Welcome to the Master of Climate Change program!
The Master of Climate Change (MCC) program is a specialized, course-based, non-thesis program. It is normally completed over a period of three terms (12 months) of full-time studies at the main campus of the University of Waterloo. A part-time studies option is also available. The part-time option is normally completed in six to eight terms of part-time studies.
The Master of Climate Change (MCC) student handbook includes important background information about the Department, Faculty, and University policies and services that are available to you. The handbook is intended to be your first stop for the answers to questions that you might have. Please take some time to review it, as we expect you to be familiar with its contents as you proceed through your program of study. Please note that the handbook is only a starting point. It does not replace the University of Waterloo Graduate Academic Calendar or the other formal policies of the University concerning registration, fees, grading, degree requirements, or student rights and responsibilities.
Faculty and Department Organization
The Department of Geography and Environmental Management (GEM) is one of five academic units within the Faculty of Environment, which is one of six faculties at the University of Waterloo.
Dr. Jean Andrey is the Dean of the Faculty of Environment, Dr. Simron Singh is the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, and Dr. Richard Kelly is the Chair of the Department of Geography and Environmental Management.
Dr. Brent Doberstein is the Master of Climate Change (MCC) Program Director and Teresa Wilson is the MCC Graduate Program Administrator.
There are a number of faculty members affiliated with the MCC that represent each of the five academic units in the Faculty of Environment:
- Department of Knowledge Integration – offices in EV1;
- School of Environment and Resource Studies – offices in EV2;
- Department Geography & Environmental Management – offices in EV1;
- School of Environment, Enterprise and Development – offices in EV3;
- School of Planning – offices in EV3.
GEM is one of the leading Geography Departments in Canada with a strong commitment to the discovery, dissemination, and application of geographic knowledge focused on the complex interactions within and between the human and natural environments. The Department embraces a three-fold mission of excellence in research, excellence in research-led teaching in all undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and celebration of, and respect for all, members of the Department, Faculty, and University.
The Faculty of Environment, and other Faculties at the University of Waterloo, have developed a significant concentration of faculty members with diverse climate change research programs that cover the three Working Groups of the United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - climate change science; vulnerability, impacts and adaptation; and mitigation (greenhouse gas emission reduction and carbon sequestration).
The interdisciplinary MCC program will provide students access to experts in the scientific, social, political, policy, legal, economic and ethical dimensions of climate change, including: paleoclimate, contemporary climate variability and trends, global climate services, climate prediction and modeling, the impact of climate variability and extremes on society and human welfare, climate change links to hazards/disasters, international and local ecosystems and economic development (including sectoral and geographic vulnerability assessment), climate change policy and governance (international, regional, national scales), the role of climate science in policy development, GHG emissions trajectories and scenario development, mitigation pathways and energy policy, GHG accounting and management, carbon markets and trade, adaptation strategies and processes, trade-offs and synergies between mitigation and adaptation, the economics of climate change mitigation and adaptation, climate compatible development, climate change law, and climate change ethics (including varied regional perspectives).
|Name||Title and Contact Information|
Associate Chair, Graduate Studies
Director, Waterloo-Laurier Joint Graduate Program in Geography
Graduate Program Administrator
Interim Program Director, Master of Climate Change
Program Director, Master of Climate Change (on sabbatical)
Graduate Program Administrator, Climate Change Programs
Associate Chair, Undergraduate Studies (Geography and Environmental Management, Geomatics)
Advisor, Undergraduate Studies (Geography and Environmental Management, Geomatics)
Associate Chair, Undergraduate Studies (Geography & Aviation, and China 2+2 programs)
Aviation Programs Manager
Advisor, Undergraduate Studies (Geography & Aviation, and China 2+2 programs)
GEM Faculty Members by Research Area:
Graduate Studies Academic Calendar
The Graduate Studies Academic Calendar is the main contractual document between the student and the University.
(click on the description of the event for further details)
Email Accounts and Online Learning Computer Requirements
Graduate student email accounts are created automatically when a student is matriculated (made active) as part of the admission process. All email addresses take the form firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a graduate student, you access your graduate uwaterloo.ca email account by using the ‘Office 365’ icon.
Log in using your WatIAM user ID and password.
It is important to check your graduate uwaterloo.ca email regularly. The program and the University of Waterloo will be communicating with you through this email account.
Please refer to Statement on official student email address webpage for additional information on your email account
If you require technical assistance, please contact Environment Computing at email@example.com
Online Learning Computer Requirements
Waterloo LEARN courses are designed to function in a variety of operating systems and web browsers. While courses generally function well in many computer configurations, only some are formally supported and tested. Please see System and Software Requirements for the latest computer requirements.
Fees and Registration
You have already used Quest for various purposes, such as to upload your application documents, check your application status, and review your offer of admission. You will also use Quest to enroll in courses, obtain your fee statement, view your financial aid, change your personal information, view your unofficial transcript for grades, and view your course schedule. Be sure to familiarize yourself with this system. More information regarding Quest can be found on the Quest website.
Tuition Fee Information
Hard copy fee bills are not mailed to you from Finance. Your up-to-date fee statement is available on Quest.
Information on making fee payments and becoming 'fees arranged' is provided on the Finance website.
Familiarize yourself with the regulations in the current graduate studies academic calendar.
By registering and paying fees, students assume responsibility for knowing the regulations and pertinent procedures as set forth in this handbook and the University of Waterloo Graduate Calendar.
Ultimately, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have met coursework and other requirements to complete your degree. The MCC Graduate Program Administrator can assist you with this process.
Students are expected to maintain continuous registration, either active status or inactive status, throughout their program. Failure to register and pay any required fees each term will mean you will have to apply for readmission. Special permission is required to change your registration status from full-time/part-time to inactive. If you do request inactive status, you must submit a Change of Enrolment Status form. A rationale explaining the reasons for the request must be submitted. Requests for inactive status will not always be approved.
Students are required to enroll and pay fees each term that they are active in the program. Terms when students are working on major research papers or internships are considered active terms.
Important Dates and Deadlines
University Policies Regarding Courses
Course Drop/Add Dates
Students may drop or add courses through Quest until the dates specified in the Important Dates section of the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs website:
After that date, the approval of the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies is required and a Graduate Studies Course Drop/Add form must be submitted. Courses cannot be dropped or added nor status changed after the examination period has begun.
An incomplete grade status (INC) submitted by an instructor may remain on a student's academic record for at most two terms of enrolment following the term in which the course was taken. A student may seek a one-term extension by submitting a petition to the course instructor and the School/Department prior to the end of the two terms. If a grade has not been submitted by the end of the second term and an extension has not been granted, the INC will automatically convert to a failure to complete (FTC). For average calculation, FTC value equals 0. An FTC status may be reverted to an INC on the academic record only if a petition from the student is approved by the School/Department, Faculty, and the Associate Vice-President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs. Such a petition is granted only in exceptional circumstances. A failing grade in any course will necessitate a review of the candidate's status by the MCC Program Director, and a review may result in the requirement to withdraw from the program.
Academic Integrity and Ethics
The University of Waterloo recognizes that its graduate students come from a variety of cultural and educational backgrounds, and that expectations about academic integrity can differ from one institution to another. To satisfy this need for consistency across graduate programs and to inform and support our graduate students, the university has created the Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM) - ACINTY 630 Academic Integrity Module
The Graduate AIM is an online course that all new graduate students are required to take through Waterloo LEARN. The ACINTY 630 Academic Integrity Module is not visible in LEARN until the first day of classes each term or shortly thereafter. Students must read the information about academic integrity and then receive a mark of at least 75% on an online quiz. The quiz must be successfully completed within the first 8 weeks of the term.
Content found in the Grad AIM includes:
University policies on academic offences, intellectual property, student discipline, etc.
Common violations of academic integrity such as:
◦Fabrication and falsification
Resources are offered campus-wide to help you act with integrity in all aspects of your university life.
The goal of the Graduate AIM is to ensure that all graduate students are given resources and information so that they are able to personally display academic integrity in their work.
Additional information on Academic Integrity can be found on the Office of Academic Integrity website:
Additional information on Ethics can be found on the Office of Research Ethics website.
Other Important Policies and Regulations
Questions related to logistics, University of Waterloo policies, and program policies should be addressed to the MCC Graduate Program Administrator.
Policies on Student Petitions and Grievances
If you have a question about an academic decision, you are strongly encouraged to first speak informally with the course instructor.
A student can also to speak to the MCC Graduate Program Administrator, the MCC Program Director, or the Associate Chair, Graduate Studies.
The formal petition and grievance processes are set out in Policy 70, Student Petitions and Grievances.
A petition is a request by a student seeking exception to or relief from normal faculty or University rules and regulations. Typical examples include, but are not limited to, adding or dropping a course after the deadline, or removing a WD/WF grade for late drop.
While in a petition a student acknowledges that the rules were applied fairly and they are asking that an exception be made, the fundamental criterion for initiating a grievance is that a student believes that a decision of a University authority or the action of a faculty member or staff member of the University affecting some aspect of their University life has been unfair or unreasonable. Typical examples include, but are not limited to, a student questions a grade, or the instructor deviated substantially from the course outline without reasonable notice.
Note: A grievance alleging a human rights violation such as harassment or discrimination based on race, colour, sex, etc. should be handled under Policy 33, Ethical Behaviour. For guidance on the applicable policy, a student should contact the Conflict Management and Human Rights Office.
Further information regarding petitions can be found on the Graduate Studies And Postdoctoral Affairs website.
MCC Graduate Program Description and Degree Requirements
The Master of Climate Change (MCC) program is a specialized, course-based (non-thesis) program that is normally completed over a period of three terms (12 months) of full-time studies at the main campus of the University of Waterloo.
The program requires completion of:
1. Academic Integrity Module (ACINTY 630)
2. Three required core courses
3. Two climate change electives
4. Two open electives, and
5. Milestone: either a Master’s Research Paper or a four-month Internship Practicum (that includes a reflective experiential learning report)
The 3 core courses are typically completed in the first term (Fall). The electives are spread out over the Fall and Winter terms. We recommend that no more than a total of 4 courses be taken in a term. Due to personal interest and course offerings, electives or additional courses may be completed during the Spring term (dependent on course availability).
In fulfilment of the degree requirements, students must maintain a minimum overall average of 75% in the program. A failing grade (less than 60%) in any course will necessitate a review of the candidate's status by the department, and may result in a candidate being required to withdraw from the program.
All students complete three core courses to ensure that they have the foundational knowledge they require. The core courses are normally completed on campus in the Fall term. They are:
GEMCC 601: Climate Change: Physical Science Basis
GEMCC 602: Climate Change: Vulnerability and Adaptation
GEMCC 603: Climate Change: Mitigation
The core courses relate directly to the three Working Groups of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): climate change science; vulnerability, impacts and adaptation; and mitigation (greenhouse gas emission reduction and carbon sequestration).
Climate Change Electives (two courses required)
Students are to select two climate change elective options. Note that course availability fluctuates from year to year, so not all courses listed here may be offered in any given year. View the most up-to-date course listings
Climate Change Electives:
- GEMCC 610 Climate Change Prediction, Modeling and Scenarios
- GEMCC 620 Climate Data and Analytics – offered online only
- GEMCC 622 Climate Change, Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction
- GEMCC 630 Land Use and the Carbon Cycle
- GEMCC 640 Climate Change Governance: From Global Treaties to Local Innovation
- GEMCC 644 Climate Resilient Canadians and Health Systems – offered online only
- GEMCC 650 Climate Change and Business – offered online only
- GEMCC 652 Climate Change and Community Planning – offered online only
- GEMCC 660 Carbon Accounting and Management – offered online only
- GEMCC 690 Climate Change Projects
- GEOG 669 / ERS 619 / INDEV 606 Energy Sustainability
Potential Climate Change Electives:
- GEOG 668 Indigenous Environmental Management
- GEOG 694 Transforming Canadian Resource Management
- SUSM 650 Sustainable Finance
- SUSM 678 Governing the Commons
To have a course on the Potential Climate Change Electives list approved as a climate change elective option, students must obtain approval from the Master of Climate Change Program Director. The approval form can be found here: Approval Request for Courses on the Potential Climate Change List (PDF)
- GEMCC 675 Reading Course
Reading Courses are generally set up between one student and one professor. To set up a designated climate change elective such as this, the student contacts a professor to determine if they would be willing to do a Reading Course. The student then works with the professor to fill out a course contract that outlines the course description and the course deliverables. GEMCC 675 Reading Course outlines must be approved by the MCC Program Director to ensure they have sufficient climate change focus. Students can obtain a GEMCC 675 Reading Course contract from the MCC Graduate Program Administrator.
Open Electives (two courses required)
The open electives allow MCC students the ability to tailor their studies to specific areas of interest.
Open electives can be selected from courses from the climate change electives list, or courses from partnering graduate programs within the Faculty of Environment, or courses from other graduate programs within the University of Waterloo. Any graduate level course is eligible as an open elective as long as a student does not choose two one-to-one special topics / reading courses.
Partnering programs within the Faculty of Environment are the Department of Geography and Environmental Management (GEM), the School of Environmental Resource Studies (SERS), the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED), the School of Planning, and the Department of Knowledge Integration (KI).
Reading Courses are generally set up between one student and one professor. To set up an elective such as this, the student contacts a professor to determine if they would be willing to do a Reading Course. The student then works with the professor to fill out a course contract that outlines the course description and the course deliverables. The contract then goes to the Graduate Officer for approval.
Milestone: Master’s Research Paper or Internship Practicum
Along with course requirements, students in the MCC program are required to achieve a milestone through completion of either a Master’s Research Paper or an Internship Practicum. The choice between these two options may be dependent on the students’ career goals, research interests and internship opportunities. This milestone is normally completed during the third term (Spring term), but may be completed later in unique circumstances. This section of the Handbook details these two options and guides students through the process of deciding on either a master’s research paper or an internship practicum.
A pre-requisite is that all program core courses are completed prior to beginning the Milestone (ie: GEMCC 601 Climate Change: Physical Science Basis, GEMCC 602 Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation, and GEMCC 603 Climate Change Mitigation).
Master’s Research Paper Option
The Master’s Research Paper option allows students to further examine a significant topic in their area of interest within the climate change field.
Common reasons for choosing the Master’s Research Paper option:
- You have aspirations for pursuing further education (i.e. PhD) or academic career goals,
- You have a desire to develop deeper research and analytical skills, and produce a tangible research output for your CV,
- You have identified a topic area of interest with an organization and/or faculty supervisor,
- You already have practical work experience but lack research or academic experience, and/or,
- You would like the flexibility of completing your Milestone from a location of your choice (e.g. your home country).
Examples of past Master’s Research Paper topics:
- Analysis of climate change development projects in Pakistan
- Developing global vulnerability indicators of climate change
For more information regarding the Master's Research Paper option can be found in ‘Appendix A: For Students Completing a Master’s Research Paper’.
Internship Practicum Option
Experiential learning is a foundation of academic programs at the University of Waterloo. The Internship Practicum provides academic credit for a practical learning experience directly related to the student’s area of interest in climate change research and professional practice. The internship is required to be a minimum of four-months in length and should be full-time equivalent. It may be paid or unpaid depending on the employer’s capacity.
Common reasons for choosing the Internship option:
- You wish to develop skills, experience, and networks that will support your professional post-graduate career goals,
- You have identified a potential internship opportunity with a willing employer,
- You already have research experience but lack practical work experience, and/or,
- You would like to earn an income during your milestone term (recognizing that unpaid internships can also provide a valuable learning experience).
Examples of past Internships held by MCC students:
- Climate Change Adaptation Assistant - Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC)
- Policy Analyst - Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)
- Risk and Vulnerability Analyst - Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
- Climate Change Adaptation Intern - Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources (OCCIAR)
- Student Planner, Climate Change Adaptation - Region of Waterloo
- Climate Change Adaptation Planner Intern - Atlantic Coastal Action Program
- Research Assistant - Dalhousie University
- Research Assistant - University of Waterloo
Please note that a practical internship is not the only route to become engaged with organizations. If you have interest in pursuing a Master’s Research Paper, but wish to gain internship-like experience, reach-out to organizations of interest and offer your time to volunteer or work on a project for them. This could potentially lead to an internship position, but can also create a chance for students to transform a term paper into a “real-world project”.
More information regarding the Internship Practicum option can be found in 'Appendix B: For Students Completing an Internship’.
The following list of suggested steps is meant to guide students through the internship search and approval process, while noting that each student will carry out this process independently in the way that best suits their circumstances. Be aware that looking for an internship is a dynamic and continuous process. Suggested steps and actions are not limited to their assignment month:
Receive internship information at the MCC Orientation Meeting.
MCC Graduate Student Handbook
Attend MCC Milestone Information Session.
An invitation with details will be sent by email.
Identify job posting boards and mailing lists to subscribe to in order to follow and watch for internship opportunities. Note that some internship programs may have deadlines as early as the fall.
Update your resume and cover letter template and have them reviewed by others to provide feedback - ideally people who have experience hiring others (e.g. a former supervisor, colleague, career counsellor).
The Centre for Career Action offers either drop-in sessions or appointments to discuss your resume and cover letter writing tips.
Identify events or conferences occurring over the fall and winter terms that you would like to attend in order to meet people and expand your network.
Sign up for career development workshops at the Centre for Career Action on campus. Example topics include: Resume Writing, Using LinkedIn, Networking, Work Search Strategies, etc.
Develop a list of organizations you are interested in doing an internship with and strategies for how to reach out to them.
December –January (or other time as appropriate)
Request a meeting with MCC Program Director (or other faculty whose research profiles are aligned to your interests) to discuss your internship strategy and ask for advice on organizations or people to connect with.
Refine your resume and cover letter again (it’s a constant work in progress!). Book an appointment with a Career Advisor to have them review and edit your resume, and to discuss your internship search strategy and overall career goals.
January – February
Start actively searching. Reach out to your network, follow up on leads, and build relationships with potential employers.
Still searching? Many summer positions get posted in March. It may co-inside with end-of-term projects. Plan ahead.
When you have confirmed an internship opportunity
Submit an approval form to the MCC Program Director. See Appendix B for a copy of the form.
After your internship is approved by the MCC Program Director
Once the internship is approved, prepare an internship proposal and submit to the MCC Program Director. The internship proposal will outline how the work of the organization relates to the climate change program curriculum and the professional experience sought through the internship. It will also include a letter of support from the organization (and/or a job description), indicating the role and location of the internship, and the willingness of the direct Supervisor to mentor the intern.
After your internship report is approved by the MCC Program Director
Ensure that you have followed any necessary steps given by your employer or the university to prepare to start the internship.
If your internship is off-campus and unpaid, you will be required to complete workers’ compensation forms.
If your internship is outside of Canada, you will be required to complete a pre-departure course on LEARN, an Acknowledgement of Risk and Responsibility form, and an Emergency Information form.
Additional Information About the University of Waterloo
The Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change (IC3) advances research on climate change through an interdisciplinary approach; understanding the physical basis of climate change, its impacts on biophysical and human systems, and adaptation and mitigation strategies in response to changes. Research at IC3 is supported by cutting-edge developments in observing system technologies and advanced numerical modeling.
The Centre is a focal point for researchers from different disciplines working on climate change on a variety of spatial (local to global) and temporal (annual to millennium) scales, as well as a hub for graduate students enrolled in Masters and Ph.D. programs of participating Centre members.
The Centre is based in the Faculty of Environment but includes researchers from UW's faculties of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science, as well as from Environment Canada.
There are two main libraries on campus. The Dana Porter (DP) Library is located in the centre of the campus and offers resources for the arts, humanities, social sciences, and houses government publications. The Davis Centre (DC) Library is located in the William G. Davis Computer Research Centre and offers resources for engineering, mathematics, and science.
A WatCard (student ID card) is required to access many library resources. Currently registered students automatically have library privileges with no activation needed. To login online, students use their last name and the 14-digit barcode number (example 21187000000000) on their WatCard.
More information regarding accessing online library resources from off-campus, including a link to the login webpage, can be found here:
The University of Waterloo has a number of business operations and/or support services operations at the W Store
Directions to UW and Campus Map
Appendix A: For Students Completing a Master’s Research Paper
Master’s Research Paper
Course Evaluation: Numerical grade
A pre-requisite is that all program core courses are completed prior to beginning the Master's Research Paper. The core courses are GEMCC 601 Climate Change: Physical Science Basis, GEMCC 602 Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation, and GEMCC 603 Climate Change Mitigation.
Student’s Responsibility: over the first two terms, the student develops the topic of the Master’s Research Paper and identifies a suitable Supervisor.
The read further details regarding the research interests of professors in the Faculty of Environment
Approval: students must email the MCC Program Director for final approval of the chosen topic. This email should contain a one page summary and provide Supervisor details. Please copy in the MCC Graduate Program Administrator.
The one page summary will include the research topic and the approach (methods, data, etc), as well as any specific outputs agreed upon with the Supervisor (e.g., a report, book chapter/journal publication, briefing note) and proposed work plan (i.e., tasks and timelines).
Formally declare a Supervisor: complete a ‘Change of supervisor’ form.
- The student will complete sections 1 & 2, and sign and date the form.
- The student will obtain the signature of the declared supervisor in section 2.
- The student will submit the completed form to the MCC Graduate Program Administrator for further approval.
The form can be e-signed using the Fill & Sign function in the Tools option and can be saved as a PDF and emailed to the MCC Graduate Program Administrator who will send it through for further electronic approvals.
The student works one-on-one with their supervisor to complete the Master’s Research Paper.
The Supervisor, in consultation with the MCC Program Director, will approve one additional independent Reader to evaluate the paper. The assigned grade will reflect the evaluation of both the Supervisor and the Reader.
The Master’s Research Paper will be between 40 and 60 pages in length (double-spaced, 12 point font size, and font style of Arial or Times New Roman).
It should include clearly defined sections that cover the following:
- author's declaration,
- problem statement/research question,
- status of research literature,
- research procedures/methods,
- findings/results, and
I hereby declare that I am the sole author of this master’s research paper. This is a true copy of the master’s research paper, including any required final revisions, as accepted by examiners. I understand that this master’s research paper may be made electronically available to the public.
The APA citation style is used.
Graphical, tabular and photographic illustrations: Graphs, maps and tables all provide information so they can be used in any report, including a proposal. However, never include filler, such as graphs that are not referred to in the text or tables that contain too much detail. Always think about how information can be best communicated to the reader. Be careful so as not to over describe a graph or table; just make the points which are central to your argument.
Students are encouraged to use iThenticate before they submit their Master’s Research Paper. More information regarding iThenticate can be found on the Academic Integrity website.
The University of Waterloo library website has more information on reference material and referencing:
Students completing their Master’s Research Paper in the Spring term, it is to be submitted by August 15th (December 15th for students completing their Master's Research Paper in the Fall term; April 15th for students completing their Master's Research Paper in the Winter term).
Submission of the final copy of the Master's Research Paper should be via email as a PDF – one email to the supervisor and the reader with the MCC Graduate Program Administrator copied in (a copy is required for the student file).
Once the Master’s Research Paper is graded by the Supervisor and Reader, a Milestone Completion form will be completed by the MCC Graduate Program Administrator and submitted to the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs.
Appendix B: For Students Completing an Internship
Course Evaluation: Credit / No Credit
A pre-requisite is that all program core courses are completed prior to beginning the internship. The core courses are GEMCC 601 Climate Change: Physical Science Basis, GEMCC 602 Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation, and GEMCC 603 Climate Change Mitigation.
Student’s Responsibility: it is the student’s responsibility, to seek out and secure an internship position. The MCC Program Director, other faculty, and staff members are available to be consulted for advice, direction and to empower students with their job search.
Minimum four-month (full-time equivalent) practical academic learning experience related to climate change research and professional practice.
Approval: a request to undertake the four-month (full-time equivalent) internship must be approved by the MCC Program Director before the start of the internship. Please complete the approval form found below. Even if your internship was pre-approved, we require a copy of this form to add to your student file. Copy and paste the form into an email, complete each section, send it to the MCC Program Director and cc: in the MCC Graduate Program Administrator.
Note: once you have accepted an internship offer, the MCC program advises you to honour that commitment for employment. If circumstances arise and you believe you can no longer honour your commitment, we require you to discuss the situation with the MCC Program Director or the MCC Program Administrator, in order to review the implications of leaving the position, and determine if some alternate arrangement might be feasible for your internship milestone and the employer.
Approval for Master of Climate Change Internship Practicum
Program: Master of Climate Change (MCC)
Student Name: ___________________________________________
Student Number: _______________________
Start date and end date of the internship:
Name of Organization where internship will take place:
Country where internship will take place: ________________________________
Contact person at Organization: _______________________________________
Contact details of person at Organization: ________________________________
Is the internship full-time (approximately 35-40 hours per week)? _________________
Is the internship paid or unpaid? ____________________
(A paid internship is one in which you are receiving an hourly rate of pay or a salary.)
Will you be completing this internship remotely? ____________________
Attach a job description, or, provide a brief outline of job functions:
Was this internship pre-approved (this would have been noted in the email from the MCC Graduate Program Administrator when the internship opportunity was communicated)?
No __ -> The MCC Program Director will review this information and approve by email.
Proposal: once approved, the student will prepare an internship proposal (approximately 2 - 3 pages in length, double spaced, 12 point font size, and font style of Arial or Times New Roman) and email the proposal to the MCC Program Director and the MCC Graduate Program Administrator. This proposal will outline:
- how the work of the organization relates to the climate change program curriculum and the student’s professional interests
- the professional experience sought through the internship
- also submit a letter/email of support from the organization indicating the role and location of the internship, and the willingness of the direct Supervisor to mentor the intern
-> Are you a full-time student who is not enrolling in any courses during the internship term and who is completing the internship off campus? If you answered ‘yes’:
Complete a ‘Change of Enrolment Status’ form .
- download/open the form as a fillable PDF; fill out sections 1 and 2; select the status change option Full-time off-campus (e.g. internship, exchange)
- e-sign the form using the Fill & Sign function in the Tools option. The form should then be saved as a PDF and emailed to the MCC Graduate Program Administrator who will send it through for further electronic approvals.
Note: part-time students are not required to complete a 'Change of Enrolment Status' form.
-> Are you completing an unpaid internship? If ‘yes’:
- Review the information regarding workers’ compensation and unpaid work placements found on the Safety Office website
- Complete the forms required by the Safety Office:
- Letter to placement employer
- Student declaration
- Pre-placement Due Diligence Checklist
- Pre-placement Safety Orientation Checklist
Links to the forms can be found on the same website
- Submit the completed forms to the MCC Graduate Program Administrator.
-> Are you completing an internship outside of Canada? If ‘yes’:
For all University of Waterloo students leaving Canada to take up an internship please note the following:
- Please go to the website: Travel safety information for students and review the information.
- All students undertaking an internship outside of Canada must complete and submit:
- Acknowledgement of Risk and Responsibility Form
- Emergency Information Form
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and provide them with your name, your student id# and your internship details. They will enroll you in a pre-departure course and have you complete risk management forms.
- In addition, students leaving Canada are required to:
- monitor the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) Travel Advisory reports for your particular country/region,
- monitor the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for your particular country/region,
- register online at the appropriate Canadian government office abroad,
- and it is highly recommended that students develop a Risk Management Plan.
-> Are you an international student completing an internship in Canada? If ‘yes’:
If an international student is studying in the MCC program with a student visa, a work visa will also be required in order for the student to be eligible for internship positions in Canada.
- If the student’s visa does not already allow for an internship, it is recommended to start the process of applying for a work visa in January if the visa change is necessary.
- For more information, the International Advisory within the Student Success Office is a good source for Immigration Consulting
Internship Report Guidelines: To complete the internship milestone, students submit a written report, summarizing their internship activities and reflecting on their internship experience.
The report should be no more than 20 pages double-spaced, 12 point font size, and font style of Arial or Times New Roman. The 20 pages includes all references, images, title page, etc. Examples of key professional outputs (e.g., a report, policy brief, designs) and feedback from supervisors and stakeholders/clients can be attached as appendices. Appendices are in addition to the 20 pages.
A copy of the report should be submitted via email to the MCC Program Director with the MCC Graduate Program Administrator copied in. The report is due by August 15th for students completing their internship in the Spring term (December 15th for students completing their internship in the Fall term; April 15th for students completing their internship in the Winter term).
The report includes the following components:
- Title Page – Include the report title; employer's name and location; date of report; your name, student number, email address, and term and year; the university name; and the phrase ‘In partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Master of Climate Change Program’.
- Introduction and Professional Experience Summary – Briefly outline of the climate change mandate of the organization and the specific work of the organization division/team you interned with. Include the name of your supervisor and the location and dates worked. Provide a description of your professional experience gained, including specific projects, responsibilities, and key outputs.
- Experiential Learning Impact – Briefly reflect on and discuss the following:
- In what areas did you experience the most professional growth?
- What insights have you gained into the field of climate change?
- Based on your internship experience, what skills would you like to develop in your career?
- How has the internship influenced your career goals? Please explain.
- What insights have you gained regarding the information gaps and the need for research in the area(s) of climate change that you worked in?
- How your experience links to the program curriculum and your professional developmental goals?
- Feedback from supervisors and stakeholders/clients can be included in your responses or attached as an appendix.
- Internship Evaluation – Briefly discuss the following:
- Did the internship experience meet your personal expectations?
- How would you assess your performance at the organization?
- Would you recommend this organization/role to future MCC interns?
- Internship Report Release – If you are willing to give future MCC students permission to review your report from the MCC Graduate Program Administrator to benefit from your internship experience, please include the following statement at the end of your report:
Internship Release Statement:
I hereby give my permission to allow students in the Master of Climate Change program to have access to my internship report to enable them to benefit from my internship experience. I fully understand that once I have graduated from the University of Waterloo, my internship report will become property of the MCC program, and students will be permitted to access a PDF copy.
Upon completion of the internship, and submission and approval of the written report, a Milestone Completion form will be completed by the MCC Graduate Program Administrator and submitted to the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs.