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Course Requirements

The M.S. degree requires a minimum of 24 course credits and 6 research credits for the thesis option and 30 course credits for the non-thesis option.  The Ph.D. degree requires at least 30 course credits and 24 research credits. For the Ph.D., 18 additional credits must also be taken in either course or research credits, for a total minimum of 72 credits.   All M.S. students must take at least 1 credit of seminar, and all Ph.D. students must take at least two 1-credit seminars.

Core Courses

All Ph.D. students must take the course listed under each core area below. All M.S. students select courses from 4 of the 5 core areas.

  16:107:532 Atmospheric Physics (Fall, odd years)
  16:375:540 Atmospheric Chemistry (Fall)
  16:107:501 Fundamentals of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (Spring, odd years)
  16:107:545 Physical Climatology (Spring, even years)
Data analysis/statistics:
  16:712:615 Geophysical Data Analysis (Spring, odd years)
Ph.D. students must fulfill these course requirements prior to taking the Qualifying Examination.

Courses Outside of the Core Requirements

Students are encouraged to take courses not listed in the core requirements when these are considered desirable for their research or academic development. All course selections should be discussed with the student's faculty advisor. Courses to consider include, but are not limited to, the following:

11:670:444 Tropical Meteorology
11:670:453 Air Quality Modeling
16:107:544 Modeling of Climatic Change
16:107:553 Mechanisms of Past Climate Change
16:107:571 Climate Change Risk Analysis
16:375:524 Source Control of Atmospheric Pollution (Design Course)
16:375:536 Air Sampling and Analysis Techniques (Lab)
16:712:501 Physical Oceanography
16:712:502 Large Scale Ocean/Atmosphere Dynamics (Spring, even years)
16:712:552 Remote Sensing of the Ocean & Atmosphere
16:712:603 Numerical Modeling of the Atmosphere and Ocean I
16:960:590 Design of Experiments

Undergraduate Courses

In many cases 300 or 400 level undergraduate courses are appropriate and accepted for credit (G prefix) toward a graduate degree with advisor approval; however, the number of undergraduate credits associated with the degree must not exceed 12.

Transfer of Credits From Other Institutions

After completing 12 credits within the Program, students may petition to transfer up to 12 course credits towards an M.S. degree or up to 18–24 course credits (a maximum of half) towards a Ph.D. from graduate work completed at other institutions.


Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 for all coursework taken at Rutgers toward a graduate degree. No more than one course with a grade of C or C+ may be counted toward the degree.