Atmospheric Science students in the field

Master of Science 

Atmospheric Science

Program of Study


With a focus on research, you will study with faculty who specialize in atmospheric dynamics, physics, and chemistry, or climate science. 

Through coursework, you will develop broad knowledge of the physical processes that govern our atmosphere and oceans. With guided research, you will specialize in synoptic, tropical, and mesoscale meteorology (extreme weather), atmospheric chemistry and physics (active gases and particles), or climate and environmental systems (climate prediction), culminating in your master’s thesis.

Atmospheric Science Courses

(18 credits minimum)

  • Introduction to Atmospheric Physics I and II
  • Atmospheric Dynamics
  • Synoptic-Dynamic Meteorology 
  • Tropical Meteorology 
  • Large-scale Dynamics of the Tropics 
  • Basic Concepts of Atmospheric Transfer Processes 
  • Climate Dynamics and Modeling
  • General Circulation of the Atmosphere
  • Boundary Layer Meteorology
  • Mesoscale Processes

Master’s Thesis

(6 credits)

Supporting Courses

(0-12 credits) - Courses in other fields, as advised

Major Field Examination in Atmospheric Science

Oral presentation of research.

Ancillary Duties

Satisfactory performance in teaching, research, or practicum duties contributing to academic development.

Additional Information

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact Oliver Elison Timm at [email protected].



Research projects are funded by federal, state and corporate grants. In addition to covering the costs of doing research and presenting results at international conferences, grants cover student tuition and a stipend.

Research projects may include:

  • Tropical Cyclones and Hurricanes
  • Mountain and Topography Influences
  • Climate Modeling
  • Glacier-Climate Interactions
  • Thunderstorm Electrification and Lightning
  • Solar and Wind Energy
  • Synoptic / Dynamic Meteorology and Atmospheric Chemistry

As a graduate researcher you will have access to UAlbany’s Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC), with opportunities to study atmospheric physics, chemistry and renewable energy.

Beyond the ASRC, take advantage of the National Weather Service, which is in walking distance of campus. Here you can apply for internships and cooperative research.


Career Outcomes

With an MS in Atmospheric Science degree, you will be fully equipped to pursue a career that involves research, forecasting or education. Potential job titles include:

  • Meteorologist
  • Science teacher
  • Insurance consultant
  • Agriculture analyst
  • Laboratory technician
  • Scientific instrument engineer
  • Earth data support scientist
  • Catastrophe analyst
  • Science writer
UAlbany Student Research: Ernesto Findlay B.S. '14/M.S., Ph.D.

"Choosing UAlbany for my graduate studies was the best academic decision I've made. The department specializes in a wide range of topics, giving students a variety of classes and thesis concentrations to choose from. I've always found the faculty to be approachable and willing to make time to help me understand concepts and discuss research questions. This commitment to students led to numerous opportunities to attend conferences and workshops around the country to present my research."

- Matt Vaughan, MS ’15, PhD ’20 (expected)

International Students

This degree is designated as a STEM program. International students maintaining F-1 status are allowed to apply for up to 12 months of post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) following completion/graduation from their degree program. Currently, this degree program is also designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as an eligible degree for the F-1 STEM OPT work authorization extension; students who secure qualifying employment may be eligible to apply for the STEM OPT extension for a cumulative total of up to 36 months of F-1 OPT work authorization.

Admissions Requirements

Priority Review Deadline

  • Fall: January 15 
  • Spring: Not Available 
  • Summer: Not Available

Departmental Assistantship Consideration

  • Fall: February 1
  • Spring: November 1
  • Summer: Not Available

No Departmental Assistantship Consideration

  • Fall: Rolling
  • Spring: November 1
  • Summer: Not Available
Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of goals

Applications for the Fall term received by January 15th will receive priority consideration.

Application Requirements

In addition to the general University at Albany requirements for admission to graduate study, an applicant's undergraduate preparation should include: 

  • 3 semesters of a college calculus sequence for science/engineering majors, with a course in differential equations
  • 2 calculus-based, college physics courses or related physics and math-based engineering or natural sciences courses
  • At least one college-level chemistry or geochemistry course

A student who is deficient in these subjects will be expected to make up the deficiencies during the first year of graduate study, in consultation with their faculty advisor(s). A lack in one or more of these courses does not automatically disqualify a student from admission. Alternative courses, research or work experience that demonstrate a strong background in math and physics can provide equivalent preparation. With the increasing demand for data analysis skills in professional positions, incoming students are expected to have basic skills in at least on computer coding language.

Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

Master of Science
  • Demonstrate a clear mastery of advanced concepts in atmospheric physics, chemistry and dynamics
  • Carry out a limited-scope, directed research project on an atmospheric science related topic that includes:
    • Review of literature on past experiments on research topic
    • Application of common scientific practices in observational data analysis, numerical modeling, and/or mathematical analysis of relevant phenomena
    • Analysis of results using appropriate quantitative methods
  • Document, detail, and defend the research conducted in a formal written thesis, including an oral presentation and defense
  • Develop effective written and oral communication skills that lead to the dissemination of research results to fellow atmospheric scientists and the broader community under the direction of an advisor