Meteorology & Physical Oceanography


You can find a more general FAQ about the graduate programs at the Rosenstiel School here.

What requirements do I need to be a competitive applicant for the program?

Students wishing to pursue a graduate degree in MPO must have strong quantitative skills and a solid foundation in one of the physical, mathematical or computational sciences. A Bachelor's or Master's degree in one of the science disciplines -- such as physics, mathematics, or engineering-- usually provide the requisite background. In addition to good academic training, applicants should bring an unbridled enthusiasm and intense curiosity for the natural world in order to succeed and enjoy their experience at the Rosenstiel School.

What is the typical track of a Ph.D. student in MPO?

The typical tenure of Ph.D. students from enrollment to graduation is 5 years. The first year is primarily dedicated to taking courses and beginning research. Following the comprehensive exam at the end of the first year, students are able to pursue research in further depth. In the second year, all Ph.D. students take educational training as teaching assistants, and advanced courses while building research momentum. By the end of their third year, each student has normally completed their Ph.D. qualifying exam and research proposal, and is publishing and presenting their research in internationally recognized journals and conferences. The final two years are focused on research, leading to the completion of the Ph.D. dissertation and publication of journal articles. For more detailed information, please see the MPO Student Handbook.


Where are your Ph.D. graduates now?

Ph.D. graduates of the MPO program have largely obtained prestigious postdoctoral positions and fellowships from institutions across the globe. They have moved on to become researchers, teachers, and professors in labs and universities, and many have moved into the private sector. Others have careers in science policy, science education, and environmental protection or management. Recent graduates now hold positions at NASA, NCAR, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Columbia University, Colorado State University, the Bjerknes Climate Center, and the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, among many other institutions.