Meteorology and Climate Science Department

MS - Meteorology

The MS degree in Meteorology prepares the student 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 MS course of study. There are also opportunities for financial support in the Department by working on specific research projects as part of your graduate program, or by various teaching assistantships.

Although one of the smaller departments at SJSU, the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science has one of the most active research programs on campus. The meteorology faculty has a wide range of expertise and supports a broad range of research activity. These 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 Dynamic, Meteorological Data Processing, Data Communications, Data Acquisition and Display.

Our MS graduates find employment in forecasting, research, consulting and media, or continue for the Ph.D. degree at top universities throughout the country. Department alumni include top scientists and forecasters in The National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Administration, United States Air Force, United States Navy, NASA, various state and federal air pollution agencies, the aerospace industry and aviation operations. Our alumni also include 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

Candidates must meet all the university admissions requirements.

Students wishing to pursue an MS in Meteorology must satisfy each of the following requirements:

  • The student should have the equivalent of an SJSU BS degree in Meteorology or, with the approval of the department graduate committee, a degree in a physical science or in 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.
  • The student should have a minimum GPA in their BS degree of 2.75 (on a scale of 0-4).
  • The student must submit their Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. More information about the GRE can be found on the Graduate Program Test Requirement webpage at GAPE
  • 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 Requirement webpage at GAPE..

Those students who meet minimum requirements for admission to the Graduate Division, but do not meet departmental requirements, may be admitted to conditionally classified standing, on the approval of the department graduate committee. Deficiencies usually involve undergraduate meteorology courses, as well as some math courses. Upon completion of the necessary courses, the student advances from conditional to classified standing via petition to Graduate Studies.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy

In addition to the general requirements for admission, the student must possess an adequate background in meteorology. 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 passage of a comprehensive written examination. Students should consult with the graduate advisor concerning these alternatives.

A student with classified standing may be admitted to candidacy after completion of at least nine units of graded work as a graduate student in 100- or 200-level courses which are acceptable to the department in which the degree is sought. Note that students initially admitted with conditionally classified standing may, for example, be required to take METR 121A (Dynamic Meteorology I) to make up a deficiency (credits do NOT count toward the MS degree), and may then choose to take METR 121B (Dynamic Meteorology II), where credits DO count toward the MS degree.

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 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.

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
Additional Courses3-6
Complete 3-6 units from:
METR 225. Topics in Advanced Atmosphere Dynamics3
METR 206. Advanced Synoptic Meteorology3
METR 209. Advanced Fire Behavior3
METR 241. Parameterization in NWP3
METR 245. Mesoscale Modeling3
METR 280. Recent Developments in Meteorology1-3
Complete 3-6 units from:
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 also take elective(s) in physics, computer science, and/or mathematics, chosen with consent of the graduate advisor
These 21 units cannot include METR 285, METR 298 or METR 299
Culminating Experience9
Plan A (Thesis)
Complete nine units from:
METR 285. Colloquium1
Minimum one unit
METR 298. Research1-4
METR 299. Master's Thesis or Project1-6
Plan B (Project)
Complete nine units from:
METR 285. Colloquium1
Minimum one unit
METR 298. Research1-4
Additional 200-level meteorology courses (other than 285 or 298)3-6

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.

Culminating Experience

Plan A (Thesis)

An acceptable written research thesis and a successful oral presentation of the thesis are required.

Plan B (Project)

This plan is open to students who can demonstrate to the Departmental Graduate Committee that they possess adequate professional meteorological experience.

A suitable topic in meteorology will be selected by the student in consultation with his/her advisor on which to prepare a carefully documented written report (for two or more units of METR 298).