Field Research

Meteorology and Atmospheric Science - M.S./Ph.D.

The Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science at Penn State is one of the oldest and largest in the country. It offers individually tailored graduate programs of academic study leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Together with a rich tradition of excellence in teaching and advising, the faculty has both a strong commitment to fundamental research and an active role in national and international scientific administration. Our researchers are world leaders in myriad areas, from weather risk analysis to remote sensing to cloud physics to tropical meteorology and more. With a focus on collaboration — within the department, within the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and across Penn State — faculty in the department aim to provide graduate students with broad knowledge and research tools to understand and solve contemporary problems in the atmospheric and oceanic sciences. 

Research Expertise

The diverse teaching and research interests of the faculty and the varied research activities of students encompass the full range of specialty areas in the atmospheric sciences. Our faculty expertise includes:

  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Pollution
  • Atmospheric Boundary Layer and Turbulence
  • Atmospheric Dynamics
  • Climate Science
  • Cloud Physics and Radiation
  • Mesoscale Meteorology and Severe Weather
  • Numerical Modeling and Data Assimilation
  • Oceanography
  • Remote Sensing
  • Synoptic Meteorology
  • Tropical Meteorology and Hurricanes
  • Weather Risk

M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees

M.S.: Students accepted into our M.S. program typically have degrees in a wide range of scientific disciplines, such as meteorology, physics, chemistry, engineering, and mathematics. By the end of the program, students are expected to demonstrate broad knowledge of areas within the atmospheric sciences as well as the tools and ability to complete a research project. 

Ph.D.: Beyond the level of knowledge gained through an M.S., Ph.D. students will have the ability to perform independent, creative research within a focus area. Students completing an M.S. and Ph.D. in succession typically spend five to six years total.

Where Meteorology Graduates Find Jobs

Here's a snapshot of where most of our graduates from spring 2013 through fall 2015 now work:

  • Education
  • Government (Lab, Contractor, NOAA or National Weather Service)
  • State Government
  • Private Organizations
  • Television