The Program in Climate and Environmental Studies emerged from a faculty development initiative called the Cumberland Project, which sought to encourage innovations in sustainability education by providing educators with intensive workshop opportunities to redesign courses with significant environmental or sustainability components. This project helped faculty to develop initial courses in the area of climate studies. With courses in place, in 2012 College of Arts and Science faculty launched the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies, offering a minor in environmental and sustainability studies. In 2022, the faculty launched an innovative interdisciplinary major in climate studies, and the program was renamed Climate and Environmental Studies.
In addition to housing the climate studies major and the environmental and sustainability studies minor, the program also hosts events, shares information with students about course offerings, assists students with the development of majors and minors, and tracks internship offerings and alumni placements.