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Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

Prospective Students

The Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at McGill University is the largest related academic unit in Canada. It is a research oriented department with leading national and international researchers.

Small class size

Small Class Size

Our department offers small classes with a small number of students (5-20) allowing personal experience and an excellent professor-student communication.

Friendly and welcoming environment

Friendly and WelcomingWe have a very friendly department. Our department includes about 130 faculty, staff, research fellows, graduate students and undergraduate students. People know each other, and there are lots of friendly scientific and non-scientific conversations over coffee and cookies in the undergraduate and graduate lounges. And when the school day is over, there are social events such as the official BBQ, Wine & Cheese, Christmas and End-of-Year parties, as well as other events such as Hockey and Baseball organized by your fellow students. Both the undergraduate and graduate student societies are filled with outgoing members who plan events, activities and trips for their fellow members and guests.

Job Prospects

Exciting Job ProspectsThe prospect of jobs for our students trained in meteorology, atmospheric and oceanic sciences and climate studies is excellent. Graduates of the Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences move forward to important positions in industry, government, and the academic world.

An undergraduate degree in Atmospheric Science can lead to a professional career in government service or private industry. The Meteorological Service of Canada has traditionally been the main employer of graduating students, but certain provincial governments and environmental consulting and engineering firms also employ graduates.

Those completing the M.Sc. program have a strong preparation for careers in operational meteorology and physical oceanography, in high school and junior college teaching, and in consulting work associated with resource development and environmental monitoring.

The Ph.D. program is designed for those interested mainly in pursuing research, administrative and academic careers. Environment Canada, with large research centres in Dorval, Québec, Downsview, Ontario and Victoria, British Columbia, as well as many operational units throughout Canada, is a major employer of atmospheric scientists. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, with multidisciplinary research laboratories in Sidney (British Columbia), Mont Joli, (Québec) , Dartmouth, (Nova Scotia) and St. John's, (Newfoundland) employ several hundred marine scientists, including many physical oceanographers. In addition, there are other federal departments as well as many provincial government groups which employ atmospheric and oceanic scientists in all parts of Canada.

Life in Montreal

Montreal DowntownMontreal is a fantastic cosmopolitan city. Montreal is internationally recognized for its life quality. It is the largest French-speaking community outside of Paris; however, Montreal has a great cultural and ethnic diversity including a large English speaking community. The combination of low living cost, inexpensive rental accommodation, excellent metro and bus systems, and its safety, renders Montreal as a delightful city for student life. McGill University is a leading Canadian University in research and teaching, and the main campus is also located in the heart of downtown Montreal close to the center of this thriving metropolitan city offering stimulating cultural activities from music, fine arts, numerous festivals, to theatre and excellent dinning, shopping and night life.


The Department offers four main undergraduate programs in Atmospheric Science: Honours, Major, Minor, and Joint Major in Atmospheric Sciences and Physics. The Minor program allows students to have some concentration in the atmospheric sciences. The Major program satisfies the requirements for a professional career as meteorologist, and like the Honours program equips the student to undertake postgraduate study in meteorology, atmospheric science, and related sciences (for example, Physical oceanography) at any of the leading universities. The Honours program is meant for students with high standing. It is based on courses similar to those in the Major program, but provides the opportunity to take advanced courses and to take part in a research project. The Department also offers a special one-year Diploma program to B.Sc. graduates.

At the graduate level, the department offers programs leading to both the Master of Sciene and Ph.D. degrees. For more information regarding these programs, please visit our detailed undergraduatediploma and graduate program information pages.

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