General Requirements

The Department offers two options for an M.S. degree, a thesis option and a non-thesis option.  In both options, students admitted to the M.S. program are required to take the following four core courses:  Atmospheric Dynamics (ATMS 500), Physical Meteorology (ATMS 504), Weather Systems (ATMS 505), and Climate Dynamics (ATMS 507).  Students must complete core course requirements within the first 4 semesters of entering the M.S. program.  Under extenuating circumstances, students may petition to the department for a time extension in order to satisfy core course requirements.  Non-core courses may be completed at any time prior to graduation.

In addition to credit hour requirements, DAS graduate students are required to enroll in the departmental seminar course (0 credit hour) during all academic semesters while registered as a graduate student.  Students must also successfully complete the departmental course on Professional Development (1 credit hour), typically during the first Fall semester of entering the program.  Students who are participating in off-campus academic or research opportunities may petition the department for an excused absence from seminars.

Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) in the core courses (500, 504, 505, 507), while not earning less than a B- in any of these courses.  S/U grades are not acceptable in these courses. In the event a student earns a grade lower than a B- in a core course, the student will be allowed one opportunity to retake the course and earn an acceptable grade (B- or better).  If the student is unable to secure a B- or better on the second attempt, the student will not be able to complete the MS degree.  

Students must also maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher over all courses while enrolled in the M.S. program, in accordance with guidelines set by the Illinois Graduate College.  Course grades from previous graduate programs will be considered in the GPA evaluation, for any course credit applied to the M.S. degree program, subject to rules of the Graduate College regarding transfer credit.

For students entering the program in or after Fall 2019, each M.S. student will have a committee consisting of the advisor and at least two other faculty members. At least one of the additional committee members must be from DAS.  The M.S. committee must be formed within one year from the student’s start date. Each student will meet with their committee at least once a year after the committee is formed. During these meetings, the student will present their progress, discuss milestones, and obtain feedback from committee members. The date of this meeting, and the outcomes, will be documented in the student’s annual review document. The committee will review the student’s annual progress, the M.S. thesis, and cast a pass/fail vote at the oral defense.