Master's Program in Integrated Climate System Sciences

The English-language MSc in Integrated Climate System Sciences (ICSS) combines elements of the atmospheric, hydrospheric, cryospheric and biospheric natural sciences with those of economics and the social sciences. The program has an internationally unique focus on physics and modeling and offers three areas of specialization:

  • physics of the climate system
  • biogeochemistry of the climate system
  • climate-related economics and social sciences

The ICSS program is research oriented and imparts knowledge of and skills in climate research. A solid background in climate physics prepares students for careers in an interdisciplinary field of science, requiring the ability to communicate with colleagues from different disciplines, to apply a diverse range of methods from various subject areas to climate-related research questions, as well as the ability to generate, interpret and combine scientific results.

Classes are limited to 20 students. This research-oriented program was accredited by ASIIN in 2010.

Clisap master

A master’s degree in Integrated Climate System Sciences lays the foundation for a career in science and research and qualifies students to pursue a doctoral degree. It further qualifies graduates for a career as climate science consultant or spokesperson in international organizations, as well as global enterprises and agencies.


The two-year curriculum consists of eleven modules.

The first semester lays the foundation for the rest of the program (research skills, review of basic principles in mathematics and physics for the climate sciences, functioning and variability of the climate system, principles of economic and social sciences).

The second semester is designed to broaden interdisciplinary knowledge; students are largely free to devise their own course plan.

In the last two semesters, students are expected to deepen their knowledge in one of the three areas of specialization.

Individual academic advising is available throughout the program. We strongly urge first semester students to attend orientation activities in the beginning weeks of October.

The Cluster of Excellence CliSAP

How fast is the Arctic sea ice really melting? Will the Gulf Stream continue to bring sufficient warmth to Europe? How will our global economies and societies be impacted by climate change? What conflicts over land, water, and other resources can be expected?

Universität Hamburg’s Cluster of Excellence "Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction" (CliSAP) is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Major CliSAP contributors are the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M), the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (Centre for Materials and Coastal Research, HZG), and the German Climate Computing Center (DKRZ).

During the first funding period of the federal Excellence Initiative, 2007—2012, CliSAP received about €28.5 million for its climate studies programs. For the second stretch, from 2012—2017, the DFG has granted the cluster around €24.5 million.

Program taught in:
This course is
Start Date
Oct. 2019
2 years
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Start Date
Oct. 2019
End Date
Application deadline

Oct. 2019

Application deadline
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