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The M.S. degree in Geosciences with a concentration in Applied Meteorology is designed for individuals with meteorological, environmental or hazards-related careers worldwide. The program was developed in consultation with representatives from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research; the Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training; the National Weather Service and the Caribbean Weather Service.

Program Structure

  • Students complete 36 semester hours which consists of 12 courses.
  • All courses are offered on the semester schedule.
  • All courses are offered online except for the final 4-5 day capstone course.
  • Students normally take two courses per semester but may elect to take only one per semester.
  • First year courses should be completed prior to attempting second year courses.
  • Students must attend the final 4-5 day capstone.
  • Students must pass the comprehensive written exam after completion of all course work.
  • Course materials such as exercises, assignments, study guides, exams, and lectures will be delivered via the Internet using Canvas. Canvas is a software program designed specifically for online learning.
  • Top-quality instructors teach the classes. All classes have instructors with advanced degrees who are recognized experts and real-life practitioners in their field.

Course Rotation

Listed below is the course schedule for the Applied Meteorology Program (AMP). The courses are offered only during the semester under which they are listed.

Year One

FALL SPRING SUMMER
GR 6303
Principles of GIS
GR 8833
Weather & Society
GR 8453
Quantitative Analysis in Climatology
and and and
Elective Options (choose one): Elective Options (choose one): Elective Options (choose one):
GR 6923 *
Severe Weather
GR 6753
Satellite & Radar
GR 6603
Climatology
GR 6943 *
Tropical Meteorology
GR 6823
Dynamic Meteorology I
GR 6933
Dynamic Meteorology II
GR 8143
Advanced Forecasting Techniques
GR 8133
Foundations in Forecasting
GR 8633
Climate Change
  GR 6313
Advanced GIS
GG 8203
Ocean Science
  GR 8613
Hydrometeorology
 

Year Two

FALL SPRING SUMMER
GR 8553 **
Research Methods in Geoscience
Available to students only during their final fall semester
  GR 8573 **
Research in Applied Meteorology
Available to students only during their final summer semester
Includes Capstone Workshop
and   and
Elective Options (choose one): Elective Options (choose two): Elective Options (choose one):
GR 8813
Advanced Hazards & Disasters
GR 6753
Satellite & Radar
GR 6603
Climatology
GR 6333
Remote Sensing
GR 6823
Dynamic Meteorology I
GR 6933
Dynamic Meteorology II
GR 8143
Advanced Forecasting Techniques
GR 8133
Foundations in Forecasting
GR 8633
Climate Change
GG 8233
Environmental Geoscience
GR 6313
Advanced GIS
GG 8203
Ocean Science
  GR 8613
Hydrometeorology
 

* Program of study requires either GR 6923 Severe Weather OR GR 6943 Tropical Meteorology, but a student may choose to take the other course as an elective in either year.

Students may combine required courses with other courses of their choice as shown above. However, the program must include 36 credit hours (12 courses) and at 18 of these must be at the 8000-level.

A student may not repeat at the graduate level a class they took at Mississippi State University as an undergrad (e.g. GR 4603 Climatology and GR 6603 Climatology cannot both be taken from MSU).

Admissions Process

An applicant for admission to the Applied Meteorology Program (AMP) must hold a bachelor's degree in a science field from a four-year educational institution that has unconditional accreditation from a regional accrediting agency. An upper level course in Synoptic Meteorology (or equivalent) and Calculus I are prerequisites for beginning the program of study.

Admission is based primarily on past performance and letters of recommendation. Regular admission to graduate study in the Master of Science in Geosciences program requires a minimum grade point average of 2.75 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work. Please note that the GRE is not required for admission into this program.

Follow the guide below to ensure that you complete all that is necessary for taking courses in the Applied Meteorology Program (AMP) program at Mississippi State University.

Mississippi State University
Office of the Graduate School

P.O Box G
Mississippi state University

Official transcripts being sent electronically (eScripted) should be sent to gradapps@grad.msstate.edu

  1. Fill out the online Application for Admission. The application requires a Statement of Purpose and the names and email addresses of 3 individuals submitting letters of recommendation on your behalf. A form will be provided to your recommenders for completion.
  2. Submit a $60.00 or $80.00 international (non-refundable) application fee, payable online
  3. Transcripts and application fee can be sent either electronically or by mail to:
  4. You will receive an email of acceptance when you are officially admitted to Mississippi State University
  5. Register for the Online@State Orientation course which will prepare you for online learning at MSU
  6. Textbooks are available 2 to 3 weeks prior to classes beginning and can be ordered through Barnes & Noble at MSU
  7. You will be able to access Canvas on the first day of the semester. To access your courses, enter your NetID and NetPassword and click the Classroom tab.

Required Courses

GR 4303/6303 Principles of GIS
(Prerequisite: Junior or graduate standing, or Consent of Instructor) Two hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Spatial analysis and topological relationships of geographic data using Geographic Information Systems, with emphasis on GIS theory.


GR 4943/6943 Tropical Meteorology *
(Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor) Three hours lecture. Topics include the dynamics and circulation of the tropical atmosphere, characteristics of tropical cyclones, and forecasting methodologies for tropical weather.


GR 6923 Severe Weather *
(Prerequisites: GR 4913/6913 or equivalent) Three hours lecture. Descriptive study of severe and unusual weather across the earth. Explanation of variations in severe weather in both spatial and temporal scales.


GR 8453 Quantitative Analysis in Climatology (Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor) Three hours lecture. Implementation of quantitative methods in climatology, including modeling, resampling methods and spatial techniques, emphasizing climate analysis software packages and data formats.


GR 8553 Research Methods in Geoscience
(Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor) Three hours seminar and forum. Defining research problems, formulating hypotheses, collecting data, using analytical techniques, substantiating conclusions for geoscience topics; written and oral presentations of research projects required.


GR 8573 Research in Applied Meteorology
(Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor) Capstone Course. Seminar. Discussion and application of current research in applied meteorology. Individual or small group projects with research presentations.


GR 8833 Weather and Society
(Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor) Three hours lecture. Study of the role of weather in and on society through readings, discussion and research.

Program of study requires either GR 6923 Severe Weather OR GR 6943 Tropical Meteorology, but a student may choose to take the other course as an elective in either year


Electives

GG 8203 Ocean Science
(Prerequisite: GG 6103 or Consent of Instructor) Three hours video and online. Comprehensive examination of the ocean world, focusing on the topography, physics, chemistry, and circulation of the oceans. Primarily for K-12 science teachers.


GG 8233 Environmental Geoscience
(Prerequisite: GG 6103 or Consent of Instructor) Three hours video and online. Study of current environmental problems associated with the earth science realms; atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. Primarily for K-12 science teachers.


GR 4313/6313 Advanced GIS
(Prerequisite: GR 4303/6303 or Consent of Instructor) Two hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Vector-based file structure and GIS queries using spatial and geo-database attributes. Descriptive and prescriptive modeling in the raster domain including regression and linear weighted modeling.


GR 4333/6333 Remote Sensing of the Physical Environment
(Prerequisite: GR 3303, GR 3311 or Consent of Instructor) Two hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Examines remote sensing methods applicable to large-area analyses of watershed-level drainage systems, urban landscape, landscape vegetation metrics, physical landscape structural components, and atmospheric features.


GR 4473/6473 Numerical Weather Prediction
(Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor) Three hours lecture. This course provides students with an overview of the theory, processes, developments, and applications of existing numerical weather prediction platforms.


GR 4823/6823 Dynamic Meteorology I
(Prerequisite: GR 4733/6733) Three hours lecture. In-depth examination of the theoretical methods for determining atmospheric stability and the tools necessary to integrate the vertical profile of the atmosphere.


GR 4933/6933 Dynamic Meteorology II
(Prerequisite: GR 4823/6823 and MA 2733) Three hours lecture. Quantitative analysis and consideration of atmospheric circulation including jets streams, mid-latitude cyclones, vorticity and atmospheric kinetics.


GR 6603 Climatology
(Prerequisite: GR 1114 or GR 1123, or equivalent) Three hours lecture. Study of the elements and controls of weather and climate, distribution and characteristics of climatic regions.


GR 6753 Satellite & Radar Meteorology
(Prerequisite: GR 1604) Three hours lecture. Study of the history, the operations, and the applications of satellites and radar in weather analysis. Theory of meteorological measurements in determinations of atmospheric structure.


GR 8133 Foundations in Forecasting
(Prerequisite: GR 8123 or Consent of Instructor) Three hours lecture (online) Emphasis on daily weather forecasting at the synoptic and meso scales and introduction and investigation of advanced methods.


GR 8143 Advanced Forecasting Techniques
(Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor) Three hour lecture. Regional and mesoscale forecasting topics and techniques, including coastal meteorology, mountain meteorology, fire weather, aviation meteorology and winter weather.


GR 8613 Hydrometeorology
(Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor) Three hours lecture-video and online. Hydrometeorological principles with an emphasis on flood forecasting.


GR 8633 Climate Change
(Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor) Three hours lecture. In-depth examination of changes in earth's climate through time. Focus is placed on causes, measurement, implications and complexity of climate change.


GR 8813 Advanced Hazards and Disasters
(Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor) Three hours lecture. Advanced study of the processes, distribution and impacts of hazards and disasters.

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Academic Advising

Yasma Jacobs Headshot

Yasma Jacobs

Geosciences

  • Academic Advisor

Students should contact Yasma Jacobs, Academic Advisor, about advising or if you have not been released to register by the time registration begins.

All returning students will be sent an email to their MsState email account during the advising periods with course schedule recommendations and a release to register.

Milestones

Year 1

Fall Semester
Concentrate on course work. Try to complete required courses as they are offered so your graduation won't be delayed if you are unable to take them later.

Spring Semester and Summer Semester
Continue concentrating on course work.


Year 2

Fall Semester
Enroll in GR 8553 Research Methods. In this class, you will develop a research proposal. This proposal should be on a topic in which you are interested in researching and the research should be able to be completed within a few months. The research project you propose during this semester will be conducted and completed during your second year of course work. We will assign each student a Geosciences faculty member as your research project advisor. You may begin working on the research project you proposed during the previous summer semester.

Spring Semester
Continue working on the research project. You should collect and properly organize all data for your project during this semester if you are graduating in the summer semester.


Important Notes for Students Taking Only 1 Course per Semester:

  • GR 8553 Research Methods in Geosciences should be registered for during the 2nd or 3rd summer semester.
  • You will need to complete GR 8553 Research Methods in Geosciences before beginning your research project.
  • GR 8573 Research in Applied Meteorology should be registered for during your final summer semester.

Capstone Course

For GR 8573 Research in Applied Meteorology, you will complete the research project. Approximately mid-way through this course you should have the research project completed and you will come to Mississippi State and present your research project.

Most students will need to begin their projects sometime after completing the GR 8553-Research Methods (first summer semester) and have the majority of the research completed before GR 8573 Research in Applied Meteorology (final summer semester) in order to finish it in time to present the results at MSU.


Comprehensive Exam

The comprehensive exam is a proctored, essay style exam that covers material learned in the required courses, and a subset of the electives. You must pass the comprehensive exam in order to receive your degree.

Students that begin the program in the fall semester will most likely take the comprehensive exam early in the final summer semester. MSU requires that students be within 6 credits of graduating or in the last semester in order to take written comps.

Students who do not begin the program in fall may need to take the exam in a different semester. The Department of Geosciences must have at least 2 weeks' notice before you can schedule your exam. In most cases, we will provide you information in the spring about when the exam can be scheduled. Students taking the exam in other semesters should be aware of the 2-week notice requirement and plan accordingly.

Geospatial Technologies Minor

The Department of Geosciences at Mississippi State University offers a minor in geospatial and remote sensing technologies. The minor can be fulfilled by completion of 12 credit hours in GIS courses.
GIS minor highlights

All classes have instructors with advanced degrees who are recognized experts and real-life practitioners in their field.
The minor can be completed along with your master’s degree.

Requirements

Select four courses from the courses below to obtain the GIS minor:

Fall Courses

  •     GR 6303 Principles of GIS (offered summer and fall)
  •     GR 6333 Remote Sensing Phys Env (offered fall)
  •     GR 6363 GIS Programming (offered fall)

Spring Courses

  •     GR 6353 Geodatabase Design (offered spring)
  •     GR 6313 Advanced GIS (offered spring)

What are some potential career advantages?

Consider this minor if you would like to enhance your skills in other professions that may require or sometimes use GIS such as geology, meteorology, forestry, emergency management, environmental science, city planning and organization, utilities management and more.

Who should pursue this minor?

This minor can serve the needs of graduate students with diverse backgrounds from a variety of disciplines.

GIS Minor Request

Any current graduate student interested in earning a Geospatial Technologies (GIS) minor through MSU Geosciences Online Education Department can submit an official request by completing and submitting a GIS Minor Request Form.

By completing the request form, you are officially requesting to declare a minor in GIS along with your graduate degree from MSU.

*A committee request form will be required during your final 1-2 semesters in the graduate program


Contact Information

Photo of Joy Bailey

Joy Bailey

Online Education

  • Coordinator
Photo of Dr. Michael Brown

Dr. Michael Brown

Geosciences

  • Graduate Coordinator
Yasma Jacobs Headshot

Yasma Jacobs

Geosciences

  • Academic Advisor