Master of Science Degree in Atmospheric Sciences

THESE REQUIREMENTS WERE IN FORCE PRIOR TO NOVEMBER 2015 AND ONLY APPLY TO GRADUATE STUDENTS ENTERING BEFORE THAT DATE WHO HAVE CHOSEN TO HAVE THESE REQUIREMENTS APPLY TO THEM. The following M.S. requirements are formulated within the framework of the Graduate College requirements as described in A Handbook for Graduate Students and Advisors. The requirements of the degree of Master of Science in Atmospheric Sciences correspond to the general requirements of the Graduate College for the degree with the additional requirement that a minimum of 16 hours must be graduate courses in Atmospheric Sciences, excluding thesis credit. A total of 32 hours are required with a minimum of 12 hours from 500 series courses. The Department offers two options for a Master’s degree, a thesis option and a non-thesis option. 

1) THESIS OPTION:

The thesis option is intended for those students who wish to pursue a career in research in the Atmospheric Sciences. This option is strongly recommended for students who wish to later pursue a Ph.D. degree.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Atmospheric Science graduate courses
(500 level and approved 400 level courses)
16 hours
    (not including 599)
Minimum 500-level hours 12 hours
ATMS 599 Thesis Research 4-8 hours
Total Hours 32 hours

 

Thesis Seminar

When the thesis is near completion, or is completed, the student is required to give a seminar on his/her research. The seminar is intended to permit the departmental faculty to assess the student’s skills in organizing and presenting a self-contained piece of research. If the student expects to complete the thesis during the summer, the student must either schedule the seminar for the previous spring or return to give the seminar during the fall semester. Only in extenuating circumstances (e.g., prolonged illness) will the possibility of a summer seminar be considered; in the rare case of a summer seminar, a majority of the departmental faculty must be present.

Thesis

All departmental theses must satisfy the format regulations described in the Graduate College Thesis Handbook. Students should be aware of these guidelines prior to writing their dissertation.  A member of the Graduate Affairs Committee or department staff will generally perform the format check. After the format approval has been obtained, the approval of the thesis by the advisor and the Department Head constitute an official acceptance. The thesis may account for four or eight hours of credit toward the required 32 hours.

Students who elect the thesis option can, with approval of the Department Head, continue directly for the Ph.D. degree following completion of all Master’s degree requirements.

2) Non-Thesis Option:

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Atmospheric Science graduate courses
(500 level and approved 400 level courses)
16 hours
    (not including 596)
Minimum 500-level hours 12 hours
ATMS 596 4 hours
Total Hours 32 hours
 

The non-thesis option is intended for students who wish to pursue careers in education, applied meteorology, computer applications in meteorology, or other areas within atmospheric science not specifically tied to research. The non-thesis option is not intended for students who wish to later pursue a Ph.D. degree. Students who elect the non-thesis option and later wish to enter the Ph.D. program at the Department will be required to reapply for admission to the Department using standard University procedures after receiving the Master’s degree.Students selecting the non-thesis option are required to demonstrate professional writing, presentation and computing skills, while obtaining a solid background in atmospheric science through course work. Specifically, the student is required to complete a project that will focus ona topic in the chosen track. The project may account for four hours of credit toward the required 32 hours. The student must register for ATMS 596 to obtain this credit.

The M.S. student electing the non-thesis option is required to submit a project description to the Department Head before beginning the project. Normally this should be done by the end of the student’s first year. It should be no more than two pages long. In the project description, the student should clearly describe the topic and the scope of project. A faculty advisor will then be assigned by the Department Head, based on the nature of the project and the faculty member’s interests.

In the project, the student is required to demonstrate:

a) Writing skills, by writing a substantial report summarizing the project.

b) Presentation skills, by presenting the project in an informal (non-seminar series) talk to a committee of three interested Department members, one of which is the advisor.

c) Basic computer skills, as dictated by the project.

The topic of the project will depend on the student’s interest and generally target the employment sector in which the student wishes to work following graduation. For example, a student interested in Applied Meteorology might develop a project related to an applied field within the Atmospheric Sciences, such as hydrology, agricultural meteorology, air pollution, consulting meteorology, forecasting, or emergency management. A student interested in K-12 Science Education might develop online modules for K-12 Education, or make a contribution to textbook development by a faculty member for the college level. A student interested in Computer Applications might develop computational tools that would be useful in the Atmospheric Sciences. Examples might be objective analysis schemes, internet java-based instructional units, or NEXRAD algorithms. To insure quality, the project/presentation will be graded(Pass/Fail) by the person faculty committee. If the student project is grade determined as “Fail” by any faculty member, the student will be given an opportunity to correct the deficiencies and resubmit the work. Third and subsequent attempts will only be granted after petitioning the Department.