Climate and Environmental Change

Climate science for climate solutions.

Waterloo Geography professor Christine Dow stands on a massive ice sheet in Antarctica while studying climate science

Geography professor Christine Dow conducts field work in Antarctica and the Yukon to understand the future of glaciers and ice sheets in our changing climate

Get ready to tackle the climate crisis. In this program, you’ll study the science behind the challenges facing our planet’s environment.

You'll combine biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science with human geography to address challenges such as flooding, permafrost thawing, drought and forest fires, peatland degradation, rising sea levels and coastal change, and changing economic opportunities in climate sensitive sectors.

You’ll master practical tools like computer modelling and hone the skills to build a low-carbon future. Enrich your classroom learning with hands-on experience in labs and fieldwork (and paid work experience through co-op).

Program highlights

Study your interests. In your final year, work with a professor on a capstone project or a thesis of personal interest. Complete a research-based thesis and prepare for a master's degree or kick-start your career by choosing a project that connects you with organizations outside the university.

Research-led teaching and learning. Attend research seminars or even apply for co-op work terms with professors who are part of Waterloo's Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change.


What will you learn?

First-year courses

You’ll take a mix of geography, science, environment, and math courses in first year. After first year, most of your classes will be Geography courses covering topics such as hydrology, ecology, and climatology.

Learn about courses you'll take for your Climate and Environmental Change degree.

Customize your degree

You can add additional areas of expertise to your degree by including one of the specializations within the program.

  • Geomatics
  • Economy and Society
  • Aviation

You can also choose one of the minors available to all Waterloo students.


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Contact a student ambassador

Ask a current student about classes, getting involved, and what it's like to be part of the Faculty of Environment.


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

Explore careers addressing climate change by alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree. You'll gain experience, earn money, and discover which career areas interest you.

You might work as an environmental consultant assistant, water treatment project assistant, environmental services and approvals assistant, or an undergraduate research assistant.

Learn how co-op works.

What can you do with a climate science degree?

Your career path will depend on your interests. You could continue your education in a variety of areas, including Waterloo’s Master of Climate Change degree or choose to go directly into a career with a wide variety of employers.

Possible job titles

  • Climate modeler
  • Climate risk scientist
  • Policy analyst
  • Carbon market analyst
  • Renewable energy specialist
  • Environmental consultant

Possible employers

  • Federal, provincial, and municipal governments
  • Local and international NGOs
  • Consulting firms
  • Research centres
  • Colleges and universities

Learn about the future of careers in environment, sustainability, and geography.

Admission requirements

Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including

  • English (ENG4U) (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Any Grade 12 U Mathematics (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Chemistry or Physics

Recommended courses: Biology, Earth and Space Science, or World Issues

Expected admission range: Low 80s

How to apply

Apply directly to this program on your application.

Not studying in Ontario?

Search our admission requirements.

Connect with us

Questions about courses, programs, requirements, or careers?

Please contact our Environment recruitment coordinator who can answer any questions you have.


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