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Master of Professional Studies
This graduate degree is designed for working professionals who need cutting-edge skills and knowledge in atmospheric and oceanic science, air quality & computational methods.
It offers the rigor required to understand scientific advances in the field and the flexibility needed by individuals to customize the curriculum towards their educational goals.


Master of Professional Studies (MPAO) The Master of Professional Studies in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science is designed for meteorologists, oceanographers and environmental scientists who need cutting-edge skills and knowledge in atmospheric and oceanic science, in the computational methods used in our field, and in air quality science. The Director of Professional Studies will advise students in planning his or her course of study, and will provide career advice and The degree is earned by successful completion of ten 3-credit courses. Students must complete two out of the following three Certificate programs, each of which consists of four courses, plus two courses from the remaining Certificate Program. The MPAO program is designed with the needs of working professionals in mind, and can be completed on a part-time basis over no more than 5 years, or on a full-time basis in 1 year and one semester.

Full Details Available Here.


Students in this program pay a special tuition rate, which does not differ between residents and non-residents of Maryland. This rate is not fully covered by graduate assistantships, fellowships or the tuition remission. Additional graduate student fees are charged. Tuition and fees are subject to change.

  • Tuition: $605.00 per credit hour
  • Mandatory Fees:
  • Textbooks: Vary by course and are not included in the tuition and fees

Fellowships for NOAA Employees

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration supports graduate study by its employees through fellowship programs.

Federal government requirements for a position as meteorologist are listed here, and the requirements for an oceanographer are here.

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Parking Fees

Click here to access the Department of Transportation Services Web site for parking permit information. Parking permits are NOT required on campus for classes that beginafter 4 p.m.

Late Registration

Most students will follow the plan as described above. These students will be automatically enrolled for most courses and notified by email of the enrollment. For students who are not following the schedule, registration must be complete prior to the first day of class to avoid a penalty. A late fee of $20 will be assessed for registrations initiated on or after the first day of the course. Late registrants are responsible for payment of tuition and fees at the time of registration.

Note: Only students with prior permission from the Director may take courses outside the above plan. This is only allowed in situations where hardship would result if required to follow the schedule.

Cancellation of registration

Students who register for courses but later decide not to participate must cancel their registration prior to the first day of class. Notification of cancellation may be done online at Testudo. Failure to cancel registration prior to the first day of class will result in a financial obligation to the university regardless of student participation in courses. This includes all students automatically registered according to the cohort schedule.

Withdrawal from the program or from one or more courses

To withdraw from the program or to cancel registration in one or more courses, use the testudo website at Testudo. Withdrawals are effective the date the request is received. Students may withdraw from a course at any time during the term without academic penalty, however, withdrawals are recorded on transcripts.

Academic service fees are nonrefundable when a student withdraws from a course. Tuition refunds are granted based on this schedule:

  • There is a 100% refund for classes canceled prior to the first day of the course.
  • There is a 70% refund for withdrawals processed within the first week (seven calendar days) from the first day of the course.
  • There is a 50% refund for withdrawals processed within the first two weeks (14 calendar days) from the first day of the course.
  • There is no refund granted for withdrawals processed after the first two weeks (14 calendar days or more) from the first day of the course.
Tuition refund policy

The University of Maryland will not automatically refund a credit balance. However, the student may request a refund by emailing the bursar or by calling 1-888-313-2404. Credit card payments are refunded by crediting the original credit card account. Refund requests are usually completed within two to three weeks from the date the request is received.

Courses cancelled by the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland reserves the right to cancel courses due to insufficient enrollment or other administrative reasons. Once a course is cancelled, students enrolled in the course are entitled to a full refund of the tuition and fees associated with that class. The university makes every effort to inform students of such changes as early as possible so there is an opportunity to make alternate course selections.

How to Apply


A recommended undergraduate background includes calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, calculus-based physics, and general chemistry.

All students must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university in the US or an equivalent degree attained in a foreign country. A GPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0) is typically required.

The GRE is not required to apply for the Master of Professional Studies program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science.

International Students

International students must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and apply for a J-1 (not F-1) visa.


Students are admitted to the program only for the Fall Term.

  • Deadline for applications for International students: January 15
  • Deadline for applications for U.S. citizens and permanent residents: March 15*

* U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have completed the prerequisites may apply as late as August 1 and will be considered as long as there is room in the program. However, earlier applications are encouraged.

Application Process

To apply, go the graduate school application page, and follow the instructions for applying for graduate study, choosing the option "M. Prof. Studies: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sci & Tech - MPAO"

Note: Even though the supplemental application requires letters of references, we only need the names of the references on the application itself.


For additional assistance or information, contact:

AOSC Professional Studies Coordinator
Tammy Hendershot