Graduate Programs

Degrees Offered

Image placeholder for slideshow. The department offers Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctorate (Ph.D.) degrees. Through courses in dynamic, synoptic, and physical meteorology, students develop a strong foundation in tropical meteorology, the department’s special field, and are prepared to do research in the atmospheric sciences. Candidates should have a thorough preparation in physics (with calculus), chemistry, and mathematics through differential equations. Undergraduate courses in physical, dynamic, and synoptic meteorology are expected, but they can be taken in the first year.

Our students come from Hawai‘i, from the US mainland and from other countries. The main qualification to join our program is good performance in an undergraduate program that includes basic training in mathematics (at least through differential equations) and physics. Some of our graduate students have come to us with undergraduate degrees in atmospheric science, but many others have come with undergraduate degrees in physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering or related subjects, and without any prior courses in meteorology.

Requirements for Our Graduate Degrees

Master of Science (M.S.)

Graduation with a Master’s degree (M.S.) requires completion of an acceptable thesis and a successful defense of the thesis in an oral examination.

A total of 30 official course credit hours must also be earned. This will be made up of:

  1. At least 18 credits of regular course work (i.e. excluding MET699, MET 700 and MET765), with a minimum of 12 credits in courses numbered 600 and above;
  2. One (1) credit of MET765;
  3. Six (6) credits of MET700 “Thesis Research”; and
  4. Five (5) more credits either from regular courses or MET699 “Directed Research.”

As part of (1), the student must pass with a grade of B- or higher each of our “core graduate courses” of MET 600, 610, and 620. Our core requirements also include one (1) term of synoptic meteorology. Unless a student has completed an equivalent course elsewhere, this requirement is met by passing with at least a B- either MET 412 or MET 416. Students must obtain a minimum GPA of 3.0 for the courses counted as our core (MET 600, 610, and 620, plus one of MET 412 or MET 416, if that is taken by the student). As well, students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 for the courses they take in the M.S. program.

Doctorate (Ph.D.)

Students must satisfy several requirements in order to graduate with a Ph.D. degree. Each student is required to pass at least eight (8) graduate level courses numbered 600 and above with a grade of B- or higher. These courses will be in dynamic, synoptic, physical, tropical meteorology, oceanography or other closely related fields. At least five (5) of these courses must be completed at the University of Hawai‘i. The courses taken either here or elsewhere need to cover the core requirements MET 600, 610, 620 and one of MET 412 or MET 416. A student must pass each of these core courses with a grade of at least B-. A student must obtain a minimum 3.0 GPA in the core courses taken at Manoa. A student must also maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 for all the courses taken in the Ph.D. program at Manoa.

After these eight (8) courses are successfully completed, but no later than the 24th month in the Ph.D. program, each student must pass a two-part comprehensive examination. The purpose of this exam is to ascertain the studentís comprehension of the broad field of meteorology and so to insure that the student is well prepared for Ph.D. research. The first part of the comprehensive examination is a set of written exercises; this is followed by an oral examination.

No later than 12 months after successful completion of the comprehensive examination, each student is required to submit a written research proposal for approval to his/her dissertation committee.

A Ph.D. student must also successfully complete two semesters of MET 765 during his/her Ph.D. studies.

Finally, the student must complete an acceptable Ph.D. thesis and successfully defend it in a public final oral examination.

For more information, download the Graduate Brochure PDF.

Graduate Chair


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