Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, M.Sc.

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • N/A
  • Tuition Fee
    15347 USD/year
    Tuition fee
    2274 USD/year
    Tuition fee
  • English, French (take IELTS)
University rank #42 (WUR) ,
Our program applies mathematics, physics, computing, and sometimes chemistry to study the atmosphere and/or oceans. The ideal student would therefore have a strong quantitative background in one or more of these fields. Although some of our students have undergraduate knowledge of meteorology or physical oceanography, such background is not necessary to succeed in the program.


McGill offers the only program in Canada that includes both atmospheric and oceanic sciences. Students benefit from a large professor-to-student ratio, access to state-of-the-art computing, remote sensing, and atmospheric chemistry laboratory equipment. The Department also has close ties with Environment Canada's numerical weather prediction centre in Dorval, Quebec.

Most of our incoming M.Sc. students choose this (default) option. It allows considerable flexibility as to the choice of research topics, and gives students both a strong classroom knowledge of the subject as well as the opportunity to choose from a variety of thesis research projects. Students who do not choose to continue in academia find employment in a variety of areas and places; for example, working with Environment Canada as research associates or weather forecasters.

The Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences offers courses and research opportunities in atmospheric sciences and physical oceanography leading to the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees. Research programs borrow from fundamental fields such as mathematics, statistics, physics, chemistry, and computing to address a broad range of topics relating to weather and climate. Examples include atmospheric chemistry, climate dynamics, cloud and precipitation physics, dynamical oceanography and meteorology, geophysical turbulence, numerical modelling, numerical weather prediction, ocean carbon budgets, and sea ice dynamics, as well as synoptic, mesoscale, and radar and satellite meteorology.


McGill ranks 1st in Canada among medical-doctoral universities (Macleans) and 21st in the world (QS World University Rankings). The University is proud to be named one of Montreal's Top Employers 2014.

Programme Structure

Program Requirements

The M.Sc. degree requires a minimum of 45 credits, up to a maximum of 51 credits. The program includes from 9 to 27 credits of coursework (depending on the student's background).

Thesis Courses (24 credits)

  • Master's Thesis Literature Review (3 credits)
  • Master's Thesis Research 1 (6 credits)
  • Master's Thesis Progress Report and Seminar (3 credits)
  • Master's Thesis (12 credits)

Students registered in M.Sc. programs are expected to regularly attend both the student seminar series (ATOC 751D1/D2 or ATOC 752D1/D2) and the Department seminar series during the entire period of their enrolment in the program.

Complementary Courses (21 credits)

Must complete or have completed the following courses or equivalent:

  • Atmospheric and Oceanic Dynamics (3 credits)
  • Waves and Stability (3 credits)
  • Turbulence in Atmosphere and Oceans (3 credits)
  • ATOC 519 Advances in Chemistry of Atmosphere (3 credits) *
  • Cloud Physics (3 credits)
  • Atmospheric Radiation (3 credits)
  • Paleoclimate Dynamics (3 credits)
  • Dynamics of Current Climates (3 credits)
  • Synoptic Meteorology 1 (3 credits)
  • Synoptic Meteorology 2 (3 credits)
  • Ocean Physics (3 credits)
  • Atmospheric/Oceanic Remote Sensing (3 credits)
  • Mesoscale Meteorology (3 credits)
  • CHEM 519 Advances in Chemistry of Atmosphere (3 credits) *

* Students may select either ATOC 519 or CHEM 519.

Or other courses at the 500 level or higher recommended by the Department's Graduate Program Director.

Students with a strong background in atmospheric or oceanic science, or a Diploma in Meteorology, will take at least the 7-credit minimum. Students with no previous background in atmospheric or oceanic science must take the 20-credit maximum.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date Application deadline and start date were not specified by the programme.
  • Credits
    45 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
    • French
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
Check if you match the admission requirements

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test

Academic Requirements

Applicants for the M.Sc. program must meet the general requirements of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and hold a bachelor's degree with high standing in atmospheric science, physics, mathematics, engineering, or equivalent.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    15347 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 15347 USD per year and a duration of  .
  • National Applies to you

    2274 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2274 USD per year and a duration of  .
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