Earth and Planetary Science
EPS Atmosphere, Oceans, and Climate

Climate Science (Minor only)

Overview and main features

Climate science has immense importance for society and is central to the fundamental understanding of Earth and other planets. The minor in Climate Science provides undergraduates from a broad range of majors with a coherent program of study in the fundamental mechanisms that control planetary climate. Human-caused climate change is a major emphasis, but students can additionally choose to focus on the much larger range of climate states that have occurred in Earth’s past or that exist on other planets. Although the socioeconomic impacts of climate variability, the political systems that govern human interaction with climate, and the technology to remediate human-caused climate change are all important topics, this minor retains focus on the basic scientific processes that govern climate.

Like all other EPS minors, the Climate Science minor requires students to take an introductory lower-division course in addition to the five upper-division courses required for any L&S minor. For the lower-division course, students may select from either EPS 7 (Introduction to Climate Change) or EPS 81 (Atmospheres), both of which introduce the atmospheric greenhouse effect, radiative feedbacks, and controls on planetary mean temperature.

Worldwide, many students who pursue graduate study in the atmosphere, ocean, and climate sciences come from undergraduate majors in Physics, Chemistry, Math, Biology, or Engineering. Increasingly, students from those and other majors are also doing work in industry and government that requires knowledge of Earth’s climate system. The Climate Science minor allows students to continue pursuing a non-Earth Science major while completing and receiving recognition for a coherent program of study in climate.

Declaring the minor and obtaining more details

For more information or to declare the Climate Science minor, contact the EPS undergraduate advisor at and see the EPS Climate Science Minor Form for details about the required courses and units. A minor must be declared no later than one semester prior to a student's Expected Graduation Term (EGT). The deadline is the last day of RRR week. Professor William Boos (, 413 McCone Hall) is the faculty point of contact for any needed curriculum planning or coordination with other departments.