Atmospheric Science is the study of weather and climate.  The atmosphere is a key component of the environment and affects many human activities ranging from daily weather prediction to the understanding of climate and human health.  This program provides graduate students with the advanced training to address a host of meteorological and climate related issues facing humans today.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Entering students are expected to have a M.S. degree in atmospheric science or in another physical science, mathematics or engineering.  Entering students will be expected to have studied mathematics, including vector calculus and ordinary differential equations.  They should also have taken the equivalent of at least 2 semesters of calculus-based physics and one of chemistry.  Graduate Record Examination scores are required of all applicants.  Applicants should have a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.  Applicants with a GPA of less than 3.0 may be considered for admission on a probationary or provisional status.

Upon a student's admission to the department, the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) will appoint an advisor. Early in the first semester (preferably in the first week of classes), the student should meet with this advisor to outline a tentative program of coursework for the degree. Such programs should be solidified by the time of enrollment for the second semester and submitted to the GSC for approval. The student and advisor then continue to discuss and update programs each semester, bearing in mind that any substantive changes must be approved by the GSC.

Core Courses (17)
ATMO 710Atmospheric Dynamics3
ATMO 720Atmospheric Modeling3
GEOG 716Advanced Geostatistics3
Two-day (non-credit) orientation before classes begin in the fall semester
GEOG 980Seminar in Geography: _____ (Colloquium for 1 credit hour during each of the first 2 semesters of residence at KU.)2
500 level and above courses in mathematics, engineering, or other research skill courses approved by student's committee6
Electives (15-24)15-24
Electives are selected with approval of the committee and are tailored to fit the needs of the individual student (e.g. oriented to a subfield in meteorology, climatology, or other specializations) Sample courses include:
Advanced Topics in Atmospheric Science: _____
Applied Partial Differential Equations
Numerical Analysis I
Intermediate Geographical Information Systems
Geographic Information Science
Soil Chemistry
Virology Laboratory
Introduction to Biostatistics
Forest Ecosystems
Biometry I
Intermediate Fluid Mechanics
Physical Hydrology
Water Quality
Dissertation Research (30)30

Comprehensive Examination Process

All candidates must pass a comprehensive written examination. Program sheets are available in the department office and must be filed before the oral examination can be scheduled.  The student will have a dissertation committee consisting of at least 5 faculty members.  At least 4 of these faculty must regularly teach in the atmospheric sciences program.  One of the faculty members on the committee must be from outside the geography and atmospheric science department.

RSRS Requirement

The Research Skill and Responsible Scholarship (RSRS) requirement will be met by 6 credits at the 500 level or above in mathematics and/or engineering.  Alternatively, 6 credits at the 500 level or above in a related discipline which are approved by the student’s graduate committee may also be used for the RSS requirement.   The courses for the RSRS requirement must be taken during the PhD program.  Students must participate in the existing Geography Department ethical scholarship program.

Dissertation Requirements

The student must submit a dissertation approved by his/her graduate committee.  All candidates must pass a final oral examination and must submit an approved dissertation to UMI. The dissertation will be defended in a public presentation.