Atmospheric Sciences (M.S.)

Atmospheric Sciences (M.S.) | Graduate

Graduates of the Atmospheric Sciences program at Howard are advancing new understandings of atmospheric sciences and climate change and leading interdisciplinary research efforts directly relevant to national security, commerce, and environmental sustainability. The program houses a major research center, the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology.

The M.S. in Atmospheric Sciences at Howard’s Graduate School is designed for students interested in the interdisciplinary study of earth systems and the processes that drive extreme weather and global ecological change. The M.S. program will prepare you, like many of our graduate alumni, for a career in the private sector, government research, environmental consulting, or to pursue further doctoral-level studies. You’ll gain a solid theoretical foundation in atmospheric sciences, including geophysics, atmospheric dynamics, weather forecasting, oceanography, and meteorology, as well as practical training in field and laboratory measurement, satellite data analysis, geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and hydrogeologic and numerical modeling for weather and climate studies. The program has core strengths in five areas of specialization: Air quality modeling and field observation, atmospheric chemistry and fluid dynamics, atmospheric physics, climate modeling, and mesoscale meteorology. You’ll be part of a highly collegial atmosphere and have numerous opportunities to collaborate with faculty on research funded by agencies like the National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). You’ll also have access to two major research centers: the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology and the Beltsville Center for Climate System Observation, a source of real-time meteorological data. Recent graduates are employed in research consulting, weather forecasting, and government.

Program Snapshot

      ❱  30 credit hours 

      ❱  Full-time

      ❱  On-campus format

      ❱  Degree: M.S. 

      ❱  Advanced certification: NWS Meteorology Series 1340

Application Deadlines

Spring 2024 entry: 

      ❱  Nov. 1, 2023 (final deadline)

Fall 2024 entry: 

      ❱  Dec. 1, 2023 (early deadline)

      ❱  Feb. 15, 2024 (priority deadline)

      ❱  Apr. 15, 2024 (final deadline)

Applicants should submit their applications as early as possible. Applicants have until the final deadline to apply. However, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the admissions cycle. 

Transfer credits accepted (reviewed by program director)


Dr. Sonya Smith

Director of Graduate Studies & Department Chair

Program Details

  • Degree Classification: Graduate
  • Related Degrees: M.S.

Admission Requirements

Application for Admission

  • Online GradCAS application
  • Statement of purpose/ Statement of academic interest (500-1,000 words)
  • GRE scores not required
  • Official transcripts sent to GradCAS
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university or the international equivalent 
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Autobiographical statement (500-750 words)

GRE Required?

  • No

GRE Preferred Minimums    

  • GRE Verbal Reasoning: N/A
  • GRE Quantitative Reasoning: N/A
  • GRE Analytical Writing: N/A

GPA Required Minimums    

  • Overall GPA minimum: 3.0
  • Undergrad GPA minimum: 3.0

Reference Requirements    

Evaluator type accepted:

  • Professor (Required)
  • Supervisor/Manager
  • Coworker

Evaluator type not accepted:

  • Friend
  • Family Member
  • Clergy
  • Other

Additional Information 

Solid preparation in physics and mathematics is necessary for successful graduate study in atmospheric sciences. If an applicant is interested in the atmospheric chemistry specialty, a strong chemistry background is also required. A typical applicant will have an undergraduate degree in chemistry, physics, mathematics, meteorology, engineering, computer science, or atmospheric sciences.