ATOC academic requirements

For acceptance into the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) graduate program, the following requirements must be met:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from a college or university of recognized standing, or have done work equivalent to that required for such a degree.
  • Show promise of ability to pursue advanced study and research, as judged by the student’s previous scholastic record and letters of reference.
  • Have had adequate preparation to enter graduate study in the chosen field.
  • Have at least a 3.00 (B) undergraduate grade point average.
  • We do not require and will not consider General Record Examination (GRE) scores.
  • Proof of English proficiency is required for immigration purposes for all international student applicants.  The TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo English Test are three different English language proficiency tests accepted by CU Boulder as proof of English proficiency. CU Boulder does not accept any other tests as proof of English proficiency

Students with undergraduate degrees in the physical sciences (e.g., physics, chemistry, mathematics) and engineering are encouraged to apply. The general background expected of incoming graduate students includes:

  • Undergraduate courses in calculus, differential equations, and computer programming.
  • One year sequences of undergraduate physics (calculus based) and chemistry.

Students with undergraduate degrees in other fields such as biology, environmental science, geography, or geology, are also invited to apply provided they meet the standards given here.  Upper-level undergraduate courses in physics, chemistry, and mathematics are strongly recommended. Research and computer programming experience is also strongly recommended.  Undergraduate courses in atmospheric science or oceanography are useful but not required as part of the undergraduate background.

English Proficiency requirements

All international applicants are required to meet a minimum standard of English proficiency. The Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL), or an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score is required unless English is your native language. If you have completed at least one year full-time academic study at a U.S. institution (or at an institution in a country where English is the native language) at the time you apply, you have fulfilled the English proficiency requirement for the Office of Admissions. The University requires a minimum TOEFL score of 537 (paper based), 203 (computer based), and/or 75 (new internet based). The University requires a minimum IELTS score of 6.0.