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Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Location

Location

  • Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
  • Burnside Hall
  • 805 Sherbrooke Street West, Room 945
  • Montreal QC H3A 0B9
  • Canada
  • Telephone: 514-398-3764
  • Fax: 514-398-6115
  • Email: info.aos [at] mcgill.ca; graduate studies: graduateinfo.aos [at] mcgill.ca
  • Website: www.mcgill.ca/meteo

About Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

About Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

The Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences offers courses and research opportunities in atmospheric sciences and physical oceanography leading to the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees. Research programs borrow from fundamental fields such as mathematics, statistics, physics, chemistry, and computing to address a broad range of topics relating to weather and climate. Examples include:

  • atmospheric chemistry;
  • climate dynamics;
  • cloud and precipitation physics;
  • dynamical oceanography and meteorology;
  • geophysical turbulence;
  • numerical modelling;
  • numerical weather prediction;
  • ocean carbon budgets;
  • sea ice dynamics;
  • synoptic and mesoscale meteorology;
  • remote sensing of weather and climate.

Some faculty members have close ties with other departments, schools, and centres, including the Chemistry, and Mathematics and Statistics Departments; the McGill School of Environment; ArcticNet; and Quebec Ocean. Facilities include the McGill Atmospheric Profiling Observatory, as well as state-of-the-art field and laboratory equipment for atmospheric chemistry. Graduate students have access to computers, ranging from desktop PCs to the massive parallel machines available to us through Compute Canada. In some cases, M.Sc. and Ph.D. research may include a field component. Most students also participate in national and international conferences.

Financial assistance in the form of research stipends and teaching assistantships is available for all qualified graduate students.

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (Thesis) (45 credits)

Our program applies mathematics, physics, computing, and sometimes chemistry to study the atmosphere and/or oceans. The ideal student would therefore have a strong quantitative background in one or more of these fields. Although some of our students have undergraduate knowledge of meteorology or physical oceanography, such background is not necessary to succeed in the program. McGill offers the only program in Canada that includes both atmospheric and oceanic sciences. Students benefit from a large professor-to-student ratio and access to state-of-the-art computing, remote sensing, and atmospheric chemistry laboratory equipment. The Department also has close ties with Environment & Climate Change Canada's numerical weather prediction centre in Dorval, Quebec.

Most of our incoming M.Sc. students choose this (default) option. It allows considerable flexibility as to the choice of research topics, and gives students both a strong classroom knowledge of the subject as well as the opportunity to choose from a variety of thesis research projects. Students who do not choose to continue in academia find employment in a variety of areas and places; for example, working with Environment & Climate Change Canada as research associates or weather forecasters.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Our program applies mathematics, physics, computing, and sometimes chemistry to study the atmosphere and/or oceans. The ideal student would therefore have a strong quantitative background in one or more of these fields. Although some of our students have undergraduate knowledge of meteorology or physical oceanography, such background is not necessary to succeed in the program. McGill offers the only program in Canada that includes both atmospheric and oceanic sciences. Students benefit from a large professor-to-student ratio and access to state-of-the-art computing, remote sensing, and atmospheric chemistry laboratory equipment. The Department also has close ties with Environment & Climate Change Canada's numerical weather prediction centre in Dorval, Quebec. Students who do not choose to continue in academia find employment in a variety of areas including research careers at government labs such as Environment & Climate Change Canada.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2020-2021 (last updated Aug. 24, 2020) (disclaimer)

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the M.Sc. program must meet the general requirements of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and hold a bachelor's degree with high standing in atmospheric and oceanic science, physics, mathematics, engineering, or similar.

Applicants to the Ph.D. program would normally have a strong background in meteorology, physical oceanography, or related disciplines such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, and engineering. Many students will have an M.Sc. degree in one of these fields, although this is not a formal requirement. All Ph.D. students are required to take at least two courses in atmospheric and oceanic sciences. Students entering without a master's degree or without a sufficient background in atmospheric and oceanic sciences are admitted at the Ph.D. 1 level and are required to take an additional five courses in atmospheric and oceanic science, these usually being completed in the first two semesters.

Inquiries should be addressed directly to the graduateinfo.aos [at] mcgill.ca (Student Affairs Coordinator), Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences; see the department's website for more information.

Application Procedures

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.

See University Regulations & Resources > Graduate > Graduate Admissions and Application Procedures > Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

Additional Requirements

Additional Requirements

The items and clarifications below are additional requirements set by this department:

  • Acceptance by a research supervisor – required for Ph.D. program

Application Dates and Deadlines

Application Dates and Deadlines

Application opening dates are set by Enrolment Services in consultation with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS), while application deadlines are set by the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and may be revised at any time. Applicants must verify all deadlines and documentation requirements well in advance on the appropriate McGill departmental website; please consult the list at www.mcgill.ca/gps/contact/graduate-program.

  Application Opening Dates Application Deadlines
  All Applicants Non-Canadian citizens (incl. Special, Visiting & Exchange) Canadian citizens/Perm. residents of Canada (incl. Special, Visiting & Exchange) Current McGill Students (any citizenship)
Fall Term:

(M.Sc. and Ph.D.)

Sept. 15 Feb. 28 Feb. 28 Feb. 28
Winter Term:

(Ph.D. only)

Feb. 15 Sept. 10 Sept. 15 Sept. 15
Summer Term: N/A N/A N/A N/A

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.
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2020-2021 (last updated Aug. 24, 2020) (disclaimer)

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Faculty

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Faculty

Chair
D. Kirshbaum
Emeritus Professors
J.F. Derome; B.Sc., M.Sc.(McG.), Ph.D.(Mich.), F.R.S.C.
H.G. Leighton; B.Sc., M.Sc.(McG.), Ph.D.(Alta.)
L.A. Mysak; B.Sc.(Alta.), M.Sc.(Adel.), A.M., Ph.D.(Harv.), F.R.S.C. (Canada Steamship Lines Professor of Meteorology)
I. Zawadzki; B.Sc.(Buenos Aires), M.Sc., Ph.D.(McG.), F.R.S.C.
Professors
P. Ariya; B.Sc., Ph.D.(York) (James McGill Professor) (joint appt. with Chemistry)
P. Bartello; B.S.c., M.Sc., Ph.D.(McG.)
J.R. Gyakum; B.Sc.(Penn. St.), M.Sc., Ph.D.(MIT)
M.K. Yau; S.B., S.M., Sc.D.(MIT) (NSERC/Hydro-Québec Industrial Research Chair in Short-term Forecasting of Precipitation)
Associate Professors
F. Fabry; B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.(McG.) (joint appt. with McGill School of Environment)
Y. Huang; B.Sc., M.Sc.(Peking), Ph.D.(Princ.)
D. Kirshbaum; B.Sc.(Ill.-Urbana-Champaign), M.Sc.(Johns Hop.), Ph.D.(Wash.)
T. Merlis; B.Sc.(Col.), Ph.D.(Caltech)
D. Straub; B.Sc., M.Sc.(UL Lafayette), Ph.D.(Wash.)
B. Tremblay; B.Sc., M.Sc.(Car.), Ph.D.(McG.)
A. Zuend; Ph.D.(ETH Zurich)
Assistant Professors
C. Dufour; B.Eng.(ISITV, France), M.Sc.(Toulon), Ph.D.(Grenoble)
T. Preston; B.Sc.(Tor.), M.Sc.(UWO), Ph.D.(Br. Col.) (joint appt. with Chemistry)
I. Tan; B.Sc. (Tor.), Ph.D. (Yale)
Adjunct Professors
L. Barrie; Ph.D.(Goethe)
P. Kollias; Ph.D.(Miami)
H. Lin; Ph.D.(McG.)
L.-P. Nadeau; Ph.D.(McG.)
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2020-2021 (last updated Aug. 24, 2020) (disclaimer)

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (Thesis) (45 credits)

The M.Sc. degree requires a minimum of 45 credits, up to a maximum of 51 credits. The program includes from 9 to 27 credits of coursework (depending on the student's background).

For more information, see Master of Science (M.Sc.) Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (Thesis) (45 credits).

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (Thesis): Environment (45 credits)

** This program is currently not offered **

Thesis Courses (24 credits)

ATOC 691 (3) Master's Thesis Literature Review
ATOC 692 (6) Master's Thesis Research 1
ATOC 694 (3) Master's Thesis Progress Report and Seminar
ATOC 699 (12) Master's Thesis

Although registration is not required, students registered in M.Sc. programs are expected to regularly attend one of the student seminar series (ATOC 751D1/D2 or ATOC 752D1/D2) and the Department seminar series during the entire period of their enrolment in the program.

Required Courses (6 credits)

ENVR 610 (3) Foundations of Environmental Policy
ENVR 650 (1) Environmental Seminar 1
ENVR 651 (1) Environmental Seminar 2
ENVR 652 (1) Environmental Seminar 3

Complementary Courses (15 credits)

12 credits of Departmental courses chosen from the following:

ATOC 512 (3) Atmospheric and Oceanic Dynamics
ATOC 513 (3) Waves and Stability
ATOC 515 (3) Turbulence in Atmosphere and Oceans
ATOC 519* (3) Advances in Chemistry of Atmosphere
ATOC 521 (3) Cloud Physics
ATOC 525 (3) Atmospheric Radiation
ATOC 530 (3) Paleoclimate Dynamics
ATOC 531 (3) Dynamics of Current Climates
ATOC 540 (3) Synoptic Meteorology 1
ATOC 541 (3) Synoptic Meteorology 2
ATOC 568 (3) Ocean Physics
ATOC 626 (3) Atmospheric/Oceanic Remote Sensing
ATOC 646 ()  
CHEM 519* (3) Advances in Chemistry of Atmosphere

or another course at the 500 level or higher recommended by the Department's Graduate Program Director.

* Students may select either ATOC 519 or CHEM 519.

3 credits of MSE courses chosen from the following:

ENVR 519 (3) Global Environmental Politics
ENVR 544 (3) Environmental Measurement and Modelling
ENVR 620 (3) Environment and Health of Species
ENVR 622 (3) Sustainable Landscapes
ENVR 630 (3) Civilization and Environment
ENVR 680 (3) Topics in Environment 4

or another course at the 500 level or higher recommended by the Advisory Committee and approved by the Environment Option Committee.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2020-2021 (last updated Aug. 24, 2020) (disclaimer)

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Faculty of Science—2020-2021 (last updated Aug. 24, 2020) (disclaimer)
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