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University of Wisconsin–Madison

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How to apply for the Professional Master’s Program:

The application period for Fall 2024 is now open through the UW Graduate School Application Page. If you click Apply, you will be able to select the M.S. Professional Program option. Applications submitted by February 1 are given highest consideration for Fall semester admission.

If you want to be notified of additional events in advance of submitting an application, please fill out this interest questionnaire. For Fall enrollment, our application deadline is rolling up through August for domestic applicants (mid to late May for international applicants). If you have more questions, please Contact us.

To apply, you’ll need to submit the following components:

  • Online UW Graduate School application
  • One page statement of interest in the program (
  • Transcripts (uploaded to online application, official copies will be requested after admission)
  • Three letters of recommendation from people familiar with your academic and professional background
  • GRE SCORES NOT REQUIRED, ONLY OPTIONAL - optionally submit GRE general (math, verbal, analytical) test scores to UW-Madison Graduate School, institution code 1846
  • International students should also arrange to take the TOEFL exam

How to get admitted to the program:

Admission to the Professional Program requires the same academic strength and expectations of the Research Program, except that you do not need to elect an advisor or research topic.

Our criteria for admissions are holistic and we generally favor high quality applicants who have:

  • Evidence of interest in meteorological, climate, ocean, and/or remote sensing careers
  • Sufficient background in prerequisite courses to be successful in AOS courses and careers, regardless of academic major
  • Evidence of solid written and oral English communication skills
  • GPA and TOEFL scores reflective of academic strength
  • Ability to enhance the academic, geographic, gender, ethnic, economic, or cultural diversity of our department, especially for underrepresented groups

All applicants are assessed and ranked by an admissions committee chaired by the Graduate Program Chair. Admission priority is given to the highest ranked applicants who best meet our application criteria.

Prerequisites for Graduate Work

Math - 3 semesters college calculus sequence for science/engineering majors plus differential equations

Physics - 2 semesters calculus-based general college physics

A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is required for admission. The Graduate School computes the GPA based on approximately the last 60 semester hours (two years) of undergraduate work.

Prior work in atmospheric or oceanic sciences is not required, but it is beneficial. Knowledge of computer programming is recommended.

Credits earned in satisfying prerequisites do not count toward the graduate degree requirements.

Lacking these courses does not automatically disqualify you from admission, but you must demonstrate mastery of math and physics concepts necessary to be successful in our AOS core course sequence. If you are currently taking or plan to take any of the prerequisite courses or can show substantial prior experience in these topics, and they do not appear on your transcript, please indicate these courses in your statement when submitting your application.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

The general test is not required (optional). This includes verbal, quantitative and analytical parts. You can choose to submit it if you have taken the test and believe the scores help reflect your overall academic qualifications.

If submitted, GREs are only one piece of information used in admission. Explain low scores in your personal statement and demonstrate academic strength other places such as in your transcript or research experiences.

Official scores must be sent electronically to UW-Madison’s Graduate School. The institution code is 1846 for both tests. You do not need a department code. We have access to the Graduate School’s electronic scores and you do not need to send us a paper copy.

To get further information about this test, contact Graduate Records Examination at 609-683-2002, email them, or visit their web site.

Special Cases

We occasionally consider admission with deficiencies for students lacking a prerequisite course. Please contact us to discuss your specific case.

Graduate School Requirements

The Graduate School’s admission requirements must also be met by all applicants.