Doctor of Philosophy in Atmospheric Sciences

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Apply at the UA Graduate College website for the program "Atmospheric Sciences (PHD)."  You will be required to upload a variety of documents, including: 

  • Degree certificate for a Master's Degree in atmospheric sciences or related study (do not send an original copy until after you are accepted into the program)
  • Scanned copies of original transcripts (do not send original transcripts with official seal and signature until after you are accepted into the program)
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation (submit online)
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Statement of research interests
  • Graduate Assistantship Application form (optional)
  • GRE scores are no longer required for any student and submission is optional
  • International Applicants Only:
  • Acceptable English credentials per University of Arizona Graduate College Guidelines
  • 1) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - minimum score of 79 iBT (or 60 on the revised PBT with no section score lower than 15).  Individual MyBest scores must also be dated within 2 years of the enrollment term to be considered valid.
  • Note, for Master's programs, we also accept the TOEFL Essentials test with a minimum band score of 9.5. Individual programs may set higher English proficiency requirements, please contact your Graduate Program Coordinator if you have questions. The TOEFL Essentials Test is not an accepted test of English proficiency for doctoral programs. 
  • 2) International English Language Testing System (IELTS) - minimum composite score of 7, with no subject area below a 6
  • 3) Pearson PTE Academic - minimum score of 60
  • 4) Graduate English Language Endorsement from the Center for English as a Second Language (CESL)
  • 5) CEPT Full Academic test - offered by our Center for English as a Second Language (CESL), minimum Total score of 110.
  • 6) The Graduate College does not accept Duolingo scores for demonstration of English Proficiency.

GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona:  4832 (GRE scores are optional - no  longer required) (updated 6 Feb 2024)

ETS Major Field Codes for Atmospheric Sciences MS:  0501, 0507

NRC Taxon(a) for this program:  Oceanography, Atmospheric Sciences, Meteorology

Admissions deadlines:

  • Domestic Applicants:  January 15 for Fall Semester
  • International Applicants:  January 15 for Fall Semester


The department attempts to support all students as research or teaching assistants (see Graduate Assistantship Application form).  Research assistantships may be arranged with individual faculty members. Other funding opportunities are provided by the Graduate College at their Financial Resources website.

Degree Program Requirements

See the PHD Atmospheric Sciences Handbook for full details.

At the doctoral level, there are 3 primary examination periods:  During the first year (Qualifying Examination), post-course completion (Comprehensive Examinations), and the final semester (Final Oral Defense).  Please review the HAS Doctoral Exam Steps and Timing (PDF file) and the HAS Doctoral Examination Procedures documents (PDF file) for details.

Graduate College Steps to Your Degree requirements timeline and the sequence of (i.e. the order in which you file) GradPath forms for the Doctor of Philosophy degree:

  • Responsible Conduct of Research Form
  • Evaluation of Transfer Credit
    • Only if using external transfer courses
  • Doctoral Plan of Study
  • Comprehensive Exam Committee Appointment Form
  • Announcement of Doctoral Comprehensive Examination
  • Results of Oral Comprehensive Examination for Doctoral Candidacy
    • Submitted by Committee Chair
    • Candidacy Fees charged to student bursar's account upon advancement to doctoral candidacy
  • Verification of Prospectus/Proposal Approval
  • Doctoral Dissertation Committee Form
  • Announcement of Final Oral Exam (Defense of Dissertation)
    • Must be submitted and approved at least one week before the date of final examination/defense
  • Results of Final Oral Exam/Defense
    • Submitted by Committee Chair
  • Submission of Final Dissertation Manuscript for Archiving
  • Exit Survey

Learning Outcomes

Refer to the Assessment section for learning outcomes and measures.


General Inquiry:

Admissions Contact:

Director of Graduate Studies:

Xiquan Dong

Xiquan Dong

Professor, Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences
Director, Graduate Studies-Atmospheric Sciences
Joint Professor, Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis GIDP