About the Online Certificate in Climate Change
Climate change represents one of the most controversial and least understood threats to human, economic and environmental well-being on a global scale. The study of climate change offers an opportunity to develop the skills and effective policies to reduce risk and better adapt to a changing environment. In this 4-course, 4 c.u. certificate you gain an understanding of the Earth’s climate system and how and why it has changed over time. Within the disciplines of oceanic and atmospheric science, you focus on the mechanisms that drive climate change, both natural and the result of human actions. You also develop the communication skills to more effectively share an understanding of climate change and its relevant policy implications with a broad audience.
Penn LPS Online courses in the Certificate in Climate Change are offered on an accelerated (8-week) schedule. Courses in the online certificate program are largely asynchronous with some optional synchronous sessions to be scheduled by the instructors.
You have the option to enroll in individual courses without committing to the entire online certificate, enjoying the flexibility and expertise offered by Penn LPS Online to suit your schedule and interests. Visit the Cost of Attendance page for course tuition and fee rates.
*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.
The Certificate in Climate Change prepares you to:
- Reconstruct the history and scales of climate changes
- Learn basic atmospheric and ocean dynamics to understand fundamental climatic processes and future changes
- Examine the mechanisms that act to drive climate change
- Analyze long-term natural climate variability on a global and regional scale
- Understand the importance of natural environmental change as a benchmark against which to assess human impacts, recent climate change, and future environmental change
- Deepen insights into methods of scientific inquiry
- Refine communication skills to effectively share an understanding of climate change, with a focus on both science and policy implications
Students must complete CLCH 1600: Oceanography plus any three additional climate change courses from the list below to earn a Certificate in Climate Change. Although it is recommended that students take CLCH 1600: Oceanography first, students can start with any course and take them in any order.
- CLCH 1600: Oceanography
- CLCH 2100: Introduction to Disaster Management
- CLCH 2200: Atmospheric Science
- CLCH 2300: Climate Change
- CLCH 3000: Communicating Science
- CLCH 3100: Global Environmental Issues
Courses are subject to change.
Meet the Faculty
- Associate Director, Undergraduate Programs in Earth and Environmental Science
- Director, Professional Master's Programs in Earth and Environmental Science
- Senior lecturer, Earth and Environmental Science
Careers related to Climate Change
Acquiring the skills to understand, prepare, and mitigate the consequences of climate change is important in many career areas, including environmental research and science, sustainability, land management, state and local community planning, and policy-making at all levels of government. Climate change also impacts many businesses on a global scale, requiring a nuanced understanding of the challenges ahead. Career options include:
- Environmental specialist
- Environmental protection technician
- Natural science manager
- Climate scientist