Climate Science

Climate Science Major

Climate solutions in the making

Climate change impacts our world everywhere we look — global environmental and ecological systems, agricultural systems and food security, human health, water availability, migrations, and economic systems. In the face of extreme events such as flooding, heat waves, or widespread crop failures, communities and businesses urgently need professionals who can address these challenges and communicate about them.

As a climate science major at Iowa State, you’ll learn the fundamentals of climate science while specializing in an area that fits your interests and career goals. Choose from one of six pathways:

A degree in demand

Whether you advise companies on how to lower their carbon footprint, consult with cities on innovative climate action plans, or forecast climatological predictions for the financial and insurance industries, you can turn your passion into a profession and make a positive difference.

Employers in government, technology, business, national security, research, and many other fields are hiring for “green jobs” such as:

  • Climate risk specialist
  • Data analyst
  • Sustainability analyst
  • Scientist
  • Energy analyst
  • Climate coordinator
  • Carbon and climate program manager

You can also prepare for careers at National Laboratories, the National Weather Service, or the National Climatic Data Center, to name a few places.

With your skills, you’ll help develop more sustainable systems for societies and help communities build resilience and adapt to changes.

Two climate science students study a computer monitor
Photo by Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University

A Cyclone in the making

At Iowa State, learning happens inside and outside the classroom.

Work with award-winning faculty and staff mentors who are on the cutting edge of climate science, including Nobel Prize winners. You can even make undergraduate research your campus job. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) Dean’s High Impact Awards for Undergraduate Research support student researchers financially.

You will also connect with other amazing faculty across the university as you pursue your chosen pathway in the major.

Conduct climate research, lead a sustainability-focused student club, intern with the City of Ames or the Women, Food and Agricultural Network — your opportunities are endless at Iowa State.