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Climate Science and Policy

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All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

The master of advanced studies (MAS) in Climate Science and Policy is a unique program of study providing advanced training in climate science and policy for working professionals in government, industry, and education. Climate science is an interdisciplinary field that investigates multi-decadal and multi-century trends, processes, and changes in the interactions of the atmosphere, ocean, earth, cryosphere, and biosphere (which includes human activities). As such, climate science is an integral part of many aspects of research and teaching at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. This program will enable the coupling of a strong scientific background with the necessary policy education to maximize the student’s efforts in affecting policy and decision making in both the public and private spheres.

Led by faculty of Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), the program is designed to teach current and future professionals about climate science and how it intersects with economic and policy perspectives, as well as provide important cultural and communications skills.


New students are admitted in the summer (June) of each academic year, with the program beginning in August. Prospective candidates should submit and complete the official UC San Diego online graduate application for admission, the application fee, one set of official transcripts from each institution attended after high school, three letters of recommendation, and a current résumé or curriculum vitae. The GRE/GMAT is not required. Candidates must normally have a minimum of one year of relevant work experience. International applicants must submit official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Program of Study

The full-time degree program is designed to be completed in one year. In the summer session, classes are scheduled five days a week, eight hours a day. In the fall, summer, and spring, students take courses that are held during regularly scheduled university class hours. Students are required to complete fifty units of courses, comprising forty-two core units, including a six-unit capstone project, and eight elective units.

The program is a one-year full-time course of study, starting in August and ending in June. Formal courses are required in summer, fall, winter, and spring; the Forum and project-based course work is required in Spring. Students will be encouraged to return the first week of August to present their final projects to incoming students.

Summer required course work:
  • SIOC 290S. Climate Math and Science (six units)
  • SIOC 291S. Introduction to Climate Policy (six units)
Fall required course work:
  • SIO 117. The Physical Basis of Global Warming (four units)
  • ECON 281. Economics of the Environment (four units)
  • SIOC 296. Climate Science and Policy Forum (one unit)
  • One elective course (four units)
Winter required course work:
  • GPCO 400. Policy-Making Processes (four units)
  • SIOC 293. Ocean-Atmosphere and Climate Variability (four units)
  • SIOC 296. Climate Science and Policy Forum (one unit)
  • One elective course (four units)
Spring required course work:
  • SIOC 299. Climate Science and Policy Capstone Project (eight units)
  • One elective course (four units)

The total units required are fifty.