Climate Graduate Programs
Climate poses important scientific and societal challenges. Mason has pioneered the creation of interdisciplinary Climate Dynamics programs, distinct from more traditional atmospheric science or oceanography degrees, to address human-caused and naturally occurring climate change. Through these programs, students can learn to help address these challenges.
The department's expertise in climate, atmospheric science, physical oceanography, and geology are the basis for graduate courses and programs.
The Climate Science MS trains students with diverse STEM backgrounds in climate fundamentals as well as modeling and data techniques. Students with the MS degree will typically pursue careers analyzing climate data, running climate models, and working with other experts to apply climate information to any of the numerous fields impacted by climate.
The Climate Dynamics PhD has a similar classroom curriculum while also preparing students to design and conduct original research. PhD students often obtain an academic or research position as a faculty member or scientific principal investigator.
Both programs welcome full-time and part-time students, who come from Virginia, the rest of the United States, and the rest of the World. Funding is provided to some students based on student academic record and availability of funds.
Much of the climate research in the Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Science Department centers on computer modeling of atmospheric circulation, ocean circulation, and their interaction with each other and with the land surface. Research at the department's Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA) focuses on the prediction and predictability of climate. Other research highlights include advanced statistical methods to analyze large climate data sets, investigation of aerosol effects on climate and human health, and the exploration of geological paleoclimate time series.