Undergraduate Programs

Why Study Weather And Climate?

U0 and U1 Science students: Study extreme weather and climate change!

The undergraduate programs in Atmospheric Sciences will provide students with a background to help solve the challenging problems of short- and long-range weather and climate predictions, as well as global warming and air quality issues. Within this framework, students will learn about specific phenomena such as severe weather climate, climate variability, the ozone hole and air-sea interactions.

Please take the time to explore the admission procedure and curricula below. Further information can also be obtained from our graduateinfo.aos [at] mcgill.ca (Administrative and Student Affairs Coordinator).


About our Programs

At the undergraduate level, the Department offers a broad range of courses and degree programs. The study of atmospheric science is based largely on physics and applied mathematics. Consequently, the programs are structured. All required courses, except those at the introductory level, generally have prerequisites or corequisites in physics, mathematics, and atmospheric science.

One of the goals of the discipline is to develop the understanding necessary to improve our ability to predict the weather, but atmospheric science is more than weather forecasting. Another important area of study focuses on the possible changes in global climate caused by the changing chemical composition of the atmosphere. The approach is always quantitative.

Like other parts of physics, atmospheric science attempts to create theoretical models of its complex subject, as a means of analyzing the motion and composition of the air, its thermodynamic behaviour, and its interaction with radiation and with the solid or liquid surface beneath it. From one viewpoint, the atmosphere may be studied as a large ocean of gas by the methods of fluid mechanics: winds, circulation patterns, turbulence, and energy and momentum exchanges are the ideas employed in this approach. Alternatively, the atmosphere may be studied from the point of view of its detailed physics: how water condenses in the air, how droplets can make rain, how sunlight warms the ground and the ground warms the air above it by radiation and convection, and how the atmosphere and ocean interact to shape the weather and climate. A comprehensive understanding requires both viewpoints, and these are reflected in the curriculum.

Please see the left sidebar for a detailed description of the programs.


Student Life in the Department

Student Life in the Department

The undergraduate student benefits from our Department's small size. Classes are small and professors are approachable. Because there are approximately 30-40 undergraduate students in the Department, you will know everyone in your year and have ample opportunity to meet others at the various social events which are held inside and outside McGill.

Our annual "Welcome Back" pot luck dinner is held in September while the entire Department (including graduate students and professors) comes together for the Christmas party. During the year, various tours and trips are held. Recently, students have hiked up Mount Washington (to see the weather observatory at the top), enjoyed the Quebec City Winter Carnival and have been on tours of The Weather Network/MétéoMedia, the Canadian Meteorological Centre (CMC), the Quebec Weather Centre and McGill's J. Stewart Marshall Observatory.

All students are part of the McGill Undergraduate Meteorology Students Association (MUMSA) whose council (made up of four elected students) is responsible for organizing all events. For those students interested in leadership and liaison with the Department itself, there is no better opportunity. We hope to see you here in the fall!

Notre département est le plus petit de la faculté des sciences pour son nombre d'étudiants inscrits au bac. Pourtant, notre conseil étudiant est très actif tant à l'intérieur du département qu'au sein du SUS (association des étudiants en sciences). Chaque année, plusieurs activités sont organisées soit reliées à la météorologie ou pour le simple plaisir de se retrouver tous ensemble. Le fait que l'on soit peu nombreux nous permet de connaître tout le monde, de se faire des amis et de s'entraider. Bienvenue dans notre département!


General Information

Contact: Student Affairs Office, Faculty of Science, Dawson Hall, Ground Floor, 398-4210.

Many sources of information are available to you in planning your academic program, exploring career opportunities, and clarifying policies and procedures. This excerpt from the Freshman Handbook has been prepared as a reference and a guide and not as a substitute for personal contact between yourself and your academic adviser.

You will be meeting with an adviser during Orientation Week, and you are strongly encouraged to meet with an adviser during the academic year if you have problems or questions. If you wish to do so, you may register for courses using MINERVA , McGill’s new information system, before you meet with your adviser. At your advising appointment you will be able to confirm your course choice, ask your adviser questions, and discuss your future goals. If you expect to have commitments that will take you a considerable amount of time during the school year, you should be sure to discuss this with your adviser.

The most recent version of our programs can be found at McGill's Course Calendar website.