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Integrated Climate System Sciences (ICSS)

Course Description

Why study Integrated Climate System Sciences in Hamburg?

The MSc program in Integrated climate system Sciences (ICSS) offers courses in all fields of climate system sciences. At present, the program allows the specialization in one of following three tracks:

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

All courses are held in English. Class size is limited to 20 students. Our research oriented study program has been accredited by ASIIN in 2010.

Six good reasons to apply at SICSS

• Be part of the Cluster of Excellence CliSAP at KlimaCampus Hamburg and study all aspects of the climate system.
• Benefit from a structured study program.
• Take the advantage of having the choice to give your study program either an "in-depth" or an "interdisciplinary" focus.
• Have access to an exciting environment conducive to science and education, and use the extraordinary resources at the KlimaCampus.
• Make use of our support program and prepare yourself for your chosen career field.
• Feel at home in an international atmosphere and enjoy living in Hamburg.

Curriculum for Integrated Climate System Sciences

Your curriculum for the two-year ICSS master`s program is subdivided into four semesters with mandatory courses, elective courses for specialization and the preparation of your master’s thesis. The curriculum starts from a firm basis in climate physics (and in particular climate modeling) but adds the equally important aspects of global and regional biogeochemical cycling and puts all this into a broader context, including economic as well as societal implications. SICSS courses comprise a wide range of atmospheric, hydrospheric, cryospheric, pedospheric and biospheric sciences, as well as introductions and specializations into economics, social geography, media sciences and conflict research to shed light on climate system science from different perspectives.

You will start your studies with mandatory courses in research skills, as well as natural and social science foundation courses in climate system sciences.
The main goal of the second semester is to broaden your knowledge across the climate science disciplines. You will choose courses from at least two of the three possible program tracks.
The third semester features the Climate Study Project, which includes an integrated seminar and a scientific writing course to prepare you for the master thesis. You will find your personal supervisor and work closely together with a CliSAP research group.
The fourth and final semester is reserved for the master’s thesis.

Please find more information on the curriculum on our website: http://www.clisap.de/grad-school/msc-program/your-curriculum/.

Your future career

Become a climate expert! Depending on your personal interests, you will be well prepared and equipped for an international career in both applied and fundamental research, as well as for positions in government or business.

After graduation our students successfully work as:
• researchers in the fields of natural, social and economic sciences, while maintaining a strong focus on the climate system and its past, present and future changes.
• consultants in the public service and private business sectors, and in non-governmental organizations.
• experts in national and international organizations working in the field of development cooperation.

Start your studies

The SICSS Office is your main contact for information and will support you with a comprehensive and practical “welcome service” by assisting with enrollment, visa application, health insurance, registration with local authorities, opening of a bank account and support in finding accommodations.

As an incoming master’s student you will receive support from a personal buddy. This personal buddy is one of the MSc ICSS students and will accompany you from the start of your travel and study planning to your arrival and during your first days in Hamburg. SICSS also offers an Orientation Week for all new first semester students, including information on your study program and excursions to climate-related institutions and sites.

Tuition fees and other costs

There are no tuition fees at the Universität Hamburg and foreign students who are enrolled do not pay tuition. However, there are other fees. The semester fee at the Universität Hamburg is currently 305 Euros. Upon receipt of the semester fee the university will issue your semester documents, including a pass for the public transport system in Hamburg. Upon your request, the SICSS Office will provide information about living expenses in Hamburg and Germany.

Visit the Integrated Climate System Sciences (ICSS) page on the Hamburg University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Zahra Sadat Parsakhoo

2100.jpg “Since challenging research is done increasingly in teams, where different approaches, cultures and styles of thought complement each other, the international SICSS program seems perfect to me. I learn as much as possible about the climate system in a very integrated way. In addition to my main track, physics, I study the social, political and economic aspects of climate change. At SICSS I have the chance to academically analyze the devastating impact of climate change on human life and the earth system.”

(Student Profile)

Alex Hudy

2101.jpg “My background is very much an integrated field, combining environmental geology, environmental economics and German studies. I wanted to continue this integrated approach and SICSS had the only program like this that I could find in both the US and Germany. I like the breadth of the study program that we started with and how students can select a personal focus. SICSS attracts students from all across the globe with very different backgrounds. As such, we all bring unique perspectives to the classes and a variety of strengths. “

(Student Profile)

Laure Hoeppli

2102.jpg “SICSS is open to students with different horizons, origins and backgrounds. There is a big exchange of cultures and traditions, as well as knowledge of different scientific domains. We all work together, and everybody can teach and learn something from the other. I see SICSS as a big family for those who are so far away from their own.”

(Student Profile)

Marguerite Lee

2103.jpg “The SICSS focus is on educating and preparing the future scientists of the world. I am not only supervised by internationally recognized professors but I can also conduct many courses, seminars and training workshops at no extra cost, which enhances and complements my studies, improves my writing and presentation skills, and any other technical issues that impact a scientist's life.”

(Student Profile)

Kenneth Ayadiani

2104.jpg “My main motivation studying at SICSS is the multidisciplinary nature of the program coupled with the structural flexibility of its design. This meets my individual interests and career goals and opens up the opportunity to continue with a doctorate. And Hamburg offers such great and pleasant living conditions. The city is well known for its versatile community life and I meet and interact with a lot of people with diverse cultural backgrounds, interests and opinions.”


Entry Requirements

1. Demonstrated skills in maths and physics equivalent to approximately 90 CP (1 CP equals 30 hrs of study) and a BSc in a subject related to climate system sciences such as meteorology, oceanography, or environmental physics. Admission of applicants with less than 90 CPs is subject to individual evaluation. 2. Adequate proof of English proficiency, e.g.: English B.Sc. or M.Sc.; TOEFL internet-based test*: minimum score of 78 (minimum sub score of 18 for Listening, Comprehension, Speaking and Writing); IELTS*: at least band 6.0 (minimum sub score of 5.5 for Listening, Comprehension, Speaking and Writing)

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