Prospective graduate students

Please note that the application deadline for Winter 2024 admission (PhD only) for non-Canadian citizens is July 15, 2023



Our department is located in the heart of downtown Montreal. We are a small department 13 professors, 12 post doctoral researchers and research assistants, and 40 students in the graduate program.

The research carried out by our faculty, research staff and students covers a wide range of topics in the atmospheric sciences, climate change and Oceanography. Prospective applicants will find all information about the AOS graduate program under the Graduate Studies tab. We recommend that you study the research interests of the AOS faculty, visit the webpages of our professors and their research groups, check the list of courses we offer, and visit our graduate student society (CAOS) to get a better picture of the department. Any questions, concerns and requests for information should be directed to our graduateinfo.aos [at] (Administrative and Student Affairs Coordinator).


AOS is a smaller community within a very large university which means our students get the advantages of the diversity of a large university with the close-knit relationships in a smaller department. In other words, our class sizes are small and professors are approachable.

The research carried out at our department covers the whole spectrum of atmospheric and oceanic sciences. Some of these are listed below:

  • atmospheric chemistry
  • climate and paleoclimate dynamics
  • cloud physics and physical meteorology
  • dynamic and synoptic meteorology
  • earth system modelling and analysis
  • extreme weather
  • geophysical fluid dynamics and turbulence
  • physical and dynamical oceanography
  • radar meteorology and remote sensing

We can offer you challenging and exciting MSc and PhD programs in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS), which can lead to careers in environmental research and consulting, weather and climate forecasting and analysis, and teaching at the college and university level. Our Ph.D. program is designed for those interested mainly in pursuing research, administrative and academic careers. Meanwhile, 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.

Graduates of our department move forward to important positions in industry, government, and the academic world. The Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) has traditionally been the main employer of graduating students, but certain provincial governments and environmental consulting and engineering firms also employ graduates. The Federal Atmospheric Environment Service, with large research centres in Dorval, Québec and Downsview, Ontario 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.

For a detailed description of the programs, please visit the Graduate Programs page. Click here to view the list of current semester courses for AOS. All students are part of the Council of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (CAOS) which organizes many social events for its members.

Graduate admissions

Entry requirements

The minimum academic standard for admission to the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degree programs is normally a high second-class standing i.e. Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) > 3.5. Applicants from other institutions should have an academic background equivalent to that of a McGill graduate in the Honours/Major programs in Meteorology, Physical oceanography, Physics, Mathematics, Engineering, or other related subjects.

If you have obtained your degree from a University outside North America, please contact graduateinfo.aos [at] (Administrative and Student Affairs Coordinator) to verify that you meet the entrance requirements.  

For detailed instructions on how to apply and how to upload required supporting documents, please see:

Language Proficiency

Non-Canadian applicants whose mother tongue is not English and who have not completed an undergraduate degree using the English language are required to submit documented proof of competency in oral and written English. To find out more information on when proof of proficiency is not required, required, and where exemptions may occur please visit the English language proficiency page  on the International Students admissions page.

Acceptable scores are as follows:
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum acceptable scores are:
The CBT is no longer being offered. CBT results will no longer be accepted as ETS no longer reports these results.
N.B. an institutional version of the TOEFL is not acceptable.
IBT (Internet-Based Test): 86 overall, no less than 20 in each of the four component scores
PBT (Paper-Based Test): 567
On the day of your TOEFL test, you will be asked to provide the following institution and department codes in order for your official score reports to be sent to our Department:
Institution code: 0935
Department code: 60
IELTS (International English Language Testing System): a band score of 6.5 or greater (Academic module)

Admission deadlines

We will guarantee consideration of admissions applications received before the following deadline dates:
    Non-Canadian citizens (incl. Special, Visiting & Exchange) Canadian citizens/Perm. residents of Canada (incl. Special, Visiting & Exchange) Current McGill Students (any citizenship)
Fall term REVISED DEADLINES ⇒ January 15 Feb. 28 Feb. 28
Winter term


July 15 Sept. 1 Sept. 1

Admission to graduate studies is competitive; accordingly, late and/or incomplete applications are considered only as time and space permit.

Note: Applications for Summer term admission will not be considered.

The opening dates for submission of applications are expected to be as follows:

  • October 3, 2022, for Fall 2023 admission
  • February 15, 2023, for Winter 2024 admission

These opening dates apply to all applicants. Please note that these dates are subject to change; please visit this page in October or mid-February for updated information.

Financial Support

The Department ensures that all graduate students receive support to enable them to pursue their studies. Financial support may be provided through Graduate Stipends and Fellowships/Scholarships. A limited number of teaching assistantships are also available.

Graduate Stipends

We are currently revising the annual stipend. The value of the stipend varies according to the amount of external support received by the student and the fees that have to be paid. Students with external funding (scholarships, etc.) only receive a top-up to their scholarship, such that the total is above the typical stipend received by non-scholarship students.

Fee scholarships

Students paying the Fee Supplements (Out-of-Province and International) will receive a scholarship to offset those costs.

Supplementary funding

Canadians and permanent residents are strongly encouraged to apply for postgraduate fellowships offered by federal and provincial government agencies such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) and the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies. International students are also encouraged to apply for external support in the form of scholarships or differential fee waivers.


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