Study Climate at Emory

At Emory University, there are many opportunities for students to learn more about climate and climate change. Explore undergraduate and graduate courses, degree programs, and opportunities for studying climate abroad.  See tabs below for more information.

Please note that this information is subject to change. Please check the course atlas and the for the latest information.

Faculty -- have we missed or micharacterized a course?  Please email to let us know!

Spring 2018 courses that spend more than half of the semester on climate-related topics

ENVS 330: Climatology 

Instructor: Woody Hickcox

The science of climatology studies the physical properties of the earth's atmosphere and how they conspire to produce the observed climates of the present and the deduced climates of the past. This course pays particular attention to the energy cascade of the climate system, the processes by which energy becomes distributed across the globe, and the potential role of the ocean in long- and short-term climate change. Fulfills an ENVS Elective requirement.

ENVS 385-01/585: Climate Policy Seminar 

Instructor: Daniel Rochberg

This small-group course offers students who have a background on climate change an opportunity to dive deeper into specific aspects of international and domestic climate change policy, ranging from outcomes of the December 2015 UN Climate Conference in Paris to Georgia’s efforts to advance clean energy and build climate resilience. The course is intended for advanced undergraduate students and graduate students and is open on a permission-only basis. The course is taught by Daniel Rochberg, an instructor in ENVS and RSPH/EH who spent 17 years working with the U.S. Department of State on international climate and sustainable development policy.  Interested students are asked to email the instructor at for more details, including their background on climate change and why they want to take the class.

EH 586: Advanced Seminar in Climate Change and Health: Research and Policy 

Instructor: George Luber

Recommended prerequisite: EH 582/GH 582. This course builds on the introduction to climate change and health course (EH/GH582), exploring the interaction of methodological and policy issues surrounding the public health effects of climate change.

LAW 624L: Climate Change Law 

Instructor: Rebecca Purdom

The purpose of this class is to prepare future practitioners to advise clients in all aspects of climate change law. The class will focus on federal law and rules, as well as regional, state and local greenhouse gas reduction programs, and how those programs intersect with the rapidly changing federal landscape under the Trump administration. We will also consider the international framework for climate regulation, the expected efforts of the current administration to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and the potential impacts of that withdrawal. Finally, students will consider various adaptation regimes in light of both scientifically predicted impacts on infrastructure and investments, and in light of regulatory schemes that may affect how clients characterize and claim adaptation projects and impacts.

SEM 843: International Environmental Law Seminar 

Instructor: Atieno Samandari

This seminar will examine the development of international environmental law (IEL), focusing on the major areas of global environmental protection including climate change and biodiversity loss. The course will analyze the theoretical underpinnings of the regime, including sustainable development, the “polluter pays” principle, precaution and vulnerability among others and also examine social justice aspects of environmental interventions. The aim will be to understand the current trajectory of international environmental law and discuss possible frontier approaches that can advance global cooperation for conserving and protecting Earth’s environment.

Other Spring 2018 Courses that Cover Climate-Related Topics

ENVS 328-1: Intro to Atmospheric Chemistry 

Instructor: Eri Saikawa

EH 500: Perspectives in Environmental Health 

Instructor: Jeremy Sarnat

Though Climate@Emory is a non-degree granting organization, Emory University offers several programs within which students may pursue climate change-related course tracks. Potential doctoral students might consider Emory's graduate programs in Population Biology, Ecology and EvolutionEnvironmental Health SciencesPhysics or other related fields.  Prospective masters students might consider the Masters of Public Health (MPH) program in the Rollins School of Public Health, the Master’s in Development Practice (MDP) program, or the Masters of Science in Environmental Sciences. Prospective undergraduate students might also consider a major or minor in Environmental Sciences.

Research opportunities on a wide range of topics related to climate change are available across the Emory campus, and are open to qualified and energetic junior researchers from many backgrounds. Prospective graduate or undergraduate students should read recent research manuscripts and theses from Emory faculty and students to become familiar with the diverse research being conducted on campus.  

Research Opportunities

  • Undergraduate students are able to conduct research through the Scholarly Inquiry and Research at Emory (SIRE)program.  Students interested in conducting research for a full academic year are eligible to apply and they will be matched with a faculty member, if successful.  SIRE students can either apply a work-study fellowship or gain course credits.  All students present their year-long research at a formal research symposium in April.
  • Undergraduate students interested in conducting research during the summer are encouraged to apply for the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience.  SURE students conduct guided research over the summer and participate in a formal research symposium at the end of the program.

Global Field Experiences

  • The Rollins School of Public Health offers Masters of Public Health (MPH) students opportunities to conduct a Global Field Experience.  See descriptions of past student experiences in this program.

Emory provides opportunities for conducting climate-related coursework in international settings through its Center for International Programs Abroad.  See below to find out about study abroad locations with an emphasis on climate change.

University of Freiburg

The University of Freiburg, an academic center long associated with the environmental movement in Europe, offers undergraduates semester-long opportunities to study climate change under its Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources. Emory students participate through IES Abroad, an education non-profit based in Chicago that has a designated Environmental Studies and Sustainability program at Freiburg (see IES Freiburg—Environmental Studies and Sustainability). Students take 5-6 courses per semester. (In the last two years, six Emory students have participated in the program.) Among the course offerings are:

  • Renewable Energies in a World of Transition: a course predominantly about climate change;
  • Green City: Economic Aspects of Environmental Change: one-third of the classes focus on climate-related issues;
  • EU Environmental Policies: On the Road to Sustainability: one-third of the classes are devoted to climate change;
  • Environmental Policies and Green Business in Freiburg: two out of 22 classes are about climate change.

School of Geography, Queen Mary College, University of London

Queen Mary College of the University of London, home to one of the leading geography departments in the United Kingdom, offers courses on climate through its School of Geography. Students are able to study at the college on a semester basis. Among the courses that principally or partially cover climate change topics are:

  • The Science and Politics of Climate Change: devotes a full semester to exploring climate-related topics;
  • Global Environmental Change: more than half of the classes cover climate issues;
  • Earth Surface Science: one-third of the classes involve climate issues;
  • Global Environmental Issues: about one-fourth of the classes are devoted to climate change.

Department of Geography, University College London

The University College Geography Department has a strong climate focus. Two of its six designated research clusters focus on climate change: Past Climates and Recent Environmental Change and Biodiversity, which is part of the Environmental Change Research Center. Undergraduates are able to study for a semester and take climate-related courses under the department's environmental geography program.