skip to main content

Admission and Application Process

Thank you for your interest in our graduate program in Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. The department recommends that interested students obtain an undergraduate degree in physics, mathematics, engineering, chemistry, meteorology, or one of the physical sciences; we do not offer an undergraduate degree program. As of August 1, 2016, applications for Spring 2017 and forward must be submitted to the CSU Graduate School. Please note that the department no longer provides printed copies of general application materials as the CSU Graduate School office requires all applicants to use their online application. For more information or assistance with the application process, please contact the Office of Admissions by phone at 970-491-6909 or by email to gradadmissions at colostate.edu. Before completing the Graduate School application, please carefully read the following information on Department requirements and the application process.

Requirements for admission to Masters Program

Depending on your chosen area of specialization in atmospheric science, you may find coursework in one or more of the following areas helpful: fluid mechanics, statistical thermodynamics, kinetic theory, modern physics, physical and/or analytical chemistry, statistics, applied math, and numerical analysis.

Requirements for admission to Ph.D. Program

Application deadlines. While applications to the graduate program in Atmospheric Science at CSU are accepted at any time throughout the year, prospective students are strongly encouraged to apply by January 1 for fall. Applications are reviewed as they are received. While most offers of admission are extended in spring for a start the following fall semester, the Department also considers applications for the spring semester.

Research focus areas. Prospective students are encouraged to explore the research themes of the Department prior to applying to determine whether their interests are aligned with the research currently being conducted in the department. As part of the application process, applicants are asked to provide a Statement of Purpose describing their research interests and motivation for pursuing graduate study, as well as faculty they would potentially be interested in working with.

Application Process

To begin the formal admission process, applicants must complete an application to the Graduate School at CSU. When filling out the application, please be aware of the following:

  1. Required documents include:
    • Statement of Purpose: background, goals, interests, and motiviation (200-500 words)
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • At least three letters of recommendation
    • Official transcripts (see below for additional information)
    • Self-reported GRE scores
      • You may self-report GRE scores, but you still must request official scores (see below for additional information)
    • If international student, self-reported scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  2. Application Fee
    • In order to submit your application for departmental review, you must pay this fee
  1. Official transcripts from all collegiate intuitions attended (one copy from each)
    • Required in order for department review to begin; request official transcripts as soon as possible
    • Foreign applicants need to submit the original transcript along with a certified translation into English
    • Send official transcripts to Graduate Admissions at:
      • Colorado State University
        Office of Admissions
        1062 Campus Delivery
        Fort Collins, Co 80523-1062
      • If official transcripts are sent by email, request they be sent to gradadmissions (at) colostate.edu
    • Request that ETS send your GRE scores
      • General GRE test required: Verbal, quantitative, and written analytical
      • CSU institution code is 4075, no department code
      • For more information on GREs and ETS, go to: http://www.ets.org/gre
      • It generally takes 3-6 weeks for ETS to get the scores to CSU, so allow plenty of time

Non-U.S. applicants must also submit:

  1. Immigration Document Request form and copy of passport
    These items are not required for the application review process, but will be required if officially admitted. International Student and Scholar Services will issue an I-20/DS-2019 only after the form has been received and accepted by Colorado State University.
  2. Proof of English Proficiency
    • Scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic
    • Photocopies not accepted
    • For more information on TOEFL and ETS, go to: http://www.ets.org/toefl; for more information on PTE, go to: http://www.pearsonpte.com/
    • It generally takes 3-6 weeks, from the time you request scores be sent, for the scores to arrive at CSU
    • TOEFL scores should be sent to institution code 4075 (from ETS)
    • IELTS scores should be sent to:
        Colorado State University
        Office of Admissions
        1062 Campus Delivery
        Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062
    • PTE scores should be sent to Colorado State University from the PTE website

Mailing Address

Any documents not submitted online, including official transcripts, should be mailed directly to the Graduate Admissions Office at:

Application Status Questions

You can view the status of your application at any time to ensure your application is complete or to check on updates.

Prospective Student Visits

Please contact the department by phone at 970-491-8682 or by email at info at atmos.colostate.edu.

January through March is an extremely busy time in our Department and we generally are only able to schedule visits of invited students during this period. We regret that we may be unable to accommodate your request for a visit during this time. Should a visit not have been available during this time period, please contact us after March 31 so we can schedule a visit.

Questions, Comments, or Concerns?

More information about the program, including specific details about the M.S. and Ph.D. programs, as well as course listings and financial aid information may be found in the 'Prospective Students' section in the navigation bar. Should you require additional information, or if you have any other questions, please contact Ms. Sarah Tisdale, our graduate program coordinator, by phone at 970-491-8360 or by email at info at atmos.colostate.edu.

Last Updated: 29 September 2016. Contact the Webmaster