Climate Scholars Graduation Requirements

The Climate Scholars Program accommodates entering freshmen, transfer students, and students who join Climate Scholars after their first year at UAF by recognizing multiple levels of accomplishment at graduation. Minimum qualifications for each level of Climate Scholars accomplishment and details on individual requirements can be found below. All students completing Climate Scholars requirements will simultaneously earn credit towards Honors College requirements. 

Honors Climate Scholar (HCS)

12 Climate Credits
(1 Climate Intensive)

No Service Hours

Climate Capstone Required

3.25 GPA

HCS Distinction

18 Climate Credits
(2 Climate Intensives)

40 Service Hours

Climate Capstone Required

3.50 GPA

HCS Highest Distinction

24 Climate Credits
(2 Climate Intensives)

80 Service Hours

Climate Capstone Required

3.50 GPA

To most efficiently complete Climate Scholars courses, it is recommended that all Climate Scholars reference the following schedule when planning their degree paths. To make good progress, students should complete a minimum of 6 Climate Scholars credits a year.

Year 1

  • HONR F101, Introduction to Honors & Climate Scholars reading seminar (3 credits)
  • HONR F125, Our Changing Climate: Past, Present, Future (3 credits)
  • Climate Intensive (optional 2 credits)

Year 2

  • HONR F301, Climate Scholars Interdisciplinary Seminar (3 credits)
  • Climate Scholars seminar or sections of core general classes that meet major requirements (3 credits)
  • Climate Intensive (optional 2 credits)

Year 3

  • Study Abroad (optional 3-6 credits)
  • Climate Scholars seminar or sections of core general classes that meet major requirements (3 credits)
  • Climate Intensive (optional 2 credits)

Year 4

  • HONR F499, Capstone Development (1-6 credits)
  • Climate Scholars seminar or sections of core general classes that meet major requirements (3 credits)

Service hours are required for Climate Scholars graduating with Distinction (40) or Highest Distinction (80). Service hours include unpaid volunteer opportunities at community nonprofit organizations, participation in campus clubs and student groups, and attendance of campus-wide events. While we recommend all Climate Scholars participate in climate-related service activities, we do not require all service hours to be centered in climate-related organizations or events.

Example Opportunities

Community Organizations

  • Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition
  • Fireweed Collective
  • Cold Climate Housing Research Center
  • Northern Alaska Environmental Center
  • Alaska Climate Alliance
  • Interior Alaska Land Trust

Campus Groups

  • Arctic and Northern Studies Club
  • American Fisheries Society
  • Campus Community Garden
  • Divest UAF
  • Model United Nations
  • UA Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society

Campus-wide Events

  • Guest lectures
  • Candidate forums
  • Student presentations and thesis defense
  • Registration events
  • Research speaker series
  • Residence hall activities

A climate-related capstone project or research-based thesis must be completed by all Climate Scholars by graduation. Capstone projects represent the culmination of a student's time and learning experiences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. We encourage all students to find a format for this project that best fits their interests, degree path, and goals after graduation.

Students required to complete a capstone project through their degree path may tailor their project to meet Climate Scholars requirements by incorporating a climate lens. Students interested in developing a capstone project or research-based thesis outside of their degree requirements are highly encouraged to enroll in HONR 499: Honors Thesis Development. This course provides time, credit, and support to thoroughly develop a project that meets both Climate Scholars and Honors standards.

To remain in good standing with the Climate Scholars Program, and be eligible for all program benefits, students must maintain a GPA above 3.00 and be completing Climate Scholars courses. Students are expected to take at least 6 credits of Climate courses each year. Accumulating more than 6 credits throughout freshman and sophomore years will allow for more flexibility junior and senior years.


Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.00 will receive intervention and strong support from Climate Scholars and Honors staff. We will work with students individually to help them return to good standing.