Atmospheric Science

Atmospheric Science

Program Description

This program provides a broad foundation in Atmospheric Science (Atm Sci) at the graduate level with an emphasis in atmospheric dynamics, physics and remote sensing, as well as numerical weather prediction (NWP) techniques. The program is designed to provide the graduate student with critical thinking and technical capabilities in order to develop a scientifically sound course of action to solve a problem plaguing operational units.

The program length is six quarters for full-time students, although an additional quarter of mathematics review may be added to the curriculum, when necessary. The first two quarters usually stress foundational atmospheric physics/dynamics and mathematics. During the remaining quarters, the student concentrates on applied and specialized courses and pursues research in an area of specialization.

Each student must complete an independent study/thesis and a number of courses in the area of specialization. Flexibility in the program is maintained to take full advantage of the varied backgrounds and abilities of the students. The specific courses in the curriculum vary depending on the specialization pursued and the requirements associated with the student’s assigned Air Force education code.

Emphasis is placed on applying basic physical principles together with current state-of-the-art computational and experimental techniques to address Air Force and DoD problems.

Admissions Requirements

Degree: An undergraduate degree in Atmospheric Science or Meteorology.

Mathematics: Ordinary differential equations is required for all department M.S. degree programs.

GRE153V/148Q (within the last five years)

GPA Required: Overall – 3.0; Mathematics – 3.0; Major – 3.0

Waivers to the above criteria may be granted on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, individuals whose academic credentials fall below any of the above criteria are encouraged to apply and allow the department to perform an academic evaluation.

Apply Now!

Outcomes & Objectives

Program Educational Objectives (PEOs)


The PEOs of the Atmospheric Science program identify desired capabilities and anticipated activities of our graduates three years after graduation:


  • Direct or perform basic research; conduct and evaluate design and analysis; and communicate their work clearly, working independently and in groups, with a focus on applications of interest to the commands to which they are assigned after graduation.

  • Learn program details and technologies in their new areas of responsibility and apply the skills and tools learned at the Air Force Institute of Technology.

  • Apply knowledge and skills to solve problems that arise in the technical work they conduct or supervise.

  •  Study an Air Force weather operational issue, identify and evaluate alternative actions, propose appropriate courses of action, and identify optimal choices.

  •  Develop and implement programs, working within their organizations, to implement the chosen solution.

  • Develop and implement, or sustain and improve, programs that entail multidisciplinary research, simulation, modeling, engineering design, production, and/or fielding of engineered systems.

  • Write, edit and/or supervise the preparation of reports, journal articles, military briefings, and professional presentations that clearly communicate their work and support the needs of decision makers; present their ideas effectively and defend them appropriately.



Program Outcomes (POs)


The POs of the Atmospheric Science program identify desired capabilities and anticipated activities of our graduates upon degree completion:

  •  Apply advanced concepts in mathematics atmospheric dynamics and physics, including analytic, computational and statistical methods to applications in the areas of atmospheric science which support AF and DoD mission requirements.

  • Perform research, design, and analysis, working independently and in groups, with a focus on applications of interest to the commands for which they are assigned after graduation.

  • Understand and critically evaluate technical communications in the form of journal articles, research proposals, and conference presentations. Be able to contribute and communicate their results and understanding in these same forums.

Program Chair

Lt Col Kyle E. Fitch

Degree Information

Degree Type: Master's

Delivery Method: In-Residence

Degree Requirements

  • Atmospheric Science core (12 hours)
  • Mathematics and Statistics (8 hours)
  • Application courses (8 hours)
  • Complementary courses (8 hours)
  • Thesis research (12 hours)

Graduate School Catalog

Faculty Research Areas

View our faculty
Return to the top of the page

Air Force Institute of Technology
2950 Hobson Way
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433-7765
Commercial: 937-255-6565 | DSN: 785-6565