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Atmospheric Sciences (PHD) 
Program Description

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is primarily a research degree. The candidate must complete at least 36 units of graduate course credit in the major field, including a core of 6 units of dynamic meteorology and 6 units of physical meteorology. An additional 18 units of other graduate-level atmospheric sciences courses and 6 units of graduate-level elective coursework completes the 36 credit requirement. In addition, the candidate must complete 18 units of dissertation credit, 2 units of ATMO seminar, and fulfill the minor requirement (typically 12 units, depending on the minor Department). All Ph.D. students must pass a written and oral Comprehensive Examination, and complete and defend a dissertation based on original research.

Students accepted into the graduate program without a Master's of Science (M.S.) degree must first successfully complete the M.S. program before proceeding with the Ph.D. Students entering the Ph.D. program with an M.S. degree in another field are permitted to minor within the department with the approval of their committee. This minor will consist of 12 units of atmospheric sciences at the graduate level in subjects other than those directly related to their area of research.

The program is highly quantitative, it is required for applicants to have a strong background in physics and calculus.

Active research in the following areas:

  • Atmospheric Chemistry & Aerosols
  • Changes in Hydrologic Extremes Under a Warmer Climate
  • Climate & Global Change
  • COSMOS Soil Moisture Measurement
  • Improving Monsoon Predictability
  • Integrated Evaluations and Applications of the NASA MERRA Reanalysis Data
  • Land Processes in the NCAR CCSM
  • Land Processes in the NCEP Weather Forecasting Model
  • Lightning & Atmospheric Electricity
  • Radiation & Remote Sensing
  • Tropical Meteorology and Tropical Cyclones
  • Weather Analysis & Predictability
Department/Academic Unit(s)

Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences

College of Science  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Guadalupe V Romero
Graduate Program Coordinator
Guadalupe V Romero
Director of Graduate Studies
Christopher L Castro
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Kristi R Davenport
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

Please upload the following required documents to the University of Arizona's GradApp online application system:

  • A master's degree in atmospheric sciences or related field of study
  • Scanned copies of original transcripts; There is no need to send original transcripts with official seal and signature unless you are accepted into our program.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation (submitted online)
  • GRE Scores
  • Resume/CV
  • Scanned copies of TOEFL Report of Scores: Minimum 550 or 95
  • A statement of interest indicating your research preferences
  • (Optional) Completed ATMO Graduate Assistantship Application form. The form is available under "Graduate Studies/Application Procedure" page at the departmental  website
Standardized Tests

Required test(s): GRE
     Minimum GRE Quantitative: 159
     Minimum GRE Written: 4.5
     Minimum TOEFL: 550 or 95
     Minimum IELTS: 8

Financial Aid

Attempt to support all students as Research or Teaching Assistants

Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: February 1

International Applicants:

  • Fall: January 15
International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: 0501, 0507
NRC Taxon(a) for this program: Oceanography, Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

Minimum credits: 66

  • ATMO 541A Dynamic Meteorology I* (3 credits)
  • ATMO 541B Dynamic Meteorology II* (3 credits)
  • ATMO 551A Physical Meteorology I* (3 credits)
  • ATMO 551B Physical Meteorology II* (3 credits)
  • ATMO 596A Progress in Atmospheric Sciences (2 credits)
  • 24 additional credits in coursework related to major field of study
  • 18 credits minimum of dissertation work
  • 12 credits in coursework in minor field of study

*A 3.0 GPA in core courses is required to continue in the program

Minor Requirements

The department requires a minimum of 12 units in a minor field. Please contact the minor field advising department in order to see minor requirements.

Previous doctoral students have minor in the following subjects:

  • Geosciences
  • Geography
  • Global Change
  • Hydrology
  • Remote Sensing & Spatial Analysis
  • Optical Sciences
  • Mathematics
Student Handbook  

Program StatisticsInformation about these numbers

Program-level Information
Application Acceptance Rate 25%
Med. Time-to-degree (years) 4.00
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 55%
Enrollment Percent Female 45%
Enrollment Percent International 37%
Enrollment Percent URM 11%

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Last revised 12 Sep 2017