Climate Adaptation - Online and Distance Education

Climate Adaptation

Graduate Certificates | Climate Adaptation

Climate Adaptation

Entrance Exam: Not Required

The Graduate Certificate in Climate Adaptation is designed to give students an appropriate background in climate change science and its implications for society to support the development of informed policy and business decisions. The certificate combines climate change science with broad knowledge of climate-sensitive sectors to support the development of effective adaptation and mitigation strategies. This program supports the goals of students interested in careers in climate change adaptation and current professionals in climate-sensitive sectors who are concerned with the aspects of planning or setting policies affected by global climate change.

The program's 12 credit hours (four courses) may be completed online or in person. It provides a comprehensive graduate-level credential for students who want to maximize their flexibility. The certificate is the ideal choice for professionals who need a versatile option to further develop their knowledge of climate adaptation. Additionally, professionals who are located internationally can complete all of the coursework online from almost any location. Certificate students seeking further professional growth in the area of climate adaptation may, during the course of instruction, choose to apply for the on-campus Climate Change and Society master's degree.


Applicants must meet one of the three following requirements:

  • be a graduate of an accredited four-year college or university and have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale in the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study;
  • have a master’s degree;
  • be a degree student in good standing in an NC State University graduate program.

You may submit your graduate application for the Graduate Certificate in Climate Adaptation on the Graduate School website. You can check the status of your application at any time. International students must include complete transcripts, a degree statement and TOEFL or IELTS scores. Applicants should have a minimum 3.0 grade point average.

Career Prospects

The job demand for climate adaptation experts is on the rise across multiple sectors. Concerns about climate change have contributed to growth in the following industries:

  • Renewable energy
  • Sustainable production and use of resources
  • Environmental damage mitigation and repair
  • Environmentally conscious city planning, infrastructure and development
  • Sustainable manufacturing and transportation of goods
  • Public policy

The Graduate Certificate in Climate Adaptation equips students to make meaningful contributions in business, agriculture, civil engineering, government, real estate and development. The coursework is innovative, professional, practical and designed to provide critical skills and knowledge expertise in climate science and adaptation. 

Our alumni and current students include individuals from established entities such as The Weather Channel, engineering firms, and current NC State students enrolled in a variety of programs including education and policy.

Our Students Say


Did you know NC State offers an online Master of Forest Biomaterials program? Well, did you know that forest biomaterials also encompasses the study of advanced engineering composites, bioproducts and bioenergy, life cycle analysis, nanotechnology, packaging and paper science, plastic and replacement technologies, and recycling technology? That’s right — the Master of Forest Biomaterials combines NC State’s top-ranked engineering strengths with a focus on sustainability. Graduates of the program are leaders in sustainability — challenging fossil-based technologies and redesigning our future.  Read what a few students had to say about their experiences in the online graduate-level forest biomaterials courses: 
“Thank you for putting together such an informative course. Just in the time since completing this course, I have such a better grasp of the chemical side of the linerboard machine I supervise. Making myself a better leader for the future,” says Mike Goin, a shift supervisor in the Paper and Packaging Services (PPS) division at Greif, on Professor Martin Hubbe’s paper manufacturing course. 
[This paper manufacturing course] helped me contextualize much of the other literature I had read about industrial papermaking... So much of paper conservation training revolves around handmade paper, yet you made the process and chemistry involved in large-scale contemporary papermaking very approachable,” says Travis Taylor, a paper conservator at The National Archives of Australia, on Professor Martin Hubbe’s paper manufacturing course.  
It's been more than 30 years since I had a statistics course, and your explanations and examples were easy to follow and finally made sense of basic statistics for me. Really, really good. I'm going to laminate these nine pages of notes,” says Dan Meyer on Associate Professor Joel Pawlak’s statistics primer course.
  Students in the Master of Forest Biomaterials online program usually retain their full-time jobs while enrolled in the program, so the knowledge they learn is immediately applicable to their current careers. Upon completion of the program, these students are well equipped for career advancement complete with a higher salary.  Are you interested? Check out the program page for more information. Applications are currently being accepted for fall 2021 through June 25.

- NC State Online Master of Forest Biomaterials Combines Engineering and Sustainability