Climate Studies (BS)

This program is highly interdisciplinary and designed to address the increasing interest in dealing with the problem of climate change. Students will gain a foundation in climate science, technical and communication skills, and have high flexibility in following one or more interdisciplinary focus areas (in art, business, communication, public policy, geographic information systems and mapping, or go deeper into a variety of science possibilities). The problem of climate change goes well beyond basic science and in order to appropriately solve current and future problems caused by its effects, a highly interdisciplinary approach and experts with many different types of skills are needed. A wide variety of these areas of expertise exist at Plymouth State and this program uses them to prepare professionals that can address one or more of the many needs related to studying, educating people about, planning for, regulating, adapting to, and dealing with climate change and its many effects, by building on the students’ own interests and skills.

Course Title Credits
Major Requirements
CLM 1000Introductory Climate Studies Seminar1
MT 2000Fundamentals of Meteorology and Climatology (GACO)3
ESP 2110Introduction to Environmental Science and Policy II4
ESP 3201Energy and Society4
ESP 3326Climate, Risk, and Adaptation (GACO)3
CM 3095Technical Communication (TECO,WRCO)4
CLM 4000Climate Studies Capstone Project2
ESP 4441Climate Change3
Math and Technical Skills
MA 2300Statistics I (QRCO)3
MA 2130Precalculus (QRCO)4
or MA 2550 Calculus I (QRCO)
Take one of the following:3-4
GIS I: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (QRCO,TECO)
Computing Fundamentals (TECO)
Introduction to Programming
Interdisciplinary Focus Areas
Take three lower-level (1000/2000) courses and take five upper-level (3000/4000) courses 1,224-32
Communication Focus
Studies in Communication and Media (TECO)
Intercultural Communication
Strategic Communication
Public Speaking
Media and Cultural Studies (TECO)
Communication and Leadership
Professional Social Media
Global Perspectives in the Media (GACO)
Journalism in the Digital Age (TECO,WRCO)
Environmental Humanities (WRCO)
Career Launch: Tell Your Story
Foreign Language 1000/2000 3
Foreign Language 3000/4000 3
Science Focus
Biological Science I (TECO)
Biological Science II
General Chemistry I (QRCO)
General Chemistry II
Introduction to Environmental Science and Policy I
Introduction to Weather Analysis and Forecasting
College Physics I
College Physics II
University Physics I
University Physics II
Conservation (DICO,GACO,INCO)
Freshwater Ecology
Plant Diversity & Evolution
Environmental Geology (TECO)
Environment and Health (WECO)
Advanced Conservation Ecology
Instruments and Observations in Meteorology
Air Quality
Geographic Information System and Mapping Focus
GIS II: Advanced Geographic Information Systems
Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing
Geospatial Technology Applications
GIS Programming
Public Policy and Planning Focus
World Politics (GACO)
Community Planning
Foundations of Environmental Policy (WRCO)
American Government
Public Administration (DICO)
Comparative Politics and Government
Environmental Planning
Introduction to Permaculture
Model United Nations (GACO,INCO)
Sustainability in Residences
Decision Making in Environmental Management
Economic Geography
Political Analysis and Policy (WRCO)
Sustainability in Practice (WECO)
Art Focus
Art Foundations 2D: Composition and Content
Art Foundations 3D: Design and Meaning
Art Foundations Drawing: Line and Language
Photography I
Painting: Process Exploration
Printmaking: Cut, Carve, Etch
Printmaking: Silkscreen and Alternative Processes
Art and Sustainability
Business Focus
Foundations of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Business Statistics (QRCO)
Business, Ethics, and Society
Introduction to Marketing and Sales
Social Entrepreneurship
Business and the Environment
Introduction to Ecological Economics
General Education Requirements
EN 1400Composition4
IS 1115Tackling a Wicked Problem4
CTDICreative Thought Direction3-4
PPDIPast and Present Direction3-4
SIDIScientific Inquiry Direction3-4
SSDISelf and Society Direction3-4
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI, SIDI, SSDI) 44-8
DICODiversity Connection3-4
WECOWellness Connection3-4
INCPIntegrated Capstone4
Total Credits120

Students can go deep into one or two interdisciplinary focus areas or sample from various disciplines as long as they take at least three low level courses and five upper level courses. Students must keep in mind when planning their courses, that many of them have prerequisites (included in the required or optional courses). Students can take more than the minimum number of courses to follow their interests using their free electives and/or consider appropriate minors or certificates or a second major that might also use some of these courses.


Besides fulfilling the Interdisciplinary Focus requirement, the courses below can be used to aid in completing one or more minors or certificates. Possible minors of interest: Anthropology/Sociology, Applied Ethics, Art, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Computing, Digital Media Design and Development, Economics, Expository Writing, Geography, Graphic Design, Marketing, Mathematics, Media Studies, Peace & Social Justice, Political Science, Professional Communication, and Sustainability. Possible certificates of interest: Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Transformative Innovation & Design entrepreneurship (TIDE).


Students with previous experience in a language must take a placement exam to determine the appropriate level course in which they should register. Otherwise students can start with the Spanish (SP 1011) or French (FR 1011) Language and Culture Studies I course. We recommend that those interested in taking a foreign language as a communication focus area choose to take more courses in the same language with the ultimate goal of effective communication in such language.


Directions should total 20 credits (unless the major has a waiver for a specific Direction).

Check all course descriptions for prerequisites before planning course schedule. Course sequence is suggested but not required.

To complete the bachelor’s degree in 4 years, you must successfully complete a minimum of 15 credits each semester or have a plan to make up credits over the course of the 4 years.  For example, if you take 14 credits one semester, you need to take 16 credits in another semester.  Credits completed must count toward your program requirements (major, option, minor, certificate, general education or free electives)

Plan of Study Grid
Year OneCredits
CLM 1000 Introductory Climate Studies Seminar 1
MT 2000 Fundamentals of Meteorology and Climatology (GACO) 3
ESP 2110 Introduction to Environmental Science and Policy II 4
MA 2300 Statistics I (QRCO) 3
IS 1115 Tackling a Wicked Problem 4
EN 1400 Composition 4
CTDICreative Thought Direction 3-4
PPDIPast and Present Direction 3-4
SSDISelf and Society Direction 3-4
Year Two
ESP 3201 Energy and Society 4
ESP 3326 Climate, Risk, and Adaptation (GACO) 3
MA 2130
Precalculus (QRCO)
or Calculus I (QRCO)
Take one of the following: 3-4
GIS I: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (QRCO,TECO)
Computing Fundamentals (TECO)
Introduction to Programming
Interdisciplinary Focus - Lower Level (3 courses) 9-12
SIDIScientific Inquiry Direction 3-4
Elective 3-4
Years Three and Four
CM 3095 Technical Communication (TECO,WRCO) 4
ESP 4441 Climate Change 3
Interdisciplinary Focus Upper Level (5 courses) 15-20
CLM 4000 Climate Studies Capstone Project 2
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI, SIDI, SSDI) 4-8
WECOWellness Connection 3-4
DICODiversity Connection 3-4
INCPIntegrated Capstone 4
Electives 11-21
 Total Credits120
During the completion of their B.S. Climate Studies degree, our students will be introduced to, practice, develop, and should be able to demonstrate competency at the completion of their program in the following four areas:
SLO 1 – Climate-system Knowledge
  • Knowledge and applications of climate science
  • Earth’s systems and the role of climate within these systems
  • Historical, current and predicted future status of Earth’s climate
  • Methods of climate research, research design, data collection, and data handling
SLO 2 – Climate Impacts Knowledge
  • Effects, hazards, consequences within and between science and social disciplines and societal sectors
SLO 3 – Effective Climate Communication
  • Technical oral and written communication of climate information
  • Public oral and written communication of climate information
SLO 4 – Climate Evidence and Source Evaluation
  • Use and assessment of climate-related information
  • Promotion and practice of science-based decision-making
SLO 5 – Interdisciplinary Integration of Climate with Other Disciplines
  • Application of climate and interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to an appropriate capstone project

The career possibilities are many, and include the fields of climate communication/public education, emergency management, conservation, public policy, science journalism, formal education, planning, and a variety of different types of private industry and government jobs working in the various aspects of the climate problem.

There are likely future career possibilities that we cannot foresee at the moment, and because of that, graduating students with a strong foundation of knowledge and skills, who can adapt and learn new tools and follow new paths, is of great importance.