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Atmospheric Science

Degrees Offered: Ph.D., M.Sc.



S. Allen, N. Balmforth, A. Bertram, T.A. Black, S. Donner, I. McKendry, R. Pawlowicz, R. Stull.

Associate Professors

P. Austin, S. Waterman, V. Radic.

Assistant Professors

N. Borduas-Dedekind, A. Giang, S. Knox, A. Orsi, R. White, N. Zimmerman.

Professors Emeriti

W. Hsieh, D. Steyn

Program Overview

Programs leading to the M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science are offered under joint sponsorship of the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences and the Department of Geography. Students supervised by Soil Science professors in Atmospheric Science also have the option to work toward the Atmospheric Science graduate degrees. Areas of graduate research are:

  • boundary layers and micrometeorology, including turbulence, urban meteorology, and mountain meteorology
  • numerical weather prediction for transportation, weather disasters, and clean energy (hydro, wind, solar)
  • air pollution, pollutant transport and dispersion, and atmospheric chemistry
  • climate, including climatology, climate variability and prediction, earth system modelling, climate change, glaciers
  • satellite remote sensing, cloud microphysics, aerosols
  • ocean-atmosphere interactions, ocean dynamics
  • biometeorology, including agricultural and forest meteorology, trace gas exchange, carbon cycling, vegetation water use
  • geophysical fluid dynamics
  • machine-learning tools including artificial neural networks, gene-expression programming

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Students admitted to the Ph.D. degree program normally possess a master's degree in an area of science or applied science, with clear evidence of research ability or potential. Transfer from the M.Sc. to the Ph.D. program is permitted under Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies regulations.

Program Requirements

The Ph.D. consists of either EOSC 571 or GEOB 500, independent study, a spring review at the end of the first year, a comprehensive examination (oral and written components) during the second year, and research leading to a written dissertation that is defended in an oral final examination.

Additional coursework may be selected in consultation with the student's supervisory committee.

Master of Science

Admission Requirements

Students admitted to the M.Sc. program normally possess a bachelor's degree in an area of science or applied science and must meet the general admission requirements for master's degree programs set by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Co-op M.Sc. students must also have identified in advance an employer who will pay a salary during the Co-op work terms, and must satisfy eligibility requirements set by the Science Co-op Office.

Program Requirements

The three M.Sc. program options are:

  • Thesis option: 12 credits of ATSC 599 thesis with an oral thesis defense, and 18 credits of additional coursework
  • Course-based Co-op option: ATSC 597, ATSC 598, 6 credits of ATSC 548 and 24 credits of additional coursework.
  • Course-based option: 3 credits of ATSC 548 and 27 credits of additional coursework.

Contact Information

Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
2020-2207 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4
Tel: 604.822.2713
Fax: 604.822.6088

The University of British Columbia

Student Services
Vancouver Campus
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Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1

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