M.S. and Ph.D. Graduate Assistantships in Atmospheric Science

Laramie, Wyoming
Dec 12, 2018
Jan 02, 2019
Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

The graduate program in atmospheric science at the University of Wyoming offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, as well as a dual-degree International M.S. in Atmospheric Science (InMAS), an exchange program with a consortium of European universities.

Our program financially supports 25-30 graduate assistants each year. Typically, we have openings for 5-8 new graduate assistants and 3 InMAS students in the fall. Because our student/faculty ratio is relatively small, students have the opportunity to work closely with their professors, and often to participate directly in field research, completing and analyzing measurements from a variety of instruments and platforms. Our graduates experience excellent job placement in industry, education, and government. Laramie is a friendly, safe town of 30,000. Many of our students and faculty enjoy outdoor activities in the mountains just a short drive away. 

Atmospheric Science Faculty cover a broad range of research topics that include observations, numerical modeling, and synergy of the two. Faculty and scientists investigate questions related to air quality, aerosol impacts on clouds, cloud and precipitation development, small and large scale dynamics, and boundary-layer processes. Our faculty and students have direct access to World Class facilities such as the Wyoming King Air Research Aircraft, the Wyoming Cloud Radar, the Wyoming Cloud Lidar, and the NCAR/Wyoming SuperComputer for this research. To learn more about our research and which of our scientists are active in these areas follow the links below:

  • Aerosol and Air Quality
    Aerosol particles range from desert dust to black and organic carbon from wildfires to nitrate aerosol from pollution. These particles have important implications for climate, clouds, and air quality. Our research focuses on both aerosol observations and modeling.
  • Climate
    Climate research in the department covers a broad range of topics using both modeling and experimental approaches.
  • Cloud Microphysics and Dynamics
    Physics and dynamics of clouds is a cornerstone of the department and remains a key area of research among much of its faculty. The objective of much of this work is to better understand cloud microphysical processes through observations and modeling.
  • Instrument Development and Characterization
    Developing new instruments and characterizing and understanding existing instruments is key to being able to use observations effectively in addressing relevant scientific questions.
  • Mesoscale and Boundary-Layer Dynamics
    High-resolution model simulations are utilized to understand the connection between the micro-scale and mesoscale motions, particularly in deep convective clouds. Several other key problems in the fields of mesoscale and boundary-layer dynamics are being explored using state-of-the-art observations.
  • Model Development
    Developing new and improved numerical models is critical for advancing the state of the science, improving weather prediction, and better understanding future climate, all of which are currently being explored at the University of Wyoming.

The application deadline for a graduate assistantship starting in the fall semester (starting late August) is January 2 to receive full consideration, although applications received anytime in the month of January will be considered. InMAS applications are due on 1 May. In rare occasions students are admitted for the spring semester. If your situation is such that you want to be considered for a start in the spring semester (January), please contact the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Shane Murphy

Admission decisions are made by the atmospheric science faculty who select applicants based on their qualifications and the research opportunities available in the department. Grades, courses taken, research experience, test scores, letters of recommendation, and the statement of purpose are all considered. Special attention is given to transcripts to insure that applicants have sufficient math and physical science preparation. International students must be proficient in English. We accept applications from students with undergraduate or advanced degrees in physical science or engineering disciplines showing competence in college physics and calculus, through partial differential equations and multiple integral calculus. An undergraduate degree in atmospheric science or meteorology, although significant, is not required.

All applications to the atmospheric science graduate program (including InMAS) should be submitted online through the UW Admissions Office's Website. International students should be aware of other factors, found on the International Graduate Students web page It is not necessary to send official documents initially. Please scan and upload your transcripts and test scores through the online application website. For convenience please name your documents to reflect their contents. If you are selected for admission, and you accept, then you must provide official documents to the university prior to final admission. 

The following is a description of the documents needed to complete an application.

***It is not possible for us to waive any of the requirements listed below.***

1. Transcripts. Please submit undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Transcripts not in English must be translated by the issuing university or by a commercial translation service. Please see the Admissions Office's website for more information.

2. Grade-point average. Applicants with higher GPAs will have a competitive advantage. A GPA of less than 3.0 in undergraduate science and mathematics is generally indicative of lack of sufficient preparation for graduate studies in science.

3. GRE scores. To be competitive for admission, a M.S. applicant should have a minimum of 151 (Q) and 138 (V); Ph.D. applicants should have minimum of 155 (Q) and 140 (V). If you are chosen for admission, please have the Educational Testing Service (ETS) mail your scores to the University of Wyoming, Code 4855. GRE scores less than these values do not disqualify your application, but your application may not be competitive enough for admission. The GRE requirement may be waived if you have a master's degree from a U.S. institution. However, the selection committee may request recent GRE scores from any applicant.

4. English language proficiency scores. Required for international applicants. English proficiency is given serious consideration. The minimum requirement is a composite score of 76 on the Internet-based exam (TOEFL iBT), or a 6.0 on the IELTS, or 760 on the TOEIC. If you are chosen for admission, please the official test score copies mailed to the University of Wyoming, code 4855. An English language proficiency score is not required if you apply within a year of graduating from a U.S. institution or from any institution with instruction in English. The selection committee may request English proficiency scores from any international applicant.

5. Three letters of recommendation. The individuals you identify during the application process will be sent an email to request the letter of reference for you. Three reference letters are required. When letters of reference are submitted you will receive an email to indicate that one of your references has submitted their evaluation.

6.  A narrative statement of research interests and career goals. Describe your motivation for pursuing a graduate degree in atmospheric science, and why the University of Wyoming is of interest. Specific research interests of the faculty can be found on the Department's Research Areas page. For questions about specific research opportunities contact the faculty member directly to discuss your research interests and to learn about specific opportunities. 

7. Frequently asked questions. Please go to our FAQ page for additional information.

For more general questions contact the Graduate Coordinator, Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Shane Murphy. Copies of papers (published, or in review), reports, or theses, that you authored or co-authored can be uploaded or links provided (URLs are preferred for large documents). This will help us establish your aptitude for graduate work.

Thank you for taking the time and expense to apply to our graduate program. If you have any questions, please contact the ATSC Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Shane Murphy , or the ATSC Department Head, Dr. Bart Geerts.