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Program in Climate and Society Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Columbia University

  • New York, NY
  • Private
  • Urban
  • 51%49%
    student ratio
  • Not Reported
    total students
  • Not Reported
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition
  • Not Reported
    fall application deadline
  • Not Reported
    acceptance rate
  • 1 Degree
    degrees offered


Columbia University in New York City

Established in 1754, the esteemed Columbia University began in a schoolhouse -- with 8 students -- in lower Manhattan in New York City. Today it is a leading academic and research institution that conducts "pathbreaking" research in medicine, science, the arts, and the humanities and sponsors research expenditures of approximately $850 million annually.

With a main campus in New York City, New York, the university has 4 additional campuses (3 in the state of New York and 1 in Paris, France) and is the academic home to more than 3,500 full-time instructional employees and over 25,000 students who hail from over 150 countries.

Many "Columbians" including alumni, faculty, researchers, and administrators have become distinguished professionals, scientists, statesmen, and authors. In fact, 79 of them have been awarded the Nobel Prize at some point in their careers.

Rankings for Columbia University

Because of its outstanding academic programs and dedication to conducting groundbreaking research, Columbia University ranks at 8 among the 2010 Best Colleges identified by "U.S. News and World Report."

In addition, the Princeton Review rates the university as one of the best colleges in the northeastern region of the United States.

Master of Arts Program in Climate and Society

The Master of Arts Program in Program in Climate and Society at Columbia University educates professionals and academics about the impact of climate change on the environment and society. This rigorous, 12-month, full-time program emphasizes the problems that developing societies face in dealing with climate change.

Drawing upon Columbia's outstanding educational and research facilities, the program's curriculum integrates aspects of established programs in earth sciences, earth engineering, international relations, political science, sociology, and economics with unique interdisciplinary classes specifically designed for its students.

This highly specialized program attracts an "extremely qualified" pool of applicants. It is quite competitive and only admits 30 to-- 40 individuals each year, which is fewer than half of the applicants. A diverse program, its students come from around the world including Australia, Bolivia, Cameroon, Canada, China, Colombia, Ghana, India, Lesotho, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, the United States, and Zimbabwe.

Alumni Achievements

Students gain a thorough understanding of the links between climate and society and develop a body of knowledge about the social and natural sciences. Therefore, they graduate from the program prepared to address environmental issues and secure positions in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

For instance, one graduate secured an administrative position at Columbia's Center for Research on Environmental Decisions. Another alumnus teaches earth sciences to high school students and one of his peers became an early warning forecast team leader at the National Meteorological Services Agency of Ethiopia.

Many other graduates are pursuing Ph.D. degrees in social and natural sciences.

Master of Arts in Climate and Society

The M.A. in Climate and Society is an intensive, 12-month, cohort program that includes fall, spring, and summer semesters. It requires 34 credits to graduate.

Because the program aims to provide students with a common set of skills and shared professional knowledge, it includes a significant component of core courses.

Students work with their academic advisers to choose the elective courses that will best fit their academic and professional goals.

The Core Curriculum

The program's core courses include dynamics of climate variability and change; regional dynamics climate and climate impacts; quantitative models of climate-sensitive natural and human systems; and the Integrative Seminar: "Managing Climate Variability and Adapting to Climate Change."

During the summer semester, students participate in a professional development seminar and complete a research internship, policy internship, or thesis report.

Faculty Members

The program's faculty members -- including Mingfang Ting -- are top researchers in the fields of climate change, climate prediction, and earth and atmospheric sciences. In fact, they have a high-level of experience training policy and decision makers, educators, and private-sector professionals.

Dr. Ting, who is also associate director of the program, has taught a range of undergraduate and graduate courses in atmospheric sciences. One of her primary research interests focuses on the dynamics of drought and flood circulation due to both natural and anthropogenic causes.

Her colleague, Dr. Douglas Martinson, is a senior research scientist at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He is also coauthor of "Future of Arctic Sea Ice Cover: Implications of an Antarctic Analog," which was published in Geophysical Research Letters in 2001.

Affiliated Research Institutes, Departments, and Schools

An interdisciplinary educational program, the M.A. in Climate and Society relies upon a group of experts, researchers, and teachers who are well-versed in a wide-range of fields.

The program draws from the resources of several research institutes, departments, and schools including Columbia's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and School of International and Public Affairs as well as NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences works with Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. These entities are well-known for their innovative problem-solving techniques and unique geological and climatological archives.

School of International and Public Affairs

The School of International and Public Affairs offers graduate programs that prepare individuals for the important tasks of improving social services, advocating for human rights, strengthening markets, and protecting the environment in both domestic and international arenas.

NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies

NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which is located at Columbia University, works to understand how natural and man-made activities affect the global environment.

One of its key objectives is to predict atmospheric and climate changes in the 21st century.

"Pathbreaking" Work on Climate and Society

A "pathbreaking" program, Columbia University's Master of Arts in Climate and Society helps individuals acquire the expertise -- in social science, climate science, and public policy -- needed to help policy and decision makers address the social and environmental impacts of climate change on society.

Location & Contact

Program in Climate and Society

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Columbia University

116th Street and Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Mark Cane

Contact school now

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Sustainable Development Master of Arts (MA)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Not reported
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Not reported
    • Distance learning programs available? Not reported
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied Not Reported
    • Accepted Not Reported
    • Acceptance Rate Not Reported
    • Enrolled Not Reported
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $90
    • Application Fee - International $90
    • Electronic applications accepted? Not Reported
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesNot Reported
    • Doctoral's DegreesNot Reported
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesNot Reported


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total FacultyNot Reported
    • Full-time PercentageNot Reported
    • Part-time PercentageNot Reported
    • Female Percentage-2147483548%
    • Male Percentage-2147483648%




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