Logo - University of Alaska Fairbanks

1999-2000 Catalog

Degrees and Programs

Atmospheric Sciences

College of Science, Engineering and Mathematics
Department of Physics
(907) 474-7339

Degrees: M.S., Ph.D.

Minimum Requirements for Degrees: M.S.: 30 credits; Ph.D.: open

The field of atmospheric science covers a wide variety of disciplines involving the chemical and physical properties and processes of the atmosphere. The contemporary approach to atmospheric science stresses the interactions of these disciplines in studying the complex atmosphere/climate system.

The UAF Geophysical Institute has an active research program in high-latitude atmospheric science that includes faculty from the chemistry and physics departments. Current research includes cloud and aerosol physics, dynamic meteorology, atmospheric chemistry, microclimatology, polar meteorology, radiative transfer, numerical simulation, cloud and mesoscale processes, biogeochemistry, cryosphere-atmosphere interactions and remote sensing.

Graduate students are an integral component of this research, both in the lab and the field. The Geophysical Institute also provides an excellent environment for interdisciplinary research with scientists in other research areas.

Graduate Program

Atmospheric Sciences -- M.S. Degree

  1. Complete the general university requirements.
  2. Complete the master's degree requirements.
  3. Complete the following basic courses in atmospheric sciences:
    ATM 646 -- Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Ocean (3 credits)
    ATM 656 -- Climate and Climate change (3 credits)
    PHYS 645 -- Fundamentals of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (3 credits)
  4. Complete the thesis or non-thesis requirements:


    1. Additional approved 600-level courses (12 credits)
    2. ATM 699 -- Thesis (6-12 credits)
    3. Minimum credits required (30 credits)
    4. NOTE: For specialization in ice and snow studies, with emphasis on ice physics, ice in climate or ice in science applications, see geophysics program (ice and permafrost concentration) and/or contact the geology or geophysics departments. For specialization in atmospheric chemistry, contact the chemistry department.


    1. Additional approved courses (18 credits)
    2. PHYS 698 -- Research (3-6 credits)
    3. Minimum credits required (33 credits)

    Note: At least 30 credits must be regular coursework (not research) with 24 of these credits at the 600-level.

Atmospheric Sciences -- Ph.D. Degree

  1. Complete the general university requirements.
  2. Complete the Ph.D. degree requirements.
  3. Demonstrate competency in a foreign language or a research tool.
  4. Complete the required program as arranged by conference with the graduate advisory committee and in accordance with the Physics Department manual of Policies and Procedures for graduate students.
  5. Minimum credits required open

See Space Physics.