What will I learn?

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 and 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.

Program Requirements

The M.Sc. degree requires a minimum of 45 credits, up to a maximum of 51 credits. The program includes from 9 to 27 credits of coursework (depending on the student's background).

Thesis Courses (24 credits)

ATOC 691 Master's Thesis Literature Review (3 credits)
ATOC 692 Master's Thesis Research 1 (6 credits)
ATOC 694 Master's Thesis Progress Report and Seminar (3 credits)
ATOC 699 Master's Thesis (12 credits)

Although registration is not required, students registered in M.Sc. programs are expected to regularly attend one of the student seminar series (ATOC 751D1/D2 or ATOC 752D1/D2) and the Department seminar series during the entire period of their enrolment in the program.

Complementary Courses (21 credits)

Must complete or have completed the following courses or equivalent:

ATOC 512 Atmospheric and Oceanic Dynamics (3 credits)
ATOC 513 Waves and Stability (3 credits)
ATOC 515 Turbulence in Atmosphere and Oceans (3 credits)
ATOC 519 Advances in Chemistry of Atmosphere (3 credits) *
ATOC 521 Cloud Physics (3 credits)
ATOC 525 Atmospheric Radiation (3 credits)
ATOC 530 Paleoclimate Dynamics (3 credits)
ATOC 531 Dynamics of Current Climates (3 credits)

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Science

Study options

Full Time (45 credit hours)

Tuition fees
CAD$18,661.48 (US$ 14,848) per year
CAN $622.05 per credit hour. This fee is for 2021-2022 year, and it may be subject to change in the coming year.
Application deadline

28 February 2022

Start date

31 August 2022, 30 August 2023


McGill University

Downtown Campus,

845 Sherbrooke Street West,


Quebec (QC),

H3A 0G4, Canada

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants to the master's degree must have completed a bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum CGPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0.

For international students

Applicants to 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, oceanic science, physics, mathematics, engineering, or a similar field.

English Language Scores:

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum acceptable scores are: The CBT is no longer being offered. CBT results will no longer be accepted as ETS no longer reports these results. N.B. an institutional version of the TOEFL is not acceptable. IBT (Internet-Based Test): 86 overall, no less than 20 in each of the four component scores.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System): a band score of 6.5 or greater (Academic module).

Application Deadlines: For Fall Term: Feb. 28.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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