Minor in Climate Change

About the Minor

Climate change is one of the most serious challenges of our lifetime, and in the coming decades will impact every aspect of our lives and careers. Even though actions are being taken to reduce global emissions, today’s students will live through a period of rapid climate change that is without precedent in human history.

This minor in climate change will provide an overview of the Earth’s climate system and the science of climate change, as well as how to understand, mitigate, and adapt to its potential impacts from varied disciplinary perspectives. In addition to coursework, there is a praxis requirement for the minor, which could be fulfilled through an independent research, design, or engagement project, participation as an observer at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties meeting, developing a climate action plan for a local municipality, or partaking in a community-based learning course related to the impacts of climate change. There is no unit requirement associated with this praxis requirement.

Program Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 24 credits of coursework. Coursework must include one of three core courses that introduce students to the physical science basis of the earth’s climate system and climate change, three courses from the natural sciences and engineering tracking, and three courses from the social sciences, humanities, and entrepreneurial track. Coursework that is undertaken to fulfill the praxis requirement (such as a CBL or research credits) count towards unit requirements under the appropriate track. Please note, some of these courses have prerequisites or are not offered every year. Students should coordinate their plan of study in coordination with the minor advisor.

Core Course (one of the following three courses is required)3.0
Earth Systems Processes
Global Climate Change
Weather I: Climate and Global Change
Social Science and Humanities Courses (at least 3 courses are required)12.0
Resource and Environmental Economics
Cities and Sustainability
Environmental Justice
Introduction to Identities and Communities
Disaster in Global History
The History of Climate Change
Sustainable Supply Chain Management and Logistics
Environmental Ethics
Environmental Philosophy
Environmental Politics
Political Economy of Climate Change
International Environmental Politics
Cities and Climate Change
Science, Technology, & Public Policy
Sociology of the Environment
Environmental Justice
Sociology of Disasters
Introduction to Power and Resistance
Natural Science, Engineering and Design Courses (at least 3 courses are required) 9.0
Fundamentals of Solar Cells
Introduction to Renewable Energy
Solar Energy Engineering
Renewable Energy Systems
Social Entrepreneurship
An Entrepreneur's Introduction to Land: Its Essence, Ethics, and Opportunity
3BL - Triple Bottom Line
Energy Entrepreneurship
Global Warming, Biodiversity and Your Future
Energy and the Environment: Iceland
Natural Disasters
Introduction to Oceanography
Solar Energy Fundamentals
Adapting to a Hotter Climate: Protecting Health of Vulnerable Populations
Total Credits24.0

For GST 231 / SPAN 340, course content should related to climate change. Recent examples include Disaster and Resilience: Puerto Rico (offered winter 2020), After María (offered fall 2019), and Slippery Issues in the Banana Republics (offered winter 2020), which focus on impacts of climate change and colonialism to Puerto Rico, and impacts of climate change to migration from Central America, respectively.

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Program. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.

Additional Information

In addition to the courses listed above, additional courses may be used to fulfill the unit requirement with approval, such as coursework with a significant environmental and/or climate change component, courses taken abroad, special topics courses, and synonymous cross-listed or graduate sections. Please contact Dr. Elizabeth Watson at ebw49@drexel.edu or Dr. Erin Graham erg49@drexel.edu for additional information.

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