University General Course Catalog 2022-2023 
    Jun 06, 2023  
University General Course Catalog 2022-2023

Atmospheric Science, M.S.

Atmospheric Sciences (ATMS) is a research-based interdisciplinary graduate program leading to a master of science (M.S.) or doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. The program is offered through the UNR Department of Physics in partnership with the Desert Research Institute (DRI) Division of Atmospheric Sciences. Students pursue research in air pollution, atmospheric chemistry, cloud and aerosol physics, instrument development, atmospheric optics and acoustics, mesoscale meteorology, numerical modeling, fire climatology and other topics.

Contact Information

Vera Samburova, Graduate Program Director
(775) 674-7149

Mailing Address:
Desert Research Institute
Division of Atmospheric Sciences (NNCS 321)
2215 Raggio Parkway
Reno, NV 89512

Graduate Handbook *

Program Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of theoretical and observational aspects of Atmospheric Sciences.
  • engage with the observational and theoretical aspects of research studies (numerical and graphical analysis of data and modeling results, writing reports, operating and developing instruments, working with models, etc.).
  • demonstrate achievement in communication skills.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements to the master’s program include:

  • a bachelor’s degree in an aspect of atmospheric sciences, physical sciences, chemistry, engineering, mathematics or a related field, and
  • at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in prior academic coursework.

Completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is recommended

I. Program Requirements

Plan A: Thesis (16 units)

Plan B: Non-Thesis (16 units)

Recommended 700-Level Courses

These are recommended 700-level courses. Courses in addition to the recommended courses listed below may be taken with prior approval from the student’s advisor and the graduate program director.

II. Total Units (30 units)


  1. If the Core courses or their equivalent were taken at the undergraduate level at this or another university, then other ATMS graduate-level courses can be substituted with the approval of the graduate program director. Graduate-level course credits required for a M.S. or Ph.D. degree should be fulfilled with ATMS and related interdisciplinary courses selected by the student and the graduate advisory committee to reach the student’s academic and research goals.
  2. Research and teaching assistantships are available on a competitive basis. Most students obtain financial support from one of these sources.  Summer research positions are also available at the Desert Research Institute (DRI). These positions provide excellent research opportunities as well as income for students.

* Curriculum requirements in the catalog supersede the Graduate handbook.