Skip Navigation

M.S. Program

Students that complete the M.S. program will have acquired the knowledge and proficiency needed to seek employment in the field of atmospheric science. This knowledge and proficiency are gained through completion of a required core curriculum, elective graduate courses chosen from a wide selection of offerings, and by participation in scientific research with their advisors.

M.S. graduates are prepared for a wide choice of professionally satisfying work in private industry, the consulting field, and with many government agencies. Graduates of the M.S. program can also choose to continue their studies and research in the Ph.D. program. A student is eligible to seek admission to the Ph.D. program after successfully completing a thesis-based M.S. degree with a positive recommendation from their M.S. committee. Students holding thesis-based M.S. degrees from institutions other than CSU may be directly admitted into the Ph.D. program. These students follow the normal application procedures to our program.

In addition to meeting the formal credit requirements for the M.S., described below, all graduate students enrolled in the department are expected to attend the weekly department colloquium series. These colloquia are an important part of the total instructional program. Colloquia are normally held on Friday at 11:15 a.m. during the school year.

Prerequisites

Plan A (Thesis)

A minimum of 30 semester credits plus thesis is required. At least 19 credits must be earned in structured academic courses. 11 credits may be in special studies, graduate seminars, and research (a maximum of 11 research credits is allowed). Of the total 30 credits, 20 must be Department of Atmospheric Science courses (i.e., courses with the ATS prefix).

All M.S. students must complete the following required courses (required courses account for 13 credit hours):

All M.S. students also must complete 6 elective credit hours in structured classes. Electives may include any structured class at the 500/600 level. With written advisor approval, electives also may include structured 700 level classes and/or structured graduate courses in other departments. Audits do not count toward the M.S. degree.

A student may substitute a required class for an alternative course if:

A student ‘s program of study, and any deviations from department degree requirements, requires department head approval.

ATS 784 does not count toward the 19 structured credits.  ATS 699 and ATS 784 are graded as S/U.

Plan B (Non-Thesis)

The student must complete a minimum of 32 semester credits. The 32 credit hours must include 1) the 12 required credit hours listed in G1a (excluding ATS 693) and 2) a minimum of 11 elective credit hours in structured classes. Electives may include any structured class at the 500/600 level. With written advisor approval, electives also may include structured 700 level classes and/or structured graduate courses in other departments. The remaining four credit hours may be in independent studies, group studies or graduate seminars. Research credits (699, 799) and audits do not count toward the non-thesis M.S. degree.

Of the total 32 credits, 20 must be Department of Atmospheric Science courses (i.e., courses with the ATS prefix). A scholarly paper must be prepared and presented to the graduate committee prior to the final examination.

National Weather Service Basic Requirements

For those students interested in employment as an operational meteorologist with the National Weather Service, adherence to basic education requirements is important. Requirements implemented in October 1992, and revised in 1995, follow:

There is a prerequisite or corequisite of calculus for coursework in atmospheric dynamics and thermodynamics, physics, and differential equations. Calculus courses must be appropriate for a physical science major.

M.S. Checklist

Each semester the Graduate School publishes a schedule of deadlines on its website. Students should consult this schedule whenever they approach important steps in their careers.

STEP DUE DATE
Graduate school application Six months before first registration
Appointment of advisor At time of admission
Selection of graduate committee Before the time of fourth regular semester registration
Filing of program of study (GS Form 6) Before the time of fourth regular semester registration
Changes in committee (GS Form 9A) When change is made
Application for graduation (GS Form 25) Refer to published deadlines on the Graduate School website
Reapplication for graduation (online) Failure to graduate requires reapplication for graduation (online) for the next term for which you are applying
Submit thesis/dissertation to committee Four weeks prior to final examination
Announcement of final exam Two weeks prior to final exam notify department head assistant for faculty announcement
Report of final examination (GS Form 24) To Graduate School within two working days after results are known; refer to published deadlines on the Graduate School website
Submit a signed Thesis/Dissertation Submission Form to the Graduate School prior to submitting the electronic thesis/dissertation Refer to published deadlines on the Graduate School website
Submit the thesis/dissertation electronically Refer to published deadlines on the Graduate School website