Graduate Bulletin

DEPARTMENT OF EARTH AND ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES

Programs Leading to the Master of Science Degree in Atmospheric Science

General Sequence

  1. A minimum of 30 credits in graduate courses (500 level or above) is required for the master's degree;
  2. Atmospheric science (18 credits, minimum):
    1. Courses as advised including at least two courses from the area of Synoptic and Climate Dynamics (Atm 500, 501, 509, 511, 521, 522, 542 or 562) and at least two courses from the area of Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry (Atm 504A, 507 508, 514, 515, 518, 519, 520, 524, 528, 530, 534 or 546);
    2. Six credits of Atm 699 leading to an acceptable master's thesis;
  3. Supporting courses (0-12 credits): Courses in other fields, as advised;
  4. Satisfactory completion of a major field examination in atmospheric science.
  5. Ancillary Duties: In addition to the completion of course requirements, satisfactory performance in some ancillary teaching, research, or practicum duties contributing to academic development is required, whether or not the student receives financial support from this institution. These duties will be assigned with educational objectives in mind.
Secondary-School Teaching Sequence*
  1. A minimum of 30 credits in graduate courses (500 level or above) is required for the master's degree;
  2. Atmospheric science (18 credits, minimum):
    1. Courses as advised including Atm 500, 504A, and 507;
    2. Six credits of Atm 699 leading to an acceptable master's thesis;
  3. Supporting courses (0-6 credits): Courses in mathematics and science as advised. Courses in other fields with consent of instructor;
  4. Education (6 credits): E Phl 601 and 3 additional credits as advised;
  5. Satisfactory completion of graduate study.
*Prerequisite preparation: Eligibility for provisional certification in atmospheric science or general science is required for admission to this program. Completion of this program will meet the academic requirement for permanent certification. 

Combined B.S.-M.S. Program

Qualified undergraduates may apply for admission to the M.S. program and, if accepted, simultaneously work toward completion of the requirements for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. See Combined Baccalaureate- Master's Degree Programs for details.

Program Leading to the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Atmospheric Science

The aim of the program leading to the Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science is to develop the student's ability to carry on scholarly research and to communicate the results concisely and accurately to the scientific community and the general public. Additionally, the program prepares the student for senior professional positions in atmospheric science at academic institutions and in industry, government, or other agencies.

The program of study and research requires at least three academic years of full-time study and research, or the equivalent over a longer period, beyond the baccalaureate.

The following specializations in doctoral study are offered: cloud and precipitation physics, theoretical and dynamical meteorology,  micrometeorology, aerosol physics, synoptic and mesoscale meteorology, numerical weather prediction, tropical meteorology, air pollution meteorology, atmospheric chemistry and modeling, atmospheric transport and chemical processes and climate dynamics and modeling.

Requirements for Admission

In addition to the general University at Albany requirements for admission to doctoral study, an applicant's undergraduate preparation should include at least: (1) 12 credits in physics, (2) 12 credits in mathematics, including differential equations, and (3) 6 credits in chemistry. A student who is deficient in these subjects will be expected to make up the deficiencies during the first year of graduate study.

Program of Study and Research

The student follows a program of study and research approved by his/her doctoral advisory committee. Course requirements include a minimum of 45 hours of graduate credit in organized courses, seminars, and independent study in atmospheric and other sciences or mathematics. This program includes, in addition, research leading to an acceptable dissertation.

Departmental Examinations

  1. Written Qualifying Examination: The student must pass a written exam that covers the student's particular program area: synoptic-dynamic meteorology, physical meteorology and atmospheric physics, or atmospheric chemistry and environmental systems.
  2. Oral Qualifying Examination: The student must pass an oral examination that is administered by the student's doctoral committee. The exam is based on a written prospectus prepared by the student that describes the basis and approach for the dissertation research.
  3. Dissertation Defense: The student must satisfactorily complete an oral presentation and defense of the dissertation.
Ancillary Duties

In addition to the completion of course requirements, satisfactory performance in some ancillary teaching, research, or practicum duties contributing to academic development is required, whether or not the student receives financial support from this institution. These duties will be assigned with educational objectives in mind.

Dissertation

The student must submit a dissertation in his/her area of specialization which represents a significant and original contribution in the field of atmospheric science.

Full Time Study in Residence

Each student in a doctoral program must engage in full-time study beyond the master's degree or equivalent at the University in at least two sessions after admission to the advanced program. This requirement is designed to insure for each doctoral student a sustained period of intensive intellectual growth. For this purpose a student will enroll in full-time study (12 credits) taken in each of two sessions, or in a regular session and a summer session, not necessarily consecutive, which must be completed satisfactorily, except as indicated here:

  1. Students authorized to register for work on a dissertation may meet this 12 credit per session requirement by satisfactorily completing a minimum of 8 earned course credits and registering for work on the dissertation for load credits that will bring the total to 12 credits for each of two sessions.
  2. Graduate assistants holding a full assistantship may meet the residency requirement by completing one academic year in such a position, including the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 15 registered credits during the year plus satisfactory completion of assigned duties.
Admission to Candidacy

A student is admitted to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy upon the following:

  1. Satisfactory record in course and seminar study;
  2. Completion of University residence requirements;
  3. Satisfactory completion of the research tool requirement;
  4. Satisfactory completion of the qualifying examinations.

Program Leading to the Master of Science Degree in Geology

Admissions to this program are currently suspended.

The general aim of the program is to prepare qualified students for further studies toward the doctoral degree or for careers as geologists in industry or governmental agencies. This program will offer training in three fundamental and interrelated areas of geological science: tectonics, structural geology, and geochemistry.

The program of study and research requires at least three semesters and one summer of full-time study and research, or the equivalent over a longer period beyond the baccalaureate. Two of the three semesters are needed for class work. The third semester is normally required following the summer research program and is generally devoted to a synthesis of data gathered during the summer program.

Requirements for Admission

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, with specialization in one of the physical sciences, mathematics, or engineering. Although the program is designed primarily for students who have majored in geology at the undergraduate level, there may be instances in which science students with less than a major in geology may be admitted to the master's program provided that they make up their deficiencies in undergraduate geology courses during the first year of graduate study.

Applicants are requested to submit scores on the Aptitude Test of the Graduate Record Examinations. This program is not open to students completing preparation qualifying for a secondary school teaching certificate.

Program of Study and Research (30 credits, minimum)

  1. Geology (18-30 credits):
    1. Geo 512 and Geo 517 are required for the degree, plus one course from each of the following groups: (a) Geo 612, Geo 640, Geo 673, or Geo 535 and (b) Geo 518, Geo 545, Geo 675, or Geo 676. Other courses as advised;
    2. Independent research in a specialization (Geo 699 for 6 credits) with the results of the research reported in an acceptable thesis;
    3. Students are required to take Geo 500 each session of their registration.
  2. Supporting courses (0-12 credits): Selected courses in related fields as advised.
  3. Satisfactory completion of a major field examination in geology.
  4. Foreign language requirement: A reading knowledge of French, German, or Russian is desirable before entrance to the program and must be demonstrated before its completion. An alternative research tool (e.g., computer programming) may be substituted for a foreign language at the discretion of the department.
Ancillary Duties

In addition to the completion of course requirements, satisfactory performance in some ancillary teaching, research, or practicum duties contributing to the academic development is required, whether or not the student receives financial support from this institution. These duties will be assigned with educational objectives in mind. 

Combined Baccalaureate-Master’s Degree Program

Qualified undergraduates may apply for admission to the combined B.S. Geology/M.S. Geology program and, if accepted, simultaneously work toward completion of the requirements for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. See Combined Baccalaureate-Master's Degree Programs http://www.albany.edu/graduate_bulletin_archive/grad2007/requirements_general_admissions.html#combined_baccalaureate for details.

Program Leading to the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Geology

Admissions to this program are currently suspended.

The general aim of the program is to prepare qualified students for research careers in the geological sciences in universities, industry, and governmental research agencies. This program offers advanced training in three fundamental and interrelated areas of geological science: tectonics, structural geology, and geochemistry.

The program of study and research requires at least three academic years of full-time study and research, or the equivalent over a longer period beyond the baccalaureate, and may typically involve as many as four years.

Requirements for Admission

An applicant must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, with specialization in one of the physical sciences or engineering. Although the program is designed primarily for students who have majored in geology at the undergraduate level, there may be instances in which a science student with less than a major in geology may be admitted to the doctoral program provided that the deficiencies are made up in undergraduate geology courses during the first year of graduate study. 

Program of Study and Research (60 credits, minimum)

The course of study of each student is planned with the advisory committee which takes into account the student's previous preparation, area of specialization, and professional objectives. The student must complete a minimum of 60 credits of advanced courses, seminars, independent study, and research. In addition to taking other courses as advised by the Graduate Committee of the department, all students in the Ph.D. program must complete Geo 512 and Geo 517 and four courses from the following: Geo 518, Geo 612, Geo 640, Geo 535, Geo 545, Geo 673, Geo 675 and Geo 676.  Students are required to take Geo 500 each semester of their registration.

Dissertation

The student must submit an acceptable dissertation which represents a significant and original research contribution in the area of specialization chosen

Departmental Examinations

  1. The student must pass a written qualifying examination in one of the following fields: structural geology, tectonics, igneous petrology, metamorphic petrology, geochemistry. This examination will normally be taken during the third or fourth semester of graduate study.
  2. The student must pass an oral examination focused on presentation and defense of an original research proposal. This examination will normally be taken during the fourth or fifth semester of graduate study.
  3. The student must satisfactorily complete an oral defense of the dissertation.
Research Tool Requirement

A foreign language may or may not be required for the Ph.D. depending on the relevance of such a language to the student's thesis. The relevance of a foreign language is to be decided by the student's committee. If a decision for no foreign language is made, then an alternative research tool proposal must be made by the committee. The acceptance of this alternative is to be made by a majority vote by the departmental faculty. If a decision for a foreign language is made by the committee, then this must also be submitted to the departmental faculty for ratification. The advisory committee may, at its discretion, require a second foreign language.

Full Time Study in Residence

Each student in a doctoral program must engage in full-time study beyond the master's degree or equivalent at the University in at least two sessions after admission to the advanced program. This requirement is designed to insure for each doctoral student a sustained period of intensive intellectual growth. For this purpose a student will enroll in full-time study (12 credits) taken in each of two sessions, or in a regular session and a summer session, not necessarily consecutive, which must be completed satisfactorily, except as indicated here:

  1. Students authorized to register for work on a dissertation may meet this 12 credit per session requirement by satisfactorily completing a minimum of 8 earned course credits and registering for work on the dissertation for load credits that will bring the total to 12 credits for each of two sessions.
  2. Graduate assistants holding a full assistantship may meet the residency requirement by completing one academic year in such a position, including the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 15 registered credits during the year plus satisfactory completion of assigned duties.
Admission to Candidacy

A student is admitted to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy upon the following:

  1. Satisfactory record in course and research study;
  2. Completion of the University residence requirements;
  3. Satisfactory completion of research tool requirement;
  4. Satisfactory completion of the comprehensive and qualifying examinations;
  5. Approval of proposed dissertation topic.
Ancillary Duties

In addition to the completion of course requirements, satisfactory performance in some ancillary teaching, research, or practicum duties contributing to the academic development is required, whether or not the student receives financial support from this institution. These duties will be assigned with educational objectives in mind.