Atmospheric Science Program

Welcome prospective students!

On these pages you can learn more about studying the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere in the UAH Atmospheric Science program. The program was ranked in the top ten by the Chronicle of Higher Education and we were extremely excited when two of our former students (Dr. Zhang and Dr. Ramachandran) were recipients of back-to-back (2009/2010) Presidential early career awards (PECASE).


Unique Indeed!

The UAH Atmospheric Science Department is devoted to providing high-quality education to graduate and under-graduate students and to contributing international-caliber research principally in the areas of remote sensing, atmospheric chemistry and air pollution, radiative transfer, microwave radiometry, severe storms, numerical modeling, and climate-change modeling and measurements. Atmospheric science is an increasingly important part of the earth system: the atmosphere.

Research opportunities abound at UAH due largely to the nation’s concern about the environment. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Army Research Office, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Tennessee Valley Authority all fund atmospheric science research at UAH. The Department is housed in the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC), a unique institute in which scientists from the Atmospheric Science Department at UAH, the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, the National Weather Service, the Space Science and Technology Alliance, other government agencies and industry all work together on research programs of national interest.

Student Backgrounds

Atmospheric science students come from a variety of backgrounds including mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, and engineering, as well as traditional meteorology. Atmospheric science is an excellent field for students with a technical background who would like to apply their knowledge to important atmospheric and environmental problems. Global warming, ozone depletion, climate change, acid rain, air pollution, severe storms and weather forecasting are only some of the problems studied by atmospheric scientists. Because much of the information about the atmosphere must come from satellite-based instruments, and because the atmosphere is coupled with the other components of the atmosphere-ocean-land-biosphere system, the program emphasizes remote sensing and earth system science.


The Atmospheric Science department offers competitive graduate research assistantships (GRAs). GRAs start at $22,800 for entering M.S. and Ph.D. students. Tuition is also included in this package.

  • For Ph.D. students who pass their preliminary exam, their stipend will be increased to $24,000 per year.
  • For Ph.D. students who pass their qualifying exam, their stipend will be increased to $25,200.

To be considered for a GRA you must complete the application process before the deadline.