Academics at the School of Meteorology
About the School of Meteorology
The School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma is the largest such program in the nation, with more than 300 undergraduate and 110 graduate students. Is ranked in the top ten of all atmospheric sciences graduate programs in the nation by the Chronicles of Higher Education. The atmospheric sciences in this ranking were broadly defined and, among this elite group, SoM is at or near the top spot in the severe storms, radar, and mesoscale research. For more information about the School of Meteorology, please read our fact sheet. To learn about the department's history, please read about the evolution of SoM.
Knowledge Expectations for Incoming Graduate Students
Incoming graduate students at the SOM are normally expected to have a working knowledge of calculus, vector analysis, linear algebra, ordinary differential equations, partial differential equations, statistics, and computer programming (e.g. Unix and either Fortran or C). However, because of the diverse educational backgrounds of our incoming students, some may need to complete courses on prerequisite material. This is usually done during the first year. In particular, please note that a course in Partial Differential Equations (or equivalent coursework, such as in a course on Mathematical Methods for Physicists) is a prerequisite for one of the core classes, METR 5113, Advanced Atmospheric Dynamics 1.For further information on course prerequisites, please consult the course listings or contact the appropriate course instructor.
- There are two steps in the application for admission. First, you must apply directly to the School of Meteorology. Every applicant must complete and submit (preferably be email to firstname.lastname@example.org) the School of Meteorology Rapid-Response Graduate Degree Application Form together will photocopies of all academic transcripts. No reference letters need to be sent at this step. Based on your academic record, the School of Meteorology will then respond to you with some advice on your prospects for being admitted in the formal application process. This first step does not cost any money. If you choose to continue with a formal application, the second step is to apply to the University of Oklahoma Graduate College. Please refer to their admission procedures for further information. In the second step, you will also arrange to have letters of reference sent directly to the School of Meteorology, and official transcripts sent directly to the University of Oklahoma Graduate College.
- Even though OU has a policy that allows for direct admission into a PhD program, the School of Meteorology strongly advises you to first matriculate as an MS degree student. After you have begun the MS degree program, it is possible to switch to the PhD program with permission from the School of Meteorology, if such a track is deemed to be optimal for you.
- Your three "recommenders" should fill out this RECOMMENDATION FORM using Acrobat Reader, save it, and email it to the School of Meteorology at email@example.com. Choose your "recommenders" carefully. It is probably better to choose at least two faculty members that you have associated with in an academic environment and at most one from an employment or internship experience.
- For Fall admission, the School of Meteorology prefers to receive the application when you have one semester (or less) to complete in your current degree program. For most applicants, that means submitting the Rapid-Response Application in late December or early January, as soon as your Fall semester grades are available on a photocopy of the transcript. The Graduate Admissions Committee hopes to provide a response to you within "days or weeks" with advice on prospects for proceeding with the second step, formal application to the University of Oklahoma Graduate College. Beginning in early February, the School of Meteorology (and separately OU) may notify you that you have been admitted to the graduate degree program, and the School of Meteorology may notify you of an offer for employment as either a Graduate Teaching Assistant or Graduate Research Assistant. The deadline for the formal application to the University of Oklahoma for Fall admission is June 1st for U.S. residents and April 1st for international students. The deadline for Spring is November 1st for U.S. residents and September 1st for international students. Please refer to the Office of Admissions for further information.
- We do sometimes accept new students for Spring admission. There are not usually more than 1 or 2 (if any) funded positions available, but occasionally funding for an RA position becomes available after the beginning of the Fall semester. For a student beginning in Spring semester, courses will be somewhat out of sequence. However, it is generally easy to coordinate any differences.
- We charge no processing fee for our department, however the Office of Admissions does charge a processing fee. If you are mailing the University admission fee, please send it to the Office of Admissions with your application and an original transcript.
- While the University of Oklahoma does not require the GRE, the School of Meteorology does require the GRE. No separate subject test is necessary.
- We have no minimum requirement for GRE scores. Most admitted students have a score greater than the 70th percentile in the math section. We recommend that you do your best. If you feel as though you could have done better, you may want to consider retaking the test.
- No. Please refer to our website for a list of classes that it would be helpful to have completed as an undergraduate before pursuing a M.S. or Ph.D at OU. These include Calculus, Differential Equations, and calculus-based Physics classes. In particular, we are especially concerned that you have taken a course with similar content as our MATH 4163, Partial Differential Equations. This is a prerequisite for Atmospheric Dynamics I, a class you should take during your first Fall semester of enrollment
- Masters degrees typically take two years to complete. The time required to earn a Doctoral degree can vary, but ranges from four to six years.
- A graduate teaching assistant (GTA or TA) is provided a tuition waiver and stipend for teaching a course or grading for a professors course. A graduate research assistant (GRA or RA) is provided a tuition waiver and stipend for working on a research project. Starting graduate school as a TA gives you teaching experience and allows you more time to decide what area of research you are interested in. The School of Meteorology offers TA positions. Starting graduate school as a RA allows you to get started on your research right away. School of Meteorology faculty and/or adjunct faculty from affiliated institutions offer RA positions when funding is available.
- Yes. Visiting OU will give you a chance to meet professors and students. However, a visit is not required. The School of Meteorology is located on the 5th floor of the National Weather Center (NWC). The NWC is home to a unique combination of University, State and Federal organizations that all work in harmony. Students benefit from interacting with world renowned scientists from several organizations inside the same building as their classes.
- Our department will notify you if you are accepted or declined admittance into our program. However, if you have not had any communication from our department by late Spring/early Summer, you may want to contact us to find out about your admission status. (For Fall enrollment) Offer letters are sent as early as March and as late as June.
This FAQ is also available in PDF.
- Most School of Meteorology graduate students are funded through teaching assistantships (provided by the University) or research assistantships (provided by faculty grants, funds from affiliated institutions, or fellowships). The funding consists of a tuition waiver and a stipend. Except for fellowship recipients (whose stipends are determined by the fellowship program), all graduate students' stipends, whether from TA or RA appointments, are set at fixed rates.
- Please refer to our current stipend rates.
- The University of Oklahoma offers a full graduate assistant tuition waiver for the duration of the degree program. This program will apply to the incoming graduate student class for Fall 2010. The new waiver program will place no limits on the hours waived per semester. Instead, the total number of hours waived will be limited to the hours required for the degree program. There are some qualifiers; the following hours may also be waived:
- extra required hours for students in their final semester (e.g., students will have to enroll for 6 hours to be full-time.
- thesis or dissertation hours for an additional semester or two for students appointed on grants.
- conditional hours determined by the department and approved by the Graduate College upon admission to the academic program.
- Students will need to budget for enrollment and course fees. For 9 credit hours, fees can range up to $1500 per semester.
- OU does offer student health insurance, with two options. Plan II is paid for by the University for all RA and TA students. Students have the option of enrolling in Plan I, which offers more coverage than Plan II. Plan I costs approximately $70 per month.These policies are all open to international graduate students.
This FAQ is also available in PDF.
The School of Meteorology has a variety of student organizations