The UCLA Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in the physics, chemistry, and biology of the atmosphere-ocean system. Our research in theory, modeling, and observations has broad applications to environmental issues, including air quality, weather and climate prediction, climate change, and natural resource management.

The M.S. degree is generally completed within one or two years. It may be obtained either by examination, or for students with exceptional academic standing, by writing a research thesis. The Ph.D. degree is attained upon completion of the dissertation and the final oral examination.

There are five major research areas within the Department: Atmospheric Dynamics & ClimateAtmospheric Chemistry & PhysicsOceanography, Biogeochemistry, and Space Physics. Students generally concentrate their efforts within one of these, although interdisciplinary programs are not uncommon. You can also view a list of faculty and their research interests . The Department’s unique strength lies in the breadth of its educational and research programs.


Students with strong math, physics, engineering, biology, or chemistry backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Financial Support

All applicants will be considered for financial support. In general, our admitted Ph.D. students are fully funded through fellowships and grants, teaching assistant, and/or graduate student research (GSR) opportunities. M.S. students are admitted with no offer of financial support from the department. M.S. students are encouraged to seek both need-based and non-need based funding sources offered by UCLA. Information and resources regarding aid may be found on the UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships site.

The Student Perspective

Read what some of our current and recently graduated students are working on and why they chose to come to UCLA:

Further Information for the Prospective Student