The Climate School Gets Its First Degree Program

The Master of Arts in Climate and Society is moving from its home in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Lee C. Bollinger
December 11, 2020

Last July, I announced that we would be moving forward to launch the Columbia Climate School, our first new school in a quarter century. This decision was taken in recognition of Columbia’s existing academic strengths and its core values. The next primary question to be answered—a significant one, to be sure—was how the school should be structured to achieve its vital purpose. The goal has been to deploy and augment the University’s unsurpassed intellectual and educational resources in a manner that aligns us with the gravity of the dangers posed by climate change. Over the past several months, through a series of discussions led by Earth Institute Director Alex Halliday, the shape of the new school is beginning to come into focus. 

Thus, I am now very pleased to announce that the first academic program to reside at the Climate School will be the Master of Arts in Climate and Society, an interdisciplinary course of study in climate science and social science that will move from its current home in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Climate and Society is an especially fitting inaugural program for the school, emblematic in many ways of what we hope the new school will achieve. It will constitute an intellectual hub integrating the superb research and teaching capacities found at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the Earth Institute, Arts & Sciences, and across the institution.  

Additional information about the Columbia Climate School's academic undertakings and its commitment to serve the nation and the world as we try to come to terms with the new forces of climate change will be soon forthcoming. But, we are all very pleased with this important early step.  


More From the President

Read President Bollinger's open-letter to President-elect Joe Biden, as well as his columns on the 2020 presidential election and the Mailman School's leadership during the pandemic.