Climate Change and Health

This Climate Change and Health course was developed in partnership with Physicians for Social International Society of Doctors for the Environment George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, and Health Care Without Harm. This course uses adapted competencies on climate change and health recommended by the  World Health Organization and the World Medical Association, and uses resources from accredited, world-class organizations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations, the  World Health Organization, and the World Meteorological Organization. The course developer is Erica Frank, MD, MPH and our Advisory Group is: Robert Gould, MD; Thomas L. Hall, MD, DrPH; Edward Maibach, MPH, PhD; and Bill McKibben. We gratefully acknowledge major contributions from: Dr. Mike Benusic; Ms. Yasmin Kassam; Dr. Max Pensel; and Dr. Caroline Walker.

Physicians For Social Responsibility
George Mason University Center For Climate Change Communication
HealthCare Without Harm
Doctors For The environment

For a publication on this course’s efficacy, see “How an Entry-Level, Interdisciplinary Sustainability Course Revealed the Benefits and Challenges of a University-Wide Initiative for Sustainability Education,” (2015), International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education,; see also “Building Public Health Capacity through Online Global Learning,” (2018), Open Praxis,; to see more research related to’s educational model, check out’s publication page.

There are two components to this course. The first component involves completing 4 modules which provide: 

  1. An introduction to the science of climate change; 
  2. An overview of how climate change is affecting public health; 
  3. Strategies to predict and communicate climate change;  and suggestions on how we can adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.


In order to receive a certificate of completion, you will need to also complete the second, skills-based component of the course, which requires you to identify a mentor with professional health care training at least at the bachelor’s level, and with a certificate or other specific training in climate change, who can provide you with feedback on the assignments you submit. 

The results of your assessments will be provided to you, and we can report your testing information and share your work with anyone you request (school, employer, etc.). The evaluation you provide at the course’s conclusion will help us improve the training for future students. We hope you find this Climate Change and Health course a wonderful learning experience!

Approximate time for the required readings in this course is 29 hours at an average reading rate of 144 words/minute; in addition, there are required activities as described above.

The course requires completion of peer and mentored activities. At the end of each lesson, there is a practice quiz. At the end of the course, after you’ve completed each lesson, quiz, and activity, you’ll have access to a final exam, and a chance to assess the training. Once you’ve passed that last test, you will be able to download a certificate of completion from and our course’s co-sponsoring organizations (listed above). We keep all of your personal information confidential, never sell any of your information, and only use anonymized data for research purposes, and we are also happy to report your testing information and share your work with anyone (your school, employer, etc.) at your request. We hope that you will find this a rewarding learning experience, and we count on your assessment and feedback to help us improve this training for future students. 

Engaging with this Course:

You may browse this course for free to learn for your personal enrichment; there are no requirements.

To obtain a certificate


  • Show in the registration fields that you have the appropriate prerequisites to be certified [a high school degree for college courses, a college degree for the master’s level courses, and enrollment in or graduation from a medical doctoral program for our medical doctoral-level courses].
  • Complete all the reading requirements.
  • Complete all quizzes and pass with a 70% with unlimited attempts.
  • Complete the 3 peer activities and associated certification quizzes.
  • Successfully complete the final exam with a minimum of 70% and a maximum of 3 attempts.
  • Complete the self and course evaluation forms.
To obtain credit 
  • Complete all requirements listed above for the certificate. 
  • Your learning institution or workplace should approve the partner-university-sponsored course for educational credit, as they would for their learner taking a course anywhere.
    • is happy to provide your institution with:
      • a link to and description of the course training, so they can see all its components, including the cosponsoring universities and other professional organization cosponsors; 
      • your grade on the final exam;
      • your work products (e.g. peer and mentored activities), and any other required or optional shared materials that you produce and authorize to share with them;  
      • your evaluations — self-, peer-, and [for mentored courses] mentor assessments;
      • a copy of your certificate of completion, with the co-sponsoring universities and other organizations listed. 

We hope that you will find this a rewarding learning experience, and we count on your assessment and feedback to help us improve this training for future students.

To obtain a degree co-sponsored with, registrants must be enrolled in a degree program as a student of a institutional partner. If you think that your institution might be interested in offering a degree with contact us.

Next Steps

  • Complete the registration form.
  • Begin the course with Module 1: Introduction to Climate Change. In each lesson, read the description, complete all required readings and any required activity, and take the corresponding quizzes.