fbpx

Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences: Professional Program

Master of Science in Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences

students review weather maps together

Get advanced training in atmospheric sciences for positions in weather and climate forecasting, risk analysis, air quality, satellite meteorology, technical data analysis and scientific communication.


Is this program right for you?

A growing number of meteorological, investment, and risk assessment employers are seeking weather professionals with a master’s degree who are not only atmospheric scientists, but also have the skills to understand, analyze and communicate climate and weather in professional settings. A Master of Science in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from the University of Wisconsin–Madison prepares you to meet the needs of this rapidly changing industry and become a leader in the field.

The Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences professional master’s program focuses on developing practical skills needed to succeed in meteorological consulting, risk management and operational forecasting. In contrast to our thesis-based master’s program, the thesis and direct mentoring by a research advisor are replaced with courses in programming, data analysis, professional development and the practical summer internship.

Through this professional program, you gain practical, hands-on experience that can be directly applied to your future career. The program provides in-demand training in fundamental atmospheric sciences as well as skill development in forecasting, modeling, data analysis, scientific communication and evaluation of research. In particular, the summer internship course prepares you to acquire the American Meteorological Society Certified Consulting Meteorology (CCM) designation. You’ll also develop problem-solving skills required for a successful career as an atmospheric professional in both government and commercial institutions.

Is this program right for you?

A growing number of meteorological, investment, and risk assessment employers are seeking weather professionals with a master’s degree who are not only atmospheric scientists, but also have the skills to understand, analyze and communicate climate and weather in professional settings. A Master of Science in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from the University of Wisconsin–Madison prepares you to meet the needs of this rapidly changing industry and become a leader in the field.

The Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences professional master’s program focuses on developing practical skills needed to succeed in meteorological consulting, risk management and operational forecasting. In contrast to our thesis-based master’s program, the thesis and direct mentoring by a research advisor are replaced with courses in programming, data analysis, professional development and the practical summer internship.

Through this professional program, you gain practical, hands-on experience that can be directly applied to your future career. The program provides in-demand training in fundamental atmospheric sciences as well as skill development in forecasting, modeling, data analysis, scientific communication and evaluation of research. In particular, the summer internship course prepares you to acquire the American Meteorological Society Certified Consulting Meteorology (CCM) designation. You’ll also develop problem-solving skills required for a successful career as an atmospheric professional in both government and commercial institutions.

Admissions requirements

All applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Have completed three semesters of college calculus sequence for science/engineering majors plus differential equations and two semesters of calculus-based, general college physics.
  • Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
  • Submit GRE scores using code 1846. (optional)
  • Submit evidence of English language proficiency, if applicable. The required proficiency scores are: TOEFL IBT 92, PBT 580; or IELTS 7.0.

Application materials required:

  • Online application
  • Resume/CV
  • Statement of interest
  • Transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation

Connect with us

Program Overview: Environmental Remediation & Management

October 26
noon-12:30 p.m.
Join program staff to get more information about the Master of Science in Environmental Remediation & Management including curriculum, application process and potential career paths.
Register for Program Overview: Environmental Remediation & Management

Virtual Open House: Explore and Apply to Graduate School at UW-Madison

November 10
8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Meet with staff and faculty from our 160+ graduate degree programs, gain insight into the application process, and discover the array of services and resources available to graduate students at UW–Madison.
Register for Grad School Virtual Open House

View all events

Program highlights

  • As a professional program, students will focus on building practical skills needed to succeed in meteorological consulting, risk management and operational forecasting.
  • The program was designed directly with industry trends in mind, as a growing number of employers are demanding professionals with master’s degrees.
  • The program includes specialized pathways in meteorological forecasting and modeling, climate science, air quality science and regulation, satellite meteorology, risk management and communication.

How you'll learn

  • On-campus curriculum with some online elements, designed to be completed in 12 months with some part-time options available
  • Courses begin in the fall semester only
  • Complete 30-credit curriculum, with up to 7 transfer credits for UW–Madison graduates
  • Complete an 8–10 week summer internship anywhere in the world while taking an online class focused on professional development, ethics, and technical report writing.

Sample curriculum

  • Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
  • Introduction to Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics
  • Radiation in the Atmosphere and Ocean
  • Meteorological Measurements
  • Computational Methods in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science
  • Climatological Analysis
  • Analysis of Atmospheric Systems
  • Principles of Risk Management
  • Sustainability, Environmental and Social Risk Management
  • Bioclimatology
  • Tropical Meteorology
  • The Middle Atmosphere
  • Cloud Physics
  • Radar and Satellite Meteorology
  • The Chemistry of Air Pollution
  • Boundary Layer Meteorology
  • The Frontal Cyclone
  • Numerical Modeling in Meteorology

Job outlook

Top Job Titles
  • Environmental Analyst
  • Hydrologist
  • Meteorologist
  • Software Development Engineer

Market Salary
$74K in 2019

Projected Job Growth
12.5% for Atmospheric and Space Scientists (2016-2026)

Job Postings
4,184 in 2019

Top Employers
  • US Government
  • SAIC
  • Arcadis
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • State of Massachusetts

Source: Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insight. 2020.
Burning Glass Technologies’ Market Salary is an estimated expected salary. Market Salary uses machine learning algorithms to account for experience, skill, and education among other factors that may impact individual salaries.

Ready to learn more about Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences: Professional Program?
View the UW-Madison Guide

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive application tips and deadline reminders.

Connect with our enrollment coaches

Our friendly, knowledgeable enrollment coaches are here to answer your questions. Contact an enrollment coach to:

  • Learn how to make this program work with your life/schedule
  • Verify credit transfers
  • Get help with your application
  • Determine if financial aid is available

Visit with our coaches on campus or at an upcoming student fair in your area. Search student fairs & events

Connect with a coach