How do you know if AOSC is a good fit for you?

The AOSC department consistently ranks among the top atmospheric and oceanic sciences departments in the US, and our students further benefit from our unique location in the Washington D.C. area, where we foster close connections with NOAA, NASA, and other earth-science institutes. To help applicants learn more about the department, the AOSC admissions committee is hosting a virtual admissions “open house” series this fall. Each open house will include an introduction by select faculty members and graduate students and an open forum for discussing the AOSC program. These events are also a great opportunity to learn more about the admissions process and life in the DC area. 
All prospective students are welcome to attend these events. If interested, please send an email to Jonathan Poterjoy ( with the subject line “Admissions Open House.” In the main body of the email, be sure to mention one or more dates that you would like to participate in these events.


A recommended undergraduate background includes calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, calculus-based physics, and general chemistry.

All students must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university in the US or an equivalent degree attained in a foreign country. A GPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0) is typically required.

The GRE is not required to apply for the Master of Professional Studies program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science.

International Students

International students must submit an English Proficiency score that meet UMD federal immigration requirements:


Students are admitted to the program only for the Fall Term.

  • December 1: Preferred application deadline for students who wish to be considered for fellowships or assistantships.
  • December 15: Final application deadline for assistantship consideration.
  • March 15: Application deadline for international students not requiring funding.
  • June 1st: Application deadline for domestic students not requiring funding.


Application Process


The Resume/CV and Description of Research/Work Experience sections are not required, only the sections with a red bar to the left as stated in the instructions. 

This optional section is for applicants that may have had significant research experience or work experience to expand upon outside of the general 'statement of purpose';  a statement of purpose discusses past academic and research achievements and how attending graduate school in AOSC fits into your career trajectory. 

To apply, go the graduate school application page, and follow the instructions for applying for graduate study, choosing the option "M. Prof. Studies: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sci & Tech - MPAO"

NEW UPDATED - OCT 31, 2023
The AOSC Department is committed to fostering a brilliant community of people from diverse backgrounds with unique perspectives who can contribute to a stronger learning environment for the entire program.  

Additional personal experience questions have been added in order to ensure a holistic admissions process that attracts, recruits, supports and graduates a diverse cohort of exceptional students.  Applicants are required to answer 1 of the 3 personal prompts; a one page response is sufficient, but is not a limit in length. Please use as much space as needed.

Note: Even though the supplemental application requires letters of references, we only need the names of the references on the application itself.