Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (Thesis), M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English (book IELTS)
University rank #32 (QS) ,
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 & Climate Change 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 & Climate Change Canada as research associates or weather forecasters.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Thesis Literature Review
  • Thesis Research
  • Thesis Progress Report and Seminar
  • Thesis
  • Atmospheric and Oceanic Dynamics
  • Waves and Stability
  • Turbulence in Atmosphere and Oceans 
  • Advances in Chemistry of Atmosphere
  • Cloud Physics
  • Atmospheric Radiation
  • Paleoclimate Dynamics
  • Dynamics of Current Climates

Detailed Programme Facts

  • More details:

    International applicants are advised to apply well in advance of these dates because immigration procedures may be lengthy.

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    45 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • 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.

    Book IELTS
  • Minimum required score (Grade B):


    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 3

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

  • This programme accepts GRE® scores, however, has not provided a recommended or minimum required score range.

    The GRE® General Test is a widely administered admissions test that measures the skills needed in today's graduate and business school programs worldwide. The GRE® General Test contains three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Three scores are reported: a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, and an Analytical Writing score on a 0 - 6 score scale in half-point increments. Read more about the GRE® General test.

  • Applicants must meet any academic requirements set by the McGill graduate department to which they are applying. Admission to McGill is competitive and meeting the minimum standard does not guarantee acceptance.
  • As an international applicant you must additionally prove proficiency in English, and learn about International credentials and grade equivalencies, and be aware of the admission deadlines applicable to you.
  • 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

    8187 CAD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8187 CAD per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • National Applies to you

    3701 CAD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 3701 CAD per year and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.


McGill University is committed to provide financial support for graduate education. Through Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) and other academic units, McGill is working to increase the number of student fellowships and scholarships, exploring new avenues for student support, and making it easier to disburse existing funds. Our competitive funding support offers, coupled with Montreal’s low cost of living, makes graduate studies at McGill a wise educational investment.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.