A student is required to maintain at least a 3.00 (B) average in all work attempted while enrolled in the Graduate School. For the M.S., a course mark below C is unsatisfactory and will not be counted toward fulfilling requirements for the degree.


The requirements for an M.S. degree non-thesis/final exam option include the following:

  1. 30 semester hours of coursework, of which 24 hours must be numbered 5000 or above, and at least 15 semester hours must be from ATOC graduate lecture courses, including four of the core ATOC courses. See specific ATOC course requirements for the M.S. below.
  2. Successful completion of the ATOC COMPS! requirement.
  3. Completion of all degree requirements within 4 years of the date of commencing course work, but normally in 2 years. Students may petition the Graduate School for extension(s).

Note: Students planning to pursue a Ph.D. degree may elect to obtain the M.S. degree, but this is not a requirement for advancement to the Ph.D. program.


  • Up to 6 semester hours of approved 3000- and 4000-level coursework from engineering, math, physics, chemistry, or biology may be applied toward the M.S. degree. No credit will be given toward the M.S. degree for ATOC coursework below the 5000 level.
  • A minimum of 15 semester hours from regular ATOC lecture courses (independent study courses cannot be used to satisfy this requirement).
  • All of MS students are required to take the following four ATOC cores courses, or their equivalent:

ATOC 5050: Atmospheric Thermodynamics and Dynamics
ATOC 5051: Introduction to Physical Oceanography  
ATOC 5060: Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Oceand
ATOC 5235: Introduction to Atmospheric Radiative Transfer and Remote Sensing

  • Up to 3 semester hours of ATOC 5900 (Independent Study), and/or ATOC 6020 (Seminar in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences) may be used toward the 30 hours of regular coursework in the degree requirements.
  • Up to 9 semester hours may be transferred from another accredited institution and applied toward an M.S. degree.  Transfer credit for ATOC core coursework must be approved by the graduate advisor.