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What are the dates of the course?

This course is self-paced, which means you can complete the content anytime. This run of the course will close on August 31, 2020 -- so be sure to complete all materials by then! 

What resources will I need for this class?

A strong internet connection will be helpful, but we will try to ensure materials are available for slower bandwidths as well. The course is optimized to run on the most recent versions of most browsers, and Google Chrome and Safari have been shown to work the best with the platform. No other computer programs or books are necessary. All the readings will be provided as links.

How many hours a week will this course take?

Though it varies by person, this course should be on average 2 hours of viewing time for the lecture videos plus 2-3 hours per module for comprehension questions, readings, and engagement on the discussion board. You can pace it accordingly and work at any time suitable to you. None of the course is compulsory --the Mid-Term and Final exams are only required if you want to earn a Verified Certificate. However, if you are auditing the course, you are free to pick and choose the topics that interest you.

What kind of background do I need for this course? 

The course is open to all and is accessible to learners without prior background in the topic of climate science.

Can I take this class for university credit?

No. While we encourage teachers and professors to incorporate this material into their own courses, you cannot take this course on its own for university credit.

How will I communicate with other learners?

You will communicate mostly in the discussion forum within the course platform. 

I see that all the due dates are set in UTC. What is UTC?

All of the due dates and times are presented in UTC, which is Coordinated Universal Time, set equivalent to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). To convert this to your time zone, please use a time zone converter.

How is the course graded? 

Ungraded comprehension quizzes to test your knowledge are included with each chapter. Learners on the Verified track must also complete a Final exam, worth 90% of the grade. The remaining 10% comes from Participation (completion of the pre- and post-course surveys). Verified learners must score an average of 70% in order to earn their certificates.

Who do I contact with questions?

  • Course content issues (questions about assessments and lectures) should be emailed directly to, using the subject line "Climate Science Course." 
  • edX Technical issues should be directed to the Student Support Team via the Help button at the top of your screen.