Undergraduate Programs

We offer 5 programs as part of our undergraduate studies here at the department of AOS. Besides a Honours, Major and a Minor in Atmospheric Science, we also offer a combined Major with Physics and a Liberal program. All of these programs are part of the Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree.

For more details on each program, please click on the tab with the program name in the table below. 

Students are also encouraged to meet with an academic advisors either at the Faculty Student Affairs Office or in the department to plan their academic program and to make sure they meet all program/ degree requirements for graduation. For more information on academic advising, please consult section 'Advising' under the tab 'Student Services' on the Current undergraduate students page.

Major Program in Atmospheric Science

The Major program satisfies the requirements for a professional career as a 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 program requires completion of 62 credits; 24 credits from required courses and 38 credits from complementary courses. When choosing from complementary courses, 21 credits must be selected from core courses and 15-17 credits from one of the four choices of concentrations/ streams. 

Below, we have listed the credit requirements for various components of a Major program in AOS. All the courses that may be offered to the students are also listed. However, please note 1) all courses are 3 credits unless otherwise indicated 2) some courses are not offered every year.

For course descriptions and more details on the course restrictions here. A printable and most up-to-date version of Major program requirements can be found on the McGill's course calendar website: e-course calendar for undergraduates (section 11.13.3.6 on page 1465).

Required Courses (24 credits)

Student must take all of the courses listed below:

ATOC 214 Intro:Physics of the Atmosphere
ATOC 312 Rotating Fluid Dynamics 
ATOC 315 Thermodynamics and Convection 
COMP 208 Computers in Engineering 
MATH 222 Calculus 3 
MATH 223 Linear Algebra 
MATH 314 Advanced Calculus 
MATH 315 Ordinary Differential Equations 

Complementary Courses (38 credits)

36-38 credits

Note: Students are required to fulfill the core complementary requirements along with one of the four streams listed below. In cases of overlap, each course can only be used once toward the satisfaction of the core complementary courses or the chosen stream.

Core (21 credits)

3-6 credits selected from:

ATOC 215 Oceans, Weather and Climate 
ATOC 219 Intro to Atmospheric Chemistry* (taught in alternate years)
CHEM 219 Intro to Atmospheric Chemistry* (taught in alternate years)

* Note: students may select ATOC 219 or CHEM 219 but not both.

3 credits selected from:

ATOC 357 Atmospheric & Oceanic Sci Lab 
PHYS 257 Experimental Methods 1 

3 credits selected from:

PHYS 230 Dynamics of Simple Systems 
PHYS 251 Honours Classical Mechanics 1

3 credits selected from:

PHYS 232 Heat and Waves 
PHYS 253 Thermal Physics 

6-9 credits selected from:

CHEM 213 Introductory Phys Chem1:Thermo 
CHEM 273 Intro Phys Chem2:Kinetics & Methods 
CHEM 367 Instrumental Analysis 1 
CHEM 575 Chemical Kinetics
MATH 203 Principles of Statistics 1*  
MATH 317 Numerical Analysis 
MATH 319 Intro to Partial Diff Equations 
MATH 323 Probability 
MATH 324 Statistics* 
PHYS 333 Thermal & Statistical Physics 
PHYS 340 Majors Electricity & Magnetism** 
PHYS 342 Majors Electromagnetic Waves*** 
PHYS 350 Hons Electricity & Magnetism** 
PHYS 352 Honours Electromagnetic Waves*** 

* Students cannot receive credit for both MATH 203 and MATH 324.
** Students cannot receive credit for both PHYS 340 and PHYS 350.
*** Students cannot receive credit for both PHYS 342 and PHYS 352.

Weather Analysis and Forecasting Stream (17 credits)

13 credits from:

ATOC 309 Weather Radars and Satellites 
ATOC 521 Cloud Physics 
ATOC 540 Synoptic Meteorology 1 
ATOC 541Synoptic Meteorology 2 
ATOC 546 Current Weather Discussion (1 Credit)

3-4 credits selected from:

ATOC 404 Climate Physics* 
ATOC 512 Atmospheric & Oceanic Dynamics 
ATOC 513 Waves & Stability 
ATOC 525 Atmospheric Radiation 
ATOC 530 Paleoclimate Dynamics (taught in alternate years)
ATOC 531 Dynamics of Current Climates 
ATOC 558 Numerical Methods & Laboratory 
ATOC 568 Ocean Physics (taught in alternate years)
ESYS 300 Investigating the Earth System 
ESYS 301 Earth System Modelling 
GEOG 322 Environmental Hydrology
GEOG 372 Running Water Environments 
MATH 555 Fluid Dynamics (4 Credits)** (taught in alternate years)
PHYS 404 Climate Physics*
PHYS 432 Physics of Fluids** 

* Students cannot receive credit for both ATOC 404 and PHYS 404.

** Students cannot receive credit for both PHYS 432 or MATH 555.

Climate Science Stream (15 credits)

6 credits from:

ATOC 404 Climate Physics* 
ATOC 531 Dynamics of Current Climates 
PHYS 404 Climate Physics* 

*Students cannot receive credit for both ATOC 404 and PHYS 404.

9 credits (at least 6 of which must be ATOC) selected from:

ATOC 512 Atmospheric & Oceanic Dynamics 
ATOC 513 Waves & Stability 
ATOC 519 Advances in Chem of Atmosphere 
ATOC 521 Cloud Physics 
ATOC 525 Atmospheric Radiation 
ATOC 530 Paleoclimate Dynamics (taught only in alternate years) 
ATOC 540 Synoptic Meteorology 1 
ATOC 558 Numerical Methods & Laboratory 
ATOC 568 Ocean Physics 3 Credits (taught only in alternate years)
EPSC 513 Climate and the Carbon Cycle 
EPSC 542 Chemical Oceanography 
ESYS 300 Investigating the Earth System 
ESYS 301 Earth System Modelling 
GEOG 322 Environmental Hydrology 
GEOG 372 Running Water Environments 
MATH 323 Probability 

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Stream (15 credits)

15 credits from:

ATOC 309 Weather Radars and Satellites 
ATOC 404 Climate Physics* 
ATOC 519 Advances in Chem of Atmosphere 
ATOC 521 Cloud Physics 
CHEM 213 Introductory Phys Chem1:Thermo 
CHEM 273 Intro Phys Chem2:Kinetics & Methods 
PHYS 404 Climate Physics * 

* Students cannot receive credit for both ATOC 404 and PHYS 404.

General Stream (17 credits)

15-17 credits (at least 12 of which must be ATOC) selected from:

ATOC 309 Weather Radars and Satellites 
ATOC 404 Climate Physics* 
ATOC 512 Atmospheric & Oceanic Dynamics 
ATOC 513 Waves & Stability
ATOC 519 Advances in Chem of Atmosphere 
ATOC 521 Cloud Physics 
ATOC 525 Atmospheric Radiation 
ATOC 530 Paleoclimate Dynamics (taught only in alternate years)
ATOC 531 Dynamics of Current Climates 
ATOC 540 Synoptic Meteorology 1 
ATOC 541 Synoptic Meteorology 2 
ATOC 546 Current Weather Discussion 
ATOC 558 Numerical Methods & Laboratory 
ATOC 568 Ocean Physics (taught only in alternate years)
CHEM 367 Instrumental Analysis 1
CHEM 575 Chemical Kinetics 
EPSC 513 Climate and the Carbon Cycle 
EPSC 542 Chemical Oceanography 
ESYS 300 Investigating the Earth System 
ESYS 301 Earth System Modelling 
GEOG 322 Environmental Hydrology 
GEOG 372 Running Water Environments 
MATH 555 Fluid Dynamics (4 Credits- taught only in alternate years)** 
PHYS 404 Climate Physics* 
PHYS 432 Physics of Fluids**

*Students cannot receive credit for ATOC 404 and PHYS 404.

**Students cannot receive credit for both PHYS 432 or MATH 555.

Honours Program in Atmospheric Science

The Honours program is meant for students with high standing. It is based on courses similar to those in the Major program, but provides opportunities to perform research and to take advanced courses. As with our Major program, the Honours program satisfies the requirements for a professional career as a meteorologist, and  equips the student to undertake postgraduate study in meteorology, atmospheric science, and related sciences (for example, physical oceanography) at any of the leading universities.

Students can be admitted to the Honours program after completion of the U1 year of the Major in Atmospheric Science program with a minimum GPA of 3.30. Students having completed a U1 year in a different program with high standing may be admitted to the Honours program on the recommendation of that department. A minimum GPA of 3.30 in the Honours program courses (taken as a whole) is required to remain in the program. A CGPA of 3.30 on the total program is also required to graduate with honours. 

The program requires completion of 74 credits; 27 credits from required courses and 47 credits from complementary courses. When choosing from complementary courses, 24 credits must be selected from core courses and 21-23 credits from one of the four choices of concentrations/ streams. 

Below, we have listed the credit requirements for various components for an Honours in AOS. All the courses that may be offered to the students are also listed. However, please note 1) all courses are 3 credits unless otherwise indicated 2) some courses are not offered every year.

For course descriptions and more details on the course restrictions here. A printable and most up-to-date version of Honours program requirements can be found on the McGill's course calendar website: e-course calendar for undergraduates (section 11.13.3.8 on page 1470).

Required Courses (27 credits)

Student must take all of the courses listed below:

ATOC 214 Intro:Physics of the Atmosphere
ATOC 312 Rotating Fluid Dynamics 
ATOC 315 Thermodynamics and Convection 
ATOC 480 Honours Research Project 
COMP 208 Computers in Engineering 
MATH 222 Calculus 3 
MATH 223 Linear Algebra 
MATH 314 Advanced Calculus 
MATH 315 Ordinary Differential Equations 

Complementary Courses (47 credits)

45- 47 credits

Note: Students are required to fulfill the core complementary requirements along with one of the four streams listed below. In cases of overlap, each course can only be used once toward the satisfaction of the core complementary courses or the chosen stream.

Core (24 credits)

3-6 credits selected from:

ATOC 215 Oceans, Weather and Climate 
ATOC 219 Intro to Atmospheric Chemistry* (taught in alternate years)
CHEM 219 Intro to Atmospheric Chemistry* (taught in alternate years)

* Note: students may select ATOC 219 or CHEM 219 but not both.

3 credits selected from:

ATOC 357 Atmospheric & Oceanic Sci Lab 
PHYS 257 Experimental Methods 1 

3 credits selected from:

PHYS 230 Dynamics of Simple Systems 
PHYS 251 Honours Classical Mechanics 1

3 credits selected from:

PHYS 232 Heat and Waves 
PHYS 253 Thermal Physics 

3 credits selected from:

CHEM 213 Introductory Phys Chem1:Thermo 
MATH 319 Intro to Partial Diff Equas 

6-9 credits selected from:

CHEM 273 Intro Phys Chem2:Kinetics & Methods 
CHEM 367 Instrumental Analysis 1 
CHEM 575 Chemical Kinetics
MATH 203 Principles of Statistics 1*  
MATH 317 Numerical Analysis 
MATH 319 Intro to Partial Diff Equations 
MATH 323 Probability 
MATH 324 Statistics* 
PHYS 333 Thermal & Statistical Physics 
PHYS 340 Majors Electricity & Magnetism** 
PHYS 342 Majors Electromagnetic Waves*** 
PHYS 350 Hons Electricity & Magnetism** 
PHYS 352 Honours Electromagnetic Waves*** 

* Students cannot receive credit for both MATH 203 and MATH 324.
** Students cannot receive credit for both PHYS 340 and PHYS 350.
*** Students cannot receive credit for both PHYS 342 and PHYS 352.

Weather Analysis and Forecasting Stream (23 credits)

16 credits from:

ATOC 309 Weather Radars and Satellites 
ATOC 512 Atmospheric and Oceanic Dynamics 
ATOC 521 Cloud Physics 
ATOC 540 Synoptic Meteorology 1 
ATOC 541Synoptic Meteorology 2 
ATOC 546 Current Weather Discussion (1 Credit)

6-7 credits selected from:

ATOC 404 Climate Physics* 
ATOC 513 Waves & Stability 
ATOC 515 Turbulence in Atmosphere and Ocean (taught in alternate years)
ATOC 525 Atmospheric Radiation 
ATOC 530 Paleoclimate Dynamics (taught in alternate years)
ATOC 531 Dynamics of Current Climates 
ATOC 558 Numerical Methods & Laboratory 
ATOC 568 Ocean Physics (taught in alternate years)
ESYS 300 Investigating the Earth System 
ESYS 301 Earth System Modelling 
MATH 555 Fluid Dynamics (4 Credits)** (taught in alternate years)
PHYS 404 Climate Physics*
PHYS 432 Physics of Fluids** 

* Students cannot receive credit for both ATOC 404 and PHYS 404.

** Students cannot receive credit for both PHYS 432 or MATH 555.

Climate Science Stream (22 credits)

15 credits from:

ATOC 404 Climate Physics* 
ATOC 512 Atmospheric & Oceanic Dynamics 
ATOC 531 Dynamics of Current Climates 
MATH 323 Probability 
MATH 324 Statistics 
PHYS 404 Climate Physics* 

*Students cannot receive credit for both ATOC 404 and PHYS 404.

6-7 credits (3 of which must be ATOC) selected from:

ATOC 513 Waves & Stability 
ATOC 515 Turbulence in Atmosphere and oceans (taught only in alternate years) 
ATOC 521 Cloud Physics 
ATOC 525 Atmospheric Radiation 
ATOC 530 Paleoclimate Dynamics (taught only in alternate years) 
ATOC 540 Synoptic Meteorology 1 
ATOC 558 Numerical Methods & Laboratory 
ATOC 568 Ocean Physics 3 Credits (taught only in alternate years)
EPSC 513 Climate and the Carbon Cycle 
EPSC 542 Chemical Oceanography 
ESYS 300 Investigating the Earth System 
ESYS 301 Earth System Modelling 
MATH 423 Regression and Analysis of Variance 
MATH 555 Fluid Dynamics** (taught only in alternate years) 
PHYS 432 Physics of Fluids** 

*Students cannot receive credit for both PHYS 432 and MATH 555.

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Stream (21 credits)

15 credits from:

ATOC 309 Weather Radars and Satellites 
ATOC 519 Advances in Chem of Atmosphere 
ATOC 521 Cloud Physics 
CHEM 213 Introductory Phys Chem1:Thermo 
CHEM 273 Intro Phys Chem2:Kinetics & Methods 

6-7 credits (3 of which must be ATOC) selected from:

ATOC 404 Climate Physics* 
ATOC 512 Atmospheric and oceanic Dynamics 
ATOC 513 Waves & Stability 
ATOC 519 Advances in Chemistry of Atmosphere 
ATOC 525 Atmospheric Radiation 
ATOC 530 Paleoclimate Dynamics (taught only in alternate years) 
ATOC 540 Synoptic Meteorology 1 
ATOC 558 Numerical Methods & Laboratory 
CHEM 367 Instrumental Analysis 1 
CHEM 575 Chemical Kinetics 
EPSC 513 Climate and the Carbon Cycle 
EPSC 542 Chemical Oceanography 
MATH 423 Regression and Analysis of Variance 
PHYS 404 Climate Physics* 

*Students cannot receive credit for both ATOC 404 and PHYS 404.

General Stream (22 credits)

21-22 credits (at least 15 of which must be ATOC) selected from:

ATOC 309 Weather Radars and Satellites 
ATOC 404 Climate Physics* 
ATOC 512 Atmospheric & Oceanic Dynamics 
ATOC 513 Waves & Stability
ATOC 519 Advances in Chem of Atmosphere 
ATOC 521 Cloud Physics 
ATOC 525 Atmospheric Radiation 
ATOC 530 Paleoclimate Dynamics (taught only in alternate years)
ATOC 531 Dynamics of Current Climates 
ATOC 540 Synoptic Meteorology 1 
ATOC 541 Synoptic Meteorology 2 
ATOC 546 Current Weather Discussion 
ATOC 558 Numerical Methods & Laboratory 
ATOC 568 Ocean Physics (taught only in alternate years)
CHEM 367 Instrumental Analysis 1
CHEM 575 Chemical Kinetics 
EPSC 513 Climate and the Carbon Cycle 
EPSC 542 Chemical Oceanography 
ESYS 300 Investigating the Earth System 
ESYS 301 Earth System Modelling 
MATH 423 Regression and Analysis of Variance 
MATH 555 Fluid Dynamics (4 Credits- taught only in alternate years)** 
PHYS 404 Climate Physics* 
PHYS 432 Physics of Fluids**

*Students cannot receive credit for ATOC 404 and PHYS 404.

**Students cannot receive credit for both PHYS 432 or MATH 555.

Minor in Atmospheric Science

This Minor may be taken in conjunction with any program in the Faculty of Science (18 credits).

The program requires completion of 18 credits; 3 credits from required courses and 15 credits from complementary courses

Below, we have listed the credit requirements for a Minor in AOS. All the courses that a student taking a minor are also listed. However, please note 1) all courses are 3 credits unless otherwise indicated 2) some courses are not offered every year.

For course descriptions and more details on the course restrictions here. A printable and most up-to-date version of Minor program requirements can be found on the McGill's course calendar website: e-course calendar for undergraduates (section 11.13.3.4 on page 1463).

Required Courses (3 credits)

ATOC 214 Introduction: Physics of the Atmosphere 

Complementary Courses (15 credits)

3-6 credits selected from: 

ATOC 215 Oceans, Weather and Climate
ATOC 219 Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry* 
CHEM 219 Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry*

* Students may select ATOC 219 or CHEM 219 but not both.

9-12 credits selected from:

ATOC 309 Weather Radars and Satellites 
ATOC 312 Rotating Fluid Dynamics 
ATOC 315 Thermodynamics and Convection 
ATOC 357 Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Laboratory 
ATOC 512 Atmospheric & Oceanic Dynamics 
ATOC 513 Waves & Stability
ATOC 519 Advances in Chem of Atmosphere 
ATOC 521 Cloud Physics 
ATOC 525 Atmospheric Radiation 
ATOC 531 Dynamics of Current Climates 
ATOC 540 Synoptic Meteorology 1  
ATOC 558 Numerical Methods & Laboratory 
ATOC 568 Ocean Physics (taught only in alternate years)
 

Major Atmospheric Science and Physics

The program is jointly administered by the Department of Physics and the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Students should consult undergraduate advisers in both departments.This Major provides a solid basis for postgraduate study in meteorology, atmospheric physics, or related fields, as well as the necessary preparation for embarking on a professional career as a meteorologist directly after the B.Sc.

The program requires completion of 69 credits; 57 credits from required courses and 12 credits from complementary courses.  

Below, we have listed the credit requirements for various components of a Major program in AOS. All the courses that are offered to the students taking this program are also listed. However, please note 1) all courses are 3 credits unless otherwise indicated 2) some courses are not offered every year.

For course descriptions and more details on the course restrictions here. A printable and most up-to-date version of Major program requirements can be found on the McGill's course calendar website: e-course calendar for undergraduates (section 11.13.3.7 on page 1468).

Required Courses (57 credits)

Student must take all courses listed below:

ATOC 214 Intro:Physics of the Atmosphere
ATOC 215 Oceans, Weather and Climate 
ATOC 309 Weather Radars and Satellites
ATOC 312 Rotating Fluid Dynamics 
ATOC 315 Thermodynamics and Convection 
MATH 222 Calculus 3 
MATH 223 Linear Algebra 
MATH 314 Advanced Calculus 
MATH 315 Ordinary Differential Equations 
PHYS 230 Dynamics of Simple Systems 
PHYS 232 Heat and Waves 
PHYS 241 Signal Processing 
PHYS 257 Experimental Methods 1 
PHYS 258 Experimental Methods 2 
PHYS 331 Topics in Classical Mechanics 
PHYS 333 Thermal & Statistical Physics 
PHYS 340 Majors Electricity & Magnetism 
PHYS 342 Majors Electromagnetic Waves 
PHYS 446 Majors Quantum Physics 

Complementary Courses (12 credits)

At least 6 of the 12 complementary credits must come from ATOC courses.

ATOC 357 Atmospheric & Oceanic Sci Lab 
ATOC 404 Climate Physics* 
ATOC 512 Atmospheric & Oceanic Dynamics 
ATOC 513 Waves & Stability 
ATOC 515 Turbulence in Atmosphere & Oceans (taught only in alternate years) 
ATOC 521 Cloud Physics 
ATOC 525 Atmospheric Radiation 
ATOC 531 Dynamics of Current Climates 
ATOC 540 Synoptic Meteorology 1 
ATOC 541 Synoptic Meteorology 2 
ATOC 558 Numerical Methods & Laboratory 
ATOC 568 Ocean Physics (taught only in alternate years)
PHYS 339 Measurements Lab in General Physics 
PHYS 404 Climate Physics* 
PHYS 432 Physics of Fluids
PHYS 434 Optics
PHYS 439 Majors Lab in Modern Physics 
PHYS 449 Majors Research Project 

* Students cannot take both ATOC 404 and PHYS 404.

Liberal program- Core Science Component Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Liberal programs provide students with the opportunity to study the core of one science discipline along with a breadth component from another area of science or from many other disciplines. In a liberal program, you must complete a Core Science Component (CSC) (45–50 credits), plus a Breadth Component (at least 18 credits).

To complete the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences component of the Liberal program 21 credits must be from required courses and 27 credits from complementary courses for a total of 48 credits

Below, we have listed the credit requirements for the AOS core-component of this program. All the courses that a student may take are also listed. However, please note 1) all courses are 3 credits unless otherwise indicated 2) some courses are not offered every year.

For course descriptions and more details on the course restrictions here. A printable and most up-to-date version of Liberal program requirements can be found on the McGill's course calendar website: e-course calendar for undergraduates (section 11.13.3.5 on page 1464).

Required Courses (21 credits)

Student must take all of the courses listed below:

ATOC 214 Intro:Physics of the Atmosphere
ATOC 312 Rotating Fluid Dynamics 
ATOC 315 Thermodynamics and Convection 
MATH 222 Calculus 3 
MATH 223 Linear Algebra 
MATH 314 Advanced Calculus 
MATH 315 Ordinary Differential Equations 

Complementary Courses (27 credits)

36-38 credits

Students are required to fulfill the core complementary requirements.

3-6 credits selected from:

ATOC 215 Oceans, Weather and Climate 
ATOC 219 Intro to Atmospheric Chemistry* (taught in alternate years)

3 credits selected from:

ATOC 357 Atmospheric & Oceanic Sci Lab 
PHYS 257 Experimental Methods 1 

3 credits selected from:

PHYS 230 Dynamics of Simple Systems 
PHYS 251 Honours Classical Mechanics 1

3 credits selected from:

PHYS 232 Heat and Waves 
PHYS 253 Thermal Physics 

12-16 credits selected from:

ATOC 309 Weather Radars and Satellites 
ATOC 512 Atmospheric & Oceanic Dynamics 
ATOC 513 Waves & Stability 
ATOC 515 Turbulence in Atmosphere & Oceans (taught only in alternate years) 
ATOC 519 Advances in Chem of Atmosphere
ATOC 521 Cloud Physics 
ATOC 525 Atmospheric Radiation 
ATOC 531 Dynamics of Current Climates 
ATOC 540 Synoptic Meteorology 1 
ATOC 541 Synoptic Meteorology 2 
ATOC 546 Current Weather Discussion (1 Credit)
ATOC 558 Numerical Methods & Laboratory 
ATOC 568 Ocean Physics (taught only in alternate years) 
COMP 208 Computers in Engineering 
MATH 203 Principles of Statistics 1 
MATH 319 Intro to Partial Differential Equations
PHYS 333 Thermal & Statistical Physics 
PHYS 340 Majors Electricity & Magnetism