Atmospheric Science Graduate Program

These are exciting times in atmospheric sciences. It's a time of rapid growth, increased public awareness, and social relevance for our field. The atmospheric sciences include the disciplines of meteorology and climatology, which apply mathematics and the basic physical sciences to understand a very complex natural system. The scope of the field ranges from the small space and time scales of turbulent phenomena, through the diagnosis and prediction of weather events in meteorology, to continental and global scale climate change processes.

Our graduate program in atmospheric science is a relatively small, high quality program.  Faculty members do not advise large numbers of graduate students, and this provides students with the opportunity to work closely with their advisor. This individual attention is combined with the advantages of a large and diverse research university, and the beautiful, livable environment of Ithaca.  

We welcome applications from students with various backgrounds, such as physics, chemistry, engineering, geological sciences, and mathematics, in addition to the atmospheric sciences. Each of these backgrounds can be appropriate for an advanced degree in atmospheric science, but all applicants should have a solid undergraduate-level background in physics and mathematics. General admission requirementsfor example, minimum scores on the TOEFL exam for non-native English speakerscan be found at the Cornell Graduate School website

The graduate field of atmospheric science offers full financial support, including tuition, stipend, and health insurance, to all students accepted into our program. This means that we sometimes must decline applications from students who are very well qualified, but for whom we cannot identify support because the student's interests are not a good match for our research programs, or because of limited availability of external grant funds. We offer graduate research assistantships through either the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences or through the external grants of individual faculty members, and teaching assistantships through the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Prospective and continuing graduate students are encouraged to apply for full or partial funding from NSF, NASA, AMS, NOAA, and other agencies that offer fellowships and scholarships in the atmospheric sciences.

You are invited to look further into our graduate program and, especially, to study the research interests of the faculty to identify members of our graduate field whose interests best match your own. Please feel free to contact faculty for more information about their research programs and Professor Toby Ault (, the Director of Graduate Studies, with overall questions about our graduate program in atmospheric science. You can also contact the Cornell Graduate School with more general questions or concerns.