Climate Change Studies


Minor in Climate Change Studies
College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)
School of Marine and Environmental Programs


Dr. Bethany Woodworth


Climate change promises to be one of the defining environmental and social problems of our lifetime, and the topic of climate change will grow ever more relevant as we move into the future. The interdisciplinary minor in Climate Change Studies is committed to educating tomorrow’s leaders in the science, impacts, and solutions to climate change. This interdisciplinary program of study seeks to engage students with an understanding of climate change from diverse perspectives — scientific, political, psychological, economic, and ethical dimensions of the problem and its solutions — and prepare them for a myriad of professions that directly or indirectly relate to understanding, combating, and adapting to climate change.

Minor Description

The interdisciplinary minor in Climate Change Studies engages students in understanding climate change from diverse perspectives, helping them examine scientific, political, psychological, economic, and ethical dimensions of the problem and its solutions. It prepares them for a myriad of professions that directly or indirectly relate to understanding, combating, and adapting to climate change.

Curricular Requirements

A student may minor in Climate Change Studies with the approval of the academic directory. To complete this minor, students are expected to successfully complete the following course of study, totaling nineteen (19) credits:

Program Required Courses Credits
ENV 208 – Climate Change: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions 3
PHY 218 – Energy and Climate Change 4
SOC 227 – Climate Change and Society 3
Total Required Course Credits 10
Choose One (1) Policy Electives** Credits
ENV 250 – Environmental Policy in Comparative Perspective 3
ENV 362 – Climate Change Adaptation: Planning and Policy 3
MAF 300 – Climate Change, Oceans, and Law 3
MAR 316 – Science and Society 3
PSC 201 – Introduction to International Relations 3
PSC 205 – Introduction to Politics and Environment 3
PSC 306 – Environmental Politics 3
Total Policy Elective credits 3
Choose One (1) Natural Sciences Electives** Credits
ENV 318/318L – Advanced Field Methods in Avian Ecology and Conservation with Lab 4
ENV 328 – Environmental Pollution: Ecosystems, Wildlife, and Human Health 3
BIO 235/235L – Winter Natural History with Lab 4
BIO 413 – Global Change Ecology 3
BIO 422/422L – Coral Reefs with Lab 4
MAF 200 – Introduction to Marine Pollution 3
MAR 270/270L – Oceanography with Lab 4
MAR 436/436L – Natural History of Iceland with Lab 4
MAR 368 – Advanced Oceanography II: Physical and Chemical Oceanography 3
MAR 460 – The Scientific Basis for Global Climate Change 3
MAR 464 – Polar Biology 3
Total Natural Sciences Elective credits 3
Choose One (1) Social Sciences and Humanities Electives** Credits
BUEC 390 – Environmental Economics 3
BUEC 395 – Ecological Economics 3
ENV 321 – Environmental Communication: Expert Practices for Environmental Management 3
ENV 328 – Environmental Pollution: Ecosystems, Wildlife, and Human Health 3
ENV 340 – Environmental Movements and Social Change 3
ENV 344 – Environmental Ethics 3
PHI 202 – Ethics of Science and Technology 3
PHI 330 – Environmental Philosophy 3
SOC 210 – Displaced Cultures and Society 3
SOC 320 – Community Organization 3
SOC 226 – Environmental Sociology 3
SOC 265 – Social Issues/Problems Global World 3
SOC 377 – International Development 3
Total Social Sciences and Humanities Elective credits 3
Total Credits 19-20

*Course Designators vary by major and include but are not limited to ENV 295/495, PSY 300/400, PSC 411, SOC 300/400, SPT 395.

**Internship Opportunities (Optional): Internships may substitute for one of the above elective courses, subject to advisor and internship coordinator approval. The internship must deal explicitly with some aspect of climate change science, mitigation, or adaptation.

Learning Outcomes

  • Evaluate the issues and conflicts surrounding climate change from multiple perspectives, including scientific, geographic, political, economic, sociological, psychological, ethical, and cultural perspectives
  • Explain and quantify the impacts of climate change on human well-being and the natural world
  • Think critically about the uneven distribution of climate change responsibility, impacts, vulnerability, adaptive capacity, and political power across individuals, societies, generations, and species;
  • Identify options for preventing further climate change (mitigation) and reducing impacts of change on human and natural systems (adaptation)
  • Analyze and critique policy issues related to global warming
  • Apply a practical understanding of climate change impacts, mitigation, and adaptation to their professional work

Transfer Credit

Courses completed at another accredited college can be transferred to this degree program. Transferred courses must be reasonably close in scope and content to the required courses offered at UNE in order to count as exact equivalents. Otherwise, they may transfer as general electives.

All courses completed must be no older than five years. 

Other restrictions apply.

See Undergraduate Admissions for more information.


The minor in Climate Change Studies is open to all undergraduate students at the University of New England. Permission from the student’s advisor and the Climate Change Studies coordinator is required to enroll.

Financial Information

Tuition and fees

Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.

Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog

This Catalog documents the academic programs, policies, and activities of the University of New England for the 2023–2024 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of the date of publication April 28, 2023.

The University of New England reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in its programs, calendar, or academic schedule whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable, including changes in course content, the rescheduling of classes with or without extending the academic term, canceling of scheduled classes or other academic activities, in any such case giving such notice thereof as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances.

While each student may work closely with an academic advisor, he or she must retain individual responsibility for meeting requirements in this catalog and for being aware of any changes in provisions or requirements.