Climate Change Policy and Management Certificate

The graduate certificate program in climate change policy and management, a joint program of the Departments of Political Science and Geography, Environment, and Tourism at Western Michigan University, provides professional training to address challenges arising from the climate crisis from a policy and/or management perspective, in government, private and/or nonprofit sectors. National and international communities are only beginning to come to grips with the extraordinary challenges that climate change presents. These challenges include inter alia; transitions to renewable energy; increasing energy efficiency; adapting to widespread drought, heat waves, and rising sea levels; and supporting people displaced from their homes and livelihoods. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has noted that limiting global warming to 1.5°C, the target enshrined in the Paris Agreement, requires "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society."

The graduate certificate program serves both early professionals and mid-career students. It offers a grounding in the science of climate change and its effects and training in areas of policy and management that are likely to see increasing demand. The program may be taken as a stand-alone program or concurrently with another WMU graduate program, in which case classes may be counted to fulfill requirements in both programs.

program requirements


Six classes (18 credit hours) are required to complete the certificate program, three of which are required classes and three of which are selected by you from our list of approved classes based on your interests. All classes must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

Required classes (9 credit hours)

  • GEOG 6250 - Climatology (3 credit hours)
  • PSCI 5700 - Managing Challenges from Climate Change (3 credit hours)
  • PSCI 5710 - Environmentally Sustainable Development (3 credit hours)

Approved classes (select three, for 9 credit hours)

  • BIOS 5440 - Global Change Ecology (3 credit hours)
  • FCS 5820 - Food, Nutrition and Climate Change (3 credit hours)
  • GEOG 5570 - Environmental Impact Assessment (3 credit hours)
  • GEOG 6260 - Disaster Management (3 credit hours)
  • GEOG 6280 - Data Analysis in Climate Science (3 credit hours)
  • GEOG 6300 - Climate Change and Geography (3 credit hours)
  • PSCI 6311 - Monitoring and Evaluation of International Development Projects (3 credit hours)
  • XXX 7100 - Independent Research (3 credit hours in any department, with approval of program director)

Additional information about the Climate Change Policy and Management Graduate Certificate program can be found in the WMU Catalog.


In order for your application to be ready for review, it must include:

  • A statement of purpose
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts (all can be uploaded to your application before submitting)
  • A C.V. or resume

WMU will require official transcripts to be sent directly from institutions; however, the program will review applications with unofficial transcripts.

Apply now


Dr. Paul Clements, WMU political science professor, is the director and advisor of the climate change policy and management graduate certificate program. For more information regarding the program and its requirements, contact Dr. Clements.