2021-2022

Climate Change, Minor

School of Earth and Sustainability

College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and understanding the science, and potential impacts of a changing climate is crucial for being an informed citizen. You will study the basic science behind climate change, including the role that both natural processes and humans have played in shaping Earth’s climate system. Through the courses in this minor, you will gain a more holistic understanding of the complexity of climate change so that you can be a more informed citizen and better understand the environmental and social challenges that may arise from a changing climate system.

  • A minor is earned in conjunction with a bachelor's degree.

    To receive a minor (18 to 24 units) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject matter areas with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. At least 12 units of the minor must be unique to that minor and not applied to any other minor.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Please note that students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

No more than 50% of the units used to satisfy minor requirements may be used to satisfy major requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 21 - 23
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 226
Some online/blended coursework Required

Purpose Statement

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Having a basic understanding of climate change and the potential impacts of a changing climate is crucial for being an informed citizen and empowering effective social engagement. This includes identifying effective and sustainable strategies to both mitigate and adapt to a changing climate system.

You will study the basic science necessary to understand climate change, including the role that both natural processes and humans have played in shaping Earth’s climate system. You will interact with full-time professors who have expertise in various aspects of climate change ranging from paleoclimatology, future changes in climate, atmospheric sciences, carbon cycling, energy policy, sustainability, and the social and political factors that shape how society understands and responds to climate change. By completing this minor, you will gain a more holistic understanding of the complexity of climate change so that you can be a more informed citizen, effect change through social engagement, and better understand the environmental and social problems that arise from a changing climate system. This minor will better prepare you for a career in research, industry, education, government, or public service.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Describe how Earth’s climate system has and will change in response to both natural and human factors.
  • Identify the basic principles of sustainability and the role of humans in environmental systems.
  • Examine the social, political, and/or cultural factors that shape how society understands and responds to climate change.

Minor Requirements
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.