbia Climate School in partnership with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. It is a 12-month interdisciplinary program that trains professionals and academics to understand and address the impacts of climate variability and climate change on society and the environment. 

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.

The program in Climate and Society is designed so that students from all academic backgrounds can succeed. Broadly speaking, students’ academic backgrounds are split evenly between the earth sciences, social sciences, and natural sciences.

Special Admissions Requirements

In addition to the requirements listed below, all students must submit a transcript showing courses and grades per school attended, a statement of academic purpose, and three letters of evaluation from academic sources.

All international students whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate degree is from an institution in a country whose official language is not English, must submit scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS.

For more information, refer to our Admissions Information and Frequently Asked Questions pages.


Some undergraduate-level coursework on climate or a related topic is preferred, along with some previous social science courses or experience in policy and administration, knowledge of calculus, and undergraduate-level courses in introductory statistics or data analysis. A list of your undergraduate science courses must be included with the application.

To be considered for financial support, please submit your application by the priority deadline date. Applications submitted by the priority deadline will receive a decision by the end of March. Applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis.