Graduate Program

A central intent of the UW PCC is the development of a core of students and faculty with a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to climate science. The PCC is not a degree-granting department, but provides opportunities for cross-disciplinary interaction and study for students with academic homes in colleges and departments across the UW campus.

Core courses:

  • Climate Dynamics (Au)ATM S/OCN/ESS 587
  • The Global Carbon Cycle and Greenhouse Gases (Wi) OCN/ATM S/ESS 588
  • Paleoclimatology: Data, Modeling and Theory (alt Sp), ESS/OCN/ATM S 589
  • Paleoclimate Proxies (alt Sp) OCN/ATM/ESS 554
  • Climate Modeling (alt Sp), ATM S/ESS 559 and OCEAN 558.

PCC Seminars:

  • Current Research in Climate Change (OCN/ESS/ATM S 586) AU: follows the topic of the annual theme. WI: seminar is often student directed.
  • Communicating Climate Science Seminar(W), ATM S/ESS/OEAN 593.

Links to quarterly climate offerings and departmental seminar listings.

Graduate Fellowships

Graduate student fellowships are an important part of the PCC, and are awarded to highly qualified students interested or involved in interdisciplinary climate research. Traditionally, fellowships are awarded to incoming students in one of the PCC core departments of Atmospheric Science, Earth and Space Science and Oceanography. Recipients are selected by the home departments with PCC representation, and offered as part of the admissions process. 9-month fellowships will be awarded to the most qualified applicants in both core and non-core departments who are entering the UW or have completed no more than 2-years of graduate study at the UW. More information for the following school year will be available in May.

Other Opportunities

UW IGERT Program on Ocean Change (iPOC)- The UW iPOC provides graduate student training in interdisciplinary approaches to the study of ocean change. The program is supported by NSF and provides to each trainee an annual stipend of $30,000 plus $10,500 for tuition and fees for a period of two years. Additional funds may be available to assist in the support of research and for international experiences.

George Melendez Wright Fellowships- The goals of this student fellowship program are to support new and innovative research relevant to managing climate change impacts in US National Parks, including transboundary issues and comparisons to Mexican or Canadian protected areas. Awards will be made in the range of $5,000 to $20,000 per fellowship for research to be undertaken in calendar years 2012-13. Proposals will be accepted beginning in late November 2012.

Dual-Title PhD in Astrobiology- This program allows students to pursue specialized concentrations with a degree in "Doctor of Philosophy ( and Astrobiology). The departments that are currently available to pursue a dual-title PhD are: Aeronautics & Astronautics, Astronomy, Atmospheric Sciences, Biology, Earth & Space Sciences, Environmental & Forest Sciences, Microbiology, and Oceanography. Students must be admitted to both the Astrobiology department and one of the departments listed above.

Graduate Certificates

  • GCeCS-The Graduate Certificate in Climate Science was created to provide an interdisciplinary training in methods, research issues, and communication of climate science that enhances the scientific breadth and professional employability of GCeCS awardees. The certificate combines the PCC courses, specifically designed to address the cross-linkages in the earth system that disciplinary curricula are not able to do, with a capstone project in Communicating Climate Science.
  • Program on the Environment- Environmental Management Certificate: graduate students from across the University collaborate to tackle real-world problems with profound policy, scientific, and business ramifications.
  • Graduate Certificate in Astrobiology- This program is available for students at both a master and doctoral level. While similar to the Dual-Title PhD Astrobiology degree, the certificate has less requirements and a student in any of the following departments can apply: Aeronautics & Astronautics, Astronomy, Atmospheric Sciences, Biology, Earth & Space Sciences, Environmental & Forest Sciences, Microbiology, and Oceanography.


The PCC hosts an Annual Summer Institute in which local and visiting speakers participate along with 60 faculty and graduate students. Reading sessions are offered for participating graduate students in the month prior to the conference that focus on publications by the speakers.

Every 18 months, the UW climate graduate students host a conference by and for graduate students (the Graduate Student Climate Conference). With financial support from across campus, this has become an extremely successful event.

The Dissertations Initiative for the Advancement of Climate-Change Research (DISSCRS, pronounced "discourse") selects 32 recent post-doctorates annually to attend their symposia. More information and application instructions can be found at their website.

After the PCC

Graduates from the PCC have gone on to work in all sectors of climate related science. Many of the PCC research themes have been carried into their future careers, and PCC alumni as a whole are well-represented in the climate research community. A list of publications by current and former PCC students is being continually updated by the PCC. For the latest version please check this page.

Contact the UW PCC office for more information on these programs.