The understanding of climate science is essential to the interpretation of modern climate variations and the measurement of their impact. Climate data must be analyzed and interpreted in order to formulate useful responses and plan actions to meet specific climate challenges. The MS in Climate Science educates students to be climate professionals who can analyze and model advanced climate data. Students in the program learn to solve quantitative problems about atmospheric properties and variability, fluid dynamics, and the role of the ocean and land surface in climate. Students choose a concentration in either Climate Modeling or Climate Data to gain specific skills to understand and predict climate variations.
The program encourages applications from students with diverse backgrounds in physical science, mathematics, and engineering. Students with atmospheric science or meteorology degrees can deepen their understanding, enhance relevant computer skills, and gain insight into climate as a multi-component system. Students with physics, math, or other degrees will find that climate provides compelling applications of their mathematical and computational skills. All students will be taught by faculty of the Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences Department and the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, which includes scientists doing pioneering work in climate dynamics, climate modeling, predictability, and statistical analysis of climate data.
University-wide admissions policies can be found in the Graduate Admissions Policies section of this catalog.
To apply for this program, please complete the George Mason University Admissions Application.
Admission requirements include:
- An earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, or international equivalent, verified from official transcripts.
- A minimum 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale in baccalaureate study.
- Complete the online application and submit all required materials.
Program admission decisions give preference to students with an undergraduate degree in physical science, mathematics, or engineering. Students with other undergraduate degrees should consult with the program's administration regarding the suitability of their undergraduate preparation.
Total Credits: 33
Students must complete the Core Courses, Seminar, and Thesis or Non-thesis sections, and in addition, choose one concentration:
|CLIM 511||Atmospheric Dynamics 1||3|
|or CLIM 711||Introduction to Atmospheric Dynamics|
|CLIM 512||Physical Oceanography 1||3|
|or CLIM 712||Physical and Dynamical Oceanography|
|CLIM 610||Introduction to the Physical Climate System||3|
|CLIM 614||Land-Climate Interactions||3|
|CLIM 690||Scientific Basis of Climate Change||3|
|CLIM 991||Climate Dynamics Seminar (1 credit, repeated three times)||3|
Thesis or Non-thesis Options
|Choose one of the following options:||3|
|Master's Thesis in Climate|
Choose one unrestricted, graduate-level elective course 1
Unrestricted, graduate-level elective courses may be chosen from the following prefixes: Climate Dynamics (CLIM), Mathematics (MATH), Computational and Data Sciences (CDS), Computational Science and Informatics (CSI), Computational Social Science (CSS), Geography and Geoinformation Science (GGS), or chosen from the Climate-Relevant elective list (below).
Other courses can be approved by the graduate coordinator.
Concentration in Climate Modeling (CM)
|CLIM 670||Earth System Modeling||3|
|CLIM 715||Numerical Methods for Climate Modeling||3|
|CLIM 751||Predictability and Prediction of Weather and Climate||3|
|Choose one course from the elective lists (below)||3|
Concentration in Climate Data (CD)
|CLIM 680||Climate Data||3|
|CLIM 762||Statistical Methods in Climate Research||3|
|Choose two courses from the Mathematical, Computational, or Geographical elective list (below)||6|
|Please pay close attention to course credit values and consider how they will work into your degree program.|
|Scientific Basis of Climate Change|
|Geophysical Fluid Dynamics|
|Predictability and Prediction of Weather and Climate|
|Ocean General Circulation|
|General Circulation of the Atmosphere|
|Elements of the Tropical Climate System|
|Topics in Climate Dynamics (when the topic is "Advanced Predictability" or "Convection") 2|
|Introduction to Atmosphere and Weather|
|Mathematical, Computational, or Geographical|
|Numerical Methods for Climate Modeling|
|Topics in Climate Dynamics (when the topic is "Earth System Modeling") 2|
|Statistical Methods in Climate Research|
|Advanced Statistical Methods in Climate Research|
|Modeling Earth Signals and Systems|
|Field Mapping Techniques|
|Scientific Information and Data Visualization|
|Introduction to Scientific Programming|
|Geographic Information Systems|
|Advanced Geographic Information Systems|
|Introduction to GIS Algorithms and Programming|
|Earth Image Processing|
|Web-based Geographic Information Systems|
|Computational Physics I|
|Coastal Morphology and Processes|
|Environment Analysis and Modeling|
|Introduction to Scientific Data and Databases|
|Quantitative Foundations for Computational Sciences|
|Introduction to Space Weather|
|Science of the Environment I|
|Science of the Environment II|
|Environmental Science Communication|
|Urban Ecosystems Processes|
|Waterscape Ecology and Management|
|Fundamentals of Ecology|
|Human Dimensions of Climate Change (when the topic is "Climate Change Policy & Politics" or "Climate Change, Public Administration, and Management")|
|Geographic Approaches for Sustainable Development|
|Land-Use Modeling Techniques and Applications|
|Geospatial Science Fundamentals|
|Analytics: Big Data to Information|
|Metadata Analytics for Big Data|
|Climate Change and Sustainability Communication Campaigns|
|Principles of Data Management and Mining|
|Topics in Public Policy (when the topic is "Climate Policy & Politics" or "Climate Change, Public Administration and Management")|
CLIM 759 Topics in Climate Dynamics is a special topics course in which different sections can address different subjects.