Become a climate scientist and activist

Climate Change: Inside the Science and Advocacy

What if people could harness innovation and communities to improve the environment? In this course, you become a citizen scientist, equipped to do research and communicate your findings in a way that helps foster change. Learn climate change on a global scale and how this impacts your community. Discover your households’ carbon footprint and what you can do to lessen its impact. Understand the history of the environmental movement, the Paris Agreement and America’s role in climate science.

If you have a passion for the environment, science or political activism, this course is a must for you.

Apply Now

Decorative: Glacier falling due to climate change

Program Dates

Multiple 2- and 4-week sessions.


For students ages 13+.



Learn the science behind your changing world and how you can help

First Learn the Science — Then Join the Cause

Discover the impacts of climate change on a global scale, from severe weather to sea level rise and the indigenous people who used to live in your area. Learn how activist groups are addressing these issues.

Understand the Biology Behind Climate Change

Get smart on how climate change has evolved from past to present. Be able to define the biology that makes climate science provable. Study the outcomes of carbon reduction measures.

Discover What Happens When Nature's Clock is Out of Sync

What do shorter winters mean for the health of the planet? Interview adults in your family or community about what the weather was like when they were young. Hear about how climate activists such as Greta Thunberg, Jamie Margolin and Varshini Prakash have impacted the movement.

Meet Your New Neighbors: Species on the Move

Explore how climate change motivates species migration. We’ll focus on the eastern Massachusetts ecosystem and draw wider lessons. Also covered will be how community organizations seek policy change to address these issues through legislation such as the “Green New Deal.”

How to Create a Compelling Green Message

You’ll practice the communication tools that promote change — social media messaging, PR releases, storytelling on platforms such as YouTube and the strategies and tactics that make up an effective plan.

Prepare for a Future in Science or Advocacy

Topics covered offer orientation for potential careers in the sciences, especially as related to climate, biology or environmental engineering. Also provided is a good background for fields such as community organization, education, environmental law or grant writing.

Apply Now for the Next Available Course

Climate Change: Inside the Science and Advocacy

June 26 - July 10

Length: 2 weeks

Cost: $995

Application Deadline: Sunday, June 19, 2022

Climate Change: Inside the Science and Advocacy

July 10 - July 24

Length: 2 weeks

Cost: $995

Application Deadline: Sunday, July 3, 2022

Climate Change: Inside the Science and Advocacy

July 24 - August 7

Length: 2 weeks

Cost: $995

Application Deadline: Sunday, July 17, 2022

All course options, whether 2 or 4 weeks, have the identical educational content, learning materials, and number of assignments. The difference in length of course is to allow flexibility for a student's busy schedule.

Skills You Will Gain From This Course

  • You will learn how to back up your point of view with the latest science
  • You will know the biological evidence that supports climate science
  • You will see how scientific theory applies to your local environment
  • You will acquire powerful communication skills with various media platforms
  • You will be able to determine if a future in the field is right for you

Decorative: Student on the floor taking the Brandeis online pre-college Climate Change course

3 Learning Advantages Designed for You

Flexible Learning

  • 100% asynchronous online, works with your schedule
  • 20-25 hours of total instruction and course work, including engaging multimedia, simulations, and curated assignments for which you will receive guidance and support
  • Engage with fellow students from around the world


You’ll receive guidance from a mentor who can support you and answer questions as you deepen your learning experience. You can expect: 

  • Encouragement and direction on all assignments
  • Inspiration, motivation and confidence to help you succeed
  • Brainstorming and ideation help as you prepare for your final project

Final Project

The course culminates with a special project that allows you to:

  • Demonstrate what you’ve learned in this course
  • Get feedback from your mentor on your work
  • Use video, audio, text, cartoon, social media to create your campaign

Course Designed By

Headshot of Brandeis Climate Change course Professor, Colleen Hitchcock

Professor Colleen Hitchcock, Associate Professor of Ecology

Professor Hitchcock’s academic interests are focused on the role of citizen science in ecological inquiry and conservation biology, specifically relating to studies of biodiversity, conservation, phenology and climate change. She focuses on the power of the public in scientific research and the application of community/citizen science research as a model for learning by students. Hitchcock teaches a wide variety of courses for science and environmental studies majors, as well as for students outside of the sciences.

Headshot of Brandeis Climate Change course Professor, Sabine von Mering

Professor Sabine von Mering, Professor of German and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Director of the Center for German and European Studies

Professor von Mering is a core faculty member with the Environmental Studies Program, and Director of the Center for German and European Studies (CGES) at Brandeis. Her co-edited volumes include Right-Wing Radicalism Today: Perspectives from Europe and the US (2013), and International Green Politics (2002). She teaches Human/Nature: European Perspectives on Climate Change, and Your Brain on Carbon.  

Course Mentors

Headshot of Chris who is a Brandeis Climate Change course mentor


A recent Brandeis University graduate. He served as the State Policy Lead at Sunrise Boston during which time he lobbied for climate legislation at the Massachusetts Statehouse and gave presentations about climate policy and Massachusetts politics.

Headshot of Phoebe who is a Brandeis Climate Change course mentor


Brandeis University graduate with a major in Environmental Studies and minors in Social Justice and Social Policy. She is currently working as the Maine Director for Vote Mob, a progressive youth-led youth voter turnout organization in Maine.

Headshot of Cassie who is a Brandeis Climate Change course mentor


Brandeis University graduate with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies. Currently works for 350 Maine and Maine Climate Action NOW! as their Youth Engagement Coordinator. She also co-founded and facilitates Maine Youth for Climate Justice, a coalition of over 300 Maine youth activists fighting for bold climate action.

Headshot of River who is a Brandeis Climate Change course mentor


Undergraduate student at Brandeis University majoring in Environmental Studies and Sociology and minoring in International & Global Studies and Social Justice & Social Policy. At Brandeis, she is currently an editor of the Justice newspaper and a coordinator for Symbiosis, the university's environmental volunteer program. Previously, she designed and taught a six-week Introduction to Climate Justice course for high school students through the MIT Educational Studies Program.

How to Apply

Decorative: High school student taking the Brandeis online pre-college Climate change course

It’s easy. No transcripts or letters of recommendation are required. Our application will ask you to provide the following:

  • Basic contact information for you and your parent or guardian.
  • Why you wish to take this course. You can tell your story through writing, video, photos — any media you prefer. NOTE: Please submit all application materials in English.

Begin the guided process. It should take only a few minutes of your time to answer the questions.

Apply Now

Want to Know More?

Sign up for more information and we’ll be in touch.

Request Information


Our application is easy. You can expect a prompt decision.

Apply Now

Frequently Asked Questions

How will you be graded? What are assignments like? How much time do you get to turn around a project? When do you find out if you're accepted?

Answers to Your Questions Here

Want to study on campus?

Brandeis University offers a variety of residential courses throughout the summer that allow Precollege students to engage in the rigors of academics at a world-class university, and join a vibrant community of people interested and engaged in some of the most pressing issues of our time.

Learn More About On Campus Study


We offer need-based scholarships in each cohort to students exhibiting high potential who need assistance affording the associated cost. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship but you: