Climate Change Studies Minor

  • Picture of a hurricane in the south Atlantic ocean in between the United States and South America
  • Blue solar panels
  • newspapers

    Contribute to societal adaptation to global environmental change.

  • Chalkboard

    Study at a climate leadership award-winning University.

  • Graphic of eco-friendly icons: leaves, planets, trees, apples, light bulbs, the sun, etc.

Climate change is the most significant challenge facing the human race. The climate change studies minor at Western Michigan University is an interdisciplinary and integrative program involving expert faculty and courses from intersecting disciplines. This minor provides you with the necessary science-based background and a broad understanding of the human relationship to climate change, including the social and environmental causes, challenges, and opportunities for mitigation and adaptation.

Printable program brochure


This minor is intended for undergraduates in any major and will prepare you for a variety of 21st century professional fields.

Why study climate change?

Climate change is recognized as one of the critical challenges to the sustainability of human society and the environment. This program develops informed and engaged citizens who can use information from multiple disciplines to draw appropriate conclusions and constructively contribute to societal adaptation to global environmental change. Interacting with research faculty from more than 10 departments will prepare you to address the concerns and consequences of climate change in any number of professional settings as well as be directly significant to your life.

Connect the sciences to the human experience by:

  • Understanding the science of past, present and future climate change.
  • Identifying and understand the range of individual and collective human actions contributing to climate change.
  • Identifying and understand the consequences of contemporary climate change with particular attention to vulnerable populations.
  • Critically examining and effectively communicate a range of response strategies for the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.
  • Critically examining how humans experience climate change through politics, social organization and the arts.


This minor is an interdisciplinary and integrative program of study involving expert faculty and key courses from intersecting disciplines. The curriculum includes introductory courses and more advanced courses in science, social sciences and humanities.

New courses added to the minor–beginning fall 2018

Additions to the climate change science section:

GEOG 3260–Atmospheric Energy and Motion
GEOG 4280–Data Analysis in Climate Change

Additions to the climate change and society section:

BUS 4500–Business Ethics and Sustainability
ENGL 3110–Our Place in Nature
FCS 3700–Introduction to Food Systems and Sustainability
FCS 4720–Farm to Table and Sustainability
GEOG 3070–Extreme Weather Under Changing Climate
HIST 3180–American Environmental History
PSY 3456–Behavioral Approaches to Sustainability
ENVS 4110/SOC 4110–Climate Change and Society

Program flier


Contact Lisa DeChano-Cook, associate professor of geography, for more information.

To explore this minor further, contact one of the advisory members:


To study at WMU, a climate leadership award-winning University, complete the application.



The Climate Change Research Graduate Scholarship supports the rapidly growing market for professional trained in climate change. Scholarships of up to $1,500 are awarded to support graduate students engaged in outstanding independent scholarly research related to climate change.