Student Experience

Climate and Society is an intimate program that fosters collaboration among students. With a single cohort admitted each year, students from a wide variety of backgrounds work closely together to understand the societal impacts of climate change from an interdisciplinary perspective. 

The program's core curriculum includes a mix of teaching approaches including lectures, labs, seminars, field trips and hands-on experience. Professional development is woven through the spring and summer semesters to help prepare students for both their internships and professional careers.  

Our faculty is comprised of experts in their respective fields. Faculty members are invested in students success and work closely with them during the academic year and summer internship period. Climate and Society students are assigned a faculty member as an academic advisor when they begin the program. As students progress in the program and their interests become more defined, we encourage them to approach any faculty member for guidance and mentorship. 

In addition to coursework, our students have the opportunity to work with the Columbia research community through graduate research assistantships (GRAs) in the fall and spring semesters. These competitive positions require 6-8 hours of work per week on average and pay $2,000 per semester. Students who are offered GRAs gain valuable experience working on real world projects at the nexus of climate and society.

The Climate and Society program is is rigorous, challenging and demanding of students' time, but our faculty and the Columbia community are committed to ensuring students have every chance of succeeding. Upon graduation, our students are prepared to be an integral part of addressing the climate crisis and have an alumni network of more than 400 professionals to draw on.