Geological Sciences-Atmospheric Sciences M.S.

Requirements for the M.S. degree in Geological Sciences – Atmospheric Science

Admission requirements

Undergraduate major in geological science, atmospheric science, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, or equivalent. Applicants not meeting this requirement may be expected to take additional work.

Course requirements

A minimum of 30 credit hours with at least 20 credit hours in geological sciences, including formal courses, problems, seminars, techniques, research. At least 12 credit hours must from a list of courses specific to Atmospheric Sciences defined by the Department of Geological Sciences. Current courses that can satisfy this requirement are the following:

  1. G540 Physical Meteorology and Climatology
  2. G534 Dynamic Meteorology
  3. G537 Advanced Synoptic Meteorology and Climatology
  4. G538 Air Pollution Meteorology
  5. G556 Wind Power Meteorology
  6. G564 Dynamic Meteorology: Boundary-Layer Meteorology
  7. G570 Micrometeorology
  8. G576 Climate Change Science


First semester
  • Course selection in collaboration with Director of Graduate Studies and other appropriate faculty.
  • Additional Course: Electives for a typical total of 9 to 12 credit hours.
Second semester
  • Additional Course: electives for a total of 9 to 12 credit hours.
  • Advisory Committee consisting of:
    • Major advisor from inside the department
    • Two additional faculty members, one of which may be from outside the department
  • Topic for M.S. thesis (or papers). Student prepares proposal (4 to 6 pages in length) for the M.S. thesis (or for each of the two papers). The topic of the research and the proposal(s) must be accepted by the student’s Advisory Committee
Summer sessions

Graduate students spend summer involved in readings and research related to their thesis or papers.

Third semester

Additional Course Work: 6 to 9 graduate credit hours

Fourth Semester
  • Up to 6 credit hours of G810 should be taken
  • Thesis: by the end of the sixth week of the semester, you should submit an Application for Advanced Degree form to the University Graduate School. You also submit copies of the thesis to all members of Advisory Committee.
  • Oral defense: With the approval of the Advisory Committee, you then schedule an oral defense to occur at least two weeks before the end of the semester. The Advisory Committee decides whether you should pass, fail, or pass with the recommendation that you continue at IU toward the Ph.D. Following the exam, the M.S. thesis advisor, or the principal advisors of the student’s M.S. research papers, decide grade for G810, as appropriate.

Use your academic bulletin

Students pursuing a graduate degree in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences should use the University Graduate School Academic Bulletin.

Official requirements for our M.S. degree can be found by clicking on the Bulletin below:

2017-18: Earth and Atmospheric Sciences University Graduate School Academic Bulletin