Meteorology and Climate Science Department

MS - Meteorology

The Master of Science in Meteorology prepares students for high-level professional responsibility, independent research, and continued graduate work in atmospheric science. Graduate-level theoretical and applied meteorology courses and a substantial research project lead to the preparation of the master's thesis, the culmination of the degree plan of study. Departmental opportunities for financial support include research and teaching assistantships.

The Department of Meteorology and Climate Science has one of the most active research programs at SJSU. The meteorology faculty has a wide range of expertise and supports a broad range of research activity. Their areas of specialization include Weather Analysis and Forecasting, Fire Weather, Urban Meteorology and Air Pollution, Atmospheres of Other Planets, Tropical Meteorology, Radar and Satellite Remote Sensing, Cloud and Aerosol Physics, Atmospheric Dynamics, Meteorological Data Processing, Data Communications, and Data Acquisition and Display.

Our graduates find employment in forecasting, research, consulting and media, and continue for the Ph.D. degree at top universities throughout the country. Department alumni include top scientists and forecasters in The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Weather Service (NWS), the United States Air Force and Navy, NASA, various state and federal air pollution agencies, the aerospace industry, and aviation operations. Others of our alumni are university professors, high school and community college teachers, TV forecasters, meteorologists in the wind power, electric, gas and oil industries, science writers, and consultants for legal cases, air pollution problems and building design.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must submit a complete graduate application by applying through the CSU Cal State Apply system at and meet all the university admission requirements. Applicants apply separately to the department to obtain admission into the MS, Meteorology program. See the GAPE Graduate Admissions website and this Catalog for general information about graduate admissions at SJSU.

Applicants from countries in which the native language is not English must achieve a minimum English-language proficiency test score as indicated on the Graduate Program Test Requirements webpage at GAPE. For TOEFL Requirements, see the Policies and Procedures section, Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Information in this Catalog.

Requirements for Admission to Classified Standing

Students are admitted to the MS, Meteorology program in Classified or Conditional Standing. Admission to classified standing requires the following. Applicants must:

  • Possess the equivalent of an SJSU BS in Meteorology or, with the approval of the department graduate committee, a degree in a physical science or mathematics. Students entering with degrees in other areas may be admitted to conditionally classified standing, and will be required to make up deficiencies (e.g., in meteorology and math) before enrolling in the core graduate classes;
  • Have earned minimum GPA of 2.75 (on a scale of 0-4) in their BS degrees; and
  • Submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. More information about the GRE can be found on the Graduate Program Test Requirement webpage.

Requirements for Admission to Conditionally Classified Standing

Those applicants who meet minimum requirements for graduate admission, but do not meet departmental requirements, may be admitted to conditionally classified standing on the approval of the department graduate committee. The individual admission notification will explain required terms and conditions for attaining Classified standing. Resolving deficiencies usually involve successful completion of undergraduate courses in meteorology courses and math. Upon completion of these courses, the student advances from conditional to classified standing via petition to Graduate Studies.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy

University requirements for advancement to candidacy for the master's degree are outlined in the Graduate Policies and Procedures section of this catalog. Competence in the general areas covered by METR 121A (Dynamic Meteorology I), METR 125 (Physical Meteorology), either METR 060 or METR 171A (Synoptic Meteorology, to be decided in consultation with the department graduate committee), and METR 100W or METR 202 (Technical Writing), must be demonstrated to the Department Graduate Committee prior to admission to candidacy. This can be done by satisfactory completion of these courses (or their equivalent) with a minimum grade of "B" in each, or successful completion of a comprehensive written examination. Students should consult with the graduate advisor concerning these alternatives. A student admitted in classified standing may be admitted to candidacy after completion of the terms and conditions specified in the admission notification letter.

The University requires that all graduate students complete the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) prior to advancement to candidacy. Please refer to the SJSU catalog section titled "Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement" for details. For graduate courses that meet the GWAR, refer to the GWAR Course List on the College of Graduate Studies website. MS, Meteorology students are currently required to take METR 202 to satisfy this University requirement.

Requirements for Graduation

University Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all residency, curriculum, unit, GPA, and culminating experience requirements as outlined in the Graduation Requirements section of the Graduate Policies and Procedures

Courses taken to meet the requirements for admission to candidacy will not be counted as part of the MS program. All students must complete the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement.

Culminating Experience

Students complete the Plan A (Thesis) as their MS, Meteorology degree program culminating experience. The Plan B (Project) option is only offered under exceptional circumstances and students may not choose it themselves.

Plan A (Thesis)

This option requires an acceptable written research thesis and a successful oral presentation of the thesis. The thesis must meet university requirements as stipulated in this catalog and in the SJSU Master's Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation Guidelines. Students in the thesis option enroll in one unit of METR 285, Colloquium and two units of METR 299, Master's Thesis or Project in their final semester. Students who complete the METR 299 but not its associated thesis enroll in the 1290R until both are completed.

Plan B (Project)

The Project option is open to students who can demonstrate to the Departmental Graduate Committee that they possess adequate professional meteorological experience to substitute for the research thesis. It is only offered under exceptional circumstances and students may not choose it themselves. Students approved for the Plan B option will select a suitable topic in meteorology on which to prepare a carefully documented written report in consultation with the project advisor. They will enroll in one unit of METR 285, Colloquium and an additional two units of METR 298, Research in their final semester. Students who complete their final METR 298 but not its associated thesis enroll in the 1290R until both are completed.

Course Requirements

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). For information on the GWAR, please see
Requirements of the Major30
Core Courses12
METR 202. Research Methods in MeteorologyGWAR3
METR 205. Advanced Atmospheric and Climate Dynamics3
METR 215. Advanced Physical Meteorology3
METR 240. Numerical Modeling3
METR 298. Research1-4
At least 3 units of METR 298 in each of two semesters.
Advanced Courses3
Complete 3 units of the following selected in consultation with the graduate advisor:
METR 225. Topics in Advanced Atmosphere Dynamics3
METR 206. Advanced Synoptic Meteorology3
METR 209. Adv Fire Behavior3
METR 241. Parameterization in NWP3
METR 245. Mesoscale Modeling3
METR 280. Recent Developments in Meteorology1-3
6 units of the following selected in consultation with the graduate advisor:
METR 121B. Dynamic Meteorology3
METR 123. Advanced Climatology3
METR 125. Physical Meteorology3
METR 130. Boundary Layer Meteorology3
METR 131. Air Pollution Meteorology3
METR 135. The Global Carbon Cycle3
METR 150. Computers in Meteorology III3
METR 155. Remote Sensing3
METR 160. Tropical Meteorology3
METR 163. Meteorological Instrumentation3
METR 164. Introduction to Fire Weather3
METR 165. Mountain Meteorology3
METR 166. Field Studies in Meteorology3
METR 171B. Synoptic Weather Analysis and Forecasting3
METR 172. Mesoscale Meteorology3
METR 173. Global Climate Modeling3
METR 185. Special Topics1-3
Students may take 3 additional units of Advanced Courses as an elective. Students may also take approved elective(s) in physics, computer science, and/or mathematics. Elective units cannot include METR 285, METR 298 or METR 299.
Culminating Experience3
Students in this program complete a Plan A (Thesis)
Plan A (Thesis)
METR 285. Colloquium1
Minimum one unit
METR 299. Master's Thesis or Project1-6
2 units METR 299 in the final semester
Plan B (Project)
METR 285. Colloquium1
Minimum one unit
METR 298. Research1-4
2 units METR 298 in the final semester

Total Units:30

Elective courses must be planned in consultation with the Graduate Advisor.

The maximum number of upper-division undergraduate units that can be applied toward the master's degree is 15.

Upon completion of the degree requirements, the student must have achieved minimum candidacy and SJSU Cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 in order to graduate.