The Masters of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Climate Science and Policy (CSP) prepares students for interdisciplinary careers in governmental, non-governmental, and private-sector positions. Graduates of the program are prepared with both the scientific knowledge and the professional skills that are needed to compete for leadership positions in a wide variety of organizations. The science core covers four key disciplines (Math, Atmosphere, Oceans, Chemistry) and the policy covers target communication, negotiations, economics, science-policy interactions, and behavior modification.
This program incorporates graduate-level scientific training with education and skills that are necessary to contribute in the policy sector. This combination maximizes the potential contributions of graduates for affecting policy and decision making in both the public and private spheres. The program teaches current and future professionals how climate science intersects with economic and policy perspectives and provides the cross-cultural communications skills needed for reaching a broad sector of society. CSP graduates are well-positioned to obtain jobs in local and other government and related organizations because of their abilities to put science at the service of policy, for example by contributing to local or regional climate action planning. CSP graduates are also prepared to lead businesses in adapting and mitigating climate change in the coming years. Non-governmental and international organizations also will need professionals with CSP degrees to continue to support diverse and important socio-political interests as the physical climate places new constraints on world resources.
The program is taught by faculty of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and a broad range of world-renowned experts on policy-related professional skills. The combination of academic and professional perspectives provides a dynamic classroom experience with frequent real-world activities and assignments. For example, students choose projects that create approaches designed to change behavior, that re-visualize climate data for effective messaging, and that study specific science-policy cases in history. Then, through real-time feedback and peer interaction, students get practice in bringing these lessons to the workplace through leadership.
The capstone project provides graduates with the opportunity to design and execute an individualized project on the climate science and policy related topic of their choice. Each project includes academic and non-academic advisors who provide guidance on a unique, high-impact project for a non-academic target audience. Many projects include a formal internship at a company or organization. In many cases, these projects provide students the opportunities to showcase their skills for future employment -- providing workplace experience as well as an opportunity to establish their skills and potential contributions.
While most graduates find professional positions after completing the degree, a few graduates have also used the program to explore and develop interests in research and have chosen to extend their education to move into advanced degree programs or academic research at Scripps and other institutions.