Students who are seeking graduate programs in the state of California in the field of meteorology have three different programs to choose from. These programs are either specifically in meteorology or the broader field of atmospheric sciences. Below, we will learn about each of these three options in greater detail in order to help prospective students determine which program may be most suitable for them.
Meteorology Graduate Programs in California
San Jose State University
San Jose State University offers a Master of Science degree in Meteorology. This degree can be completed in two to two and a half years, with the first year primarily consisting of coursework and the remaining time being devoted to original research. Students who do not possess an adequate background in meteorology may first be required to take courses to catch up before beginning the courses that count towards the master's degree. Within the program, two tracks are available, A and B. The majority of students will likely complete track A, which requires the completion of 30 total units consisting of required core curriculum courses, electives, and a master's thesis. Students who are able to demonstrate that they have significant past experience in meteorology can complete track B, which does not require a thesis and allows students to complete an additional five-plus units of coursework and research report instead. Students in either track can also benefit from the expertise of the faculty of San Jose State, who specialize in areas like global climate change, air pollution, cloud processes, and weather forecasting.
University of California - Davis
The University of California - Davis offers students the opportunity to enroll in either the Master of Science or Ph.D. program in Atmospheric Science. Within either program, students can select a specialty area depending on their interests. These areas include atmospheric chemistry and air quality, biometeorology and micrometeorology, mesoscale and boundary-layer meteorology, large-scale and climate dynamics, computational geosciences, and extreme weather. Students in the master's degree program can choose to either follow a thesis or examination track. Within the thesis track, students must complete 30 units of coursework, two of seminar and a master's thesis, while the examination track requires the completion of 36 units of coursework, two of seminar and passing a written examination at the end of the program. Students in the Ph.D. program must also complete 36 units of coursework and four of seminar, in addition to preliminary and qualifying examinations before advancing to candidacy stage, during which they can conduct research and begin their doctoral dissertation.
University of California - Los Angeles
The University of California - Los Angeles offers both a Master of Science degree and a Ph.D. degree in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Regardless of whether a student enrolls in the master's or Ph.D. program, he or she must take the same six core curriculum courses, all of which are introductory in nature and provide students with a strong foundation in the various subfields and topics related to atmospheric and oceanic sciences. Students in both programs must then also complete 12 units of advanced elective courses, which they can select according to their interests. In the master's degree program, students can choose to either complete the program by taking a comprehensive examination or a master's thesis. In the Ph.D. program, students can pursue coursework according to one of the four doctoral subdivisions. Individuals who are particularly interested in meteorology may want to select the Climate and Weather option. After completing coursework, Ph.D. students will take a number of different written and oral examinations before officially advancing to doctoral candidacy, during which they work on their doctoral dissertation.
Admission Standards for Meteorology Graduate Programs in California
California graduate programs in meteorology each set their own admission standards, so it is wise for prospective students to check with each program they are interested in to make sure they are eligible. However, in general these programs expect that students will have a background in meteorology or a related field like one of the physical sciences or mathematics. It is possible that students may be admitted conditionally into a program without such a background, on the premise that they will complete some prerequisite courses. When applying to these programs, students will need to submit a completed application form, undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement. These programs also typically require that students take the GRE and submit score results.
To summarize, students who would like to enroll in a graduate program in meteorology in the state of California can select from programs offered by three universities in the state. All offer master's degrees, while both University of California schools offer degrees at the doctoral level as well.