The Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences offers a wide range of courses leading to the Degree of Master of Science in Atmospheric Sciences. Applicants to the Master’s of Science Program must have earned a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent. Applicants to graduate school will be evaluated based upon their Grade Point Average (GPA), Graduate Record Exams (GRE) scores, and letters of recommendation. A GPA of 3.0 or better in the last 60 hours and commensurate scores on the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections of the GRE is generally considered acceptable for admission. Individuals with a lower GPA but elevated GRE’s may also be admitted. Letters of recommendation are also given considerable weight in the evaluation process. All non-native English-speaking students must take the TOEFL examination and receive a score of 550 or better for the paper exam, 213 or better for the computer exam, and 79 or better for the internet-based exam.
Candidates for an M.S. degree in Atmospheric Sciences are required to have the necessary background in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Candidates need take the following courses or their equivalent:
- GEOL 3378 (Principles of Atmospheric Science)
- GEOL 3342 (Principles of Air Pollution)
- MATH 3363 (Introduction to Partial Differential Equations)
- MATH 2331 (Linear Algebra)
- MATH 2433 (Calculus III)
Substitution of courses equivalent to those listed above as well as waivers of requirements will be considered on an individual basis. Applicants with a few deficiencies can satisfy those requirements while also taking graduate courses at the University of Houston. It is normally recommended that a student with 6 or more deficiency courses - e.g., those whose undergraduate degree was in another discipline - work toward a second undergraduate degree in Atmospheric Sciences prior to graduate work.
A minimum of 30 credit hours is required for graduate students pursuing the M. S. Degree in Atmospheric Sciences. Twenty one (21) hours must consist of 6000-level atmospheric sciences courses (including 6 hours of thesis credit), and the remaining 9 hours can be selected approved courses outside the area of atmospheric sciences, but relevant to the degree program. No more than 6 hours of approved 4000- or 3000-level courses and no more than 6 hours of special problems courses can be counted towards the required 30-hour minimum.
A maximum of 6 semester hours of graduate level course work may be transferred from other institutions, with the approval of the graduate director and provided that they were taken as part of a graduate degree program, the grades are B or higher, and the courses were taken within the last 5 years. In order to insure breadth, each student is required to take at least one course from the three Atmospheric Sciences Graduate Core Categories:
- Atmospheric Dynamics and Physics,
- Atmospheric Chemistry, and
- Atmospheric Measurement and Modeling.
An average of B must be maintained in courses taken for graduate credit. A grade of C+ or lower in four courses (12 hours) renders the student ineligible for any advanced degree at the University of Houston.