The UWM Atmospheric Science Program is a group of scholars who engage in a wide array of distinguished, societally-relevant research currently supported by over $3 million in external funding. Their specializations include climate variability, cloud physics and numerical modeling, atmospheric dynamics, mesoscale and synoptic meteorology, air pollution meteorology, and data analytics. The Atmospheric Science graduate programs are focused on student-led research under the direction of one or more faculty advisors.

Over its twenty-plus years of existence, the program has a history of innovation in both education and research, with the Innovative Weather program and first-of-its-kind “Air Pollution and Ancient Cultures” faculty-led study abroad course being two representative examples of innovative educational opportunities. Students graduating from the program have a long history of acquiring gainful employment with top-tier public and private sector institutions in Wisconsin and beyond.

Admission Requirements 

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.


An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements plus these departmental requirements to be considered for admission to the program:

  • A general background in both physics and mathematics, including calculus and ordinary differential equations. Students who lack this background may be admitted if the deficiencies amount to no more than two courses. Deficiencies must be made up within the first three enrolled semesters of graduate study.


Submission of scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Credits and Courses

Students enrolled in the MS in Atmospheric Science degree program must complete a total of thirty (30) credits.

Select 12 credits at the ATM SCI 700-level or greater12
Select 6 credits in approved graduate elective courses6
Select one of the following:6
Advanced Engineering Mathematics I
and Advanced Engineering Mathematics II
Statistical Methods in Atmospheric Sciences
and Statistical Methods in Atmospheric Sciences II: Signal Detection
ATM SCI 990Master's Thesis6
Total Credits30

Students receiving financial support from the School of Freshwater Sciences must enroll in a minimum of fifteen (15) credits offered by the department during each academic year.

Courses in Atmospheric Science that may be taken for graduate credit are listed below.

ATM SCI 330Air-Pollution Meteorology3
ATM SCI 350Atmospheric Thermodynamics3
ATM SCI 351Dynamic Meteorology I3
ATM SCI 352Dynamic Meteorology II3
ATM SCI 360Synoptic Meteorology I4
ATM SCI 361Synoptic Meteorology II4
ATM SCI 460Mesoscale Circulations3
ATM SCI 464Physical Meteorology: Cloud Physics3
ATM SCI 470Tropical Meteorology3
ATM SCI 480The General Circulation and Climate Dynamics3
ATM SCI 497Study Abroad: (subtitled)3
ATM SCI 500Statistical Methods in Atmospheric Sciences3
ATM SCI 505Micrometeorology3
ATM SCI 511Seminar in Atmospheric Radiation and Remote Sensing3
ATM SCI 600Data Analytics3
ATM SCI 690Seminar in Atmospheric Sciences:3
ATM SCI 700Statistical Methods in Atmospheric Sciences II: Signal Detection3
ATM SCI 705Air Pollution Modeling3
ATM SCI 711Cloud Dynamics3
ATM SCI 730Numerical Weather Prediction3
ATM SCI 750Nonlinear Time Series Analysis3
ATM SCI 761Advanced Synoptic/Mesoscale Meteorology3
ATM SCI 950Seminar on Topics in Atmospheric Sciences:3
ATM SCI 990Master's Thesis1-8
ATM SCI 997Doctoral Externship1-12
ATM SCI 998Doctoral Dissertation1-12
ATM SCI 999Advanced Independent Reading1-4

Additional Requirements

Major Professor as Advisor

The student must have a major professor to advise and supervise the student’s studies as specified in Graduate School regulations.


Prior to graduation, students, under the direction of a major professor and supervision of a three-member evaluation committee comprised of Atmospheric Science graduate faculty, must complete and orally defend an acceptable thesis. An acceptable thesis is defined as one representing an original contribution in the atmospheric science of sufficient caliber for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Time Limit

Entering full-time students without deficiencies are expected to complete all degree requirements within two years of first enrollment. All degree requirements must be completed within five years of first enrollment.