Master in Atmospheric Sciences

The intermediate academic degree – for students, who want to acquire more in-depth skills and knowledge after the Bachelor's degree. Over the course of two years the students will come more closely in touch with the current research topics at our department, in the fields of atmospheric dynamics, atmospheric physics/chemistry, and climatology/glaciology – most of them with a focus on complex terrain – our field of excellence. 

  Curriculum, Examination Regulations, Recommended Course Schedule 

  Course Catalogue 

  Dates of enrollment periods for courses

  Information for International Students.

Information of the Dean of Studies

  Course Substitution 

The form to substitute courses from other degree programs for one from the Atmospheric Science curriculum is here  ; you will also fill in the   appendix curriculum 2015 /   appendix curriculum 2007
The following courses will be automatically (i.e. without the form) accepted: for Module 15 Numerische Methoden B
707805 Ausgewählte Aspekte der Atmosphärendynamik: Numerische Methoden für Atmosphärenwissenschaften VO2; 707806 Ausgewählte Aspekte der Atmosphärendynamik: Numerische Methoden für Atmosphärenwissenschaften UE2
and courses from the elective modules 10, 11 may be combined with courses from modules 12, 13


To be able to apply for our Master's programme, you will need a Bachelor's degree in Atmospheric Science, Physics, Mathematics, Earth Sciences or related fields. You will then have to start the admission process through the Admission Department of our University. Detailed information is available in Deutsch and English, respectively. Note that procedures vary for EU and non-EU citizens, and whether you have a Bachelor's degree from the University of Innsbruck, another Austrian University, or from abroad. Your application can and will only be processed after your Bachelor's degree documents are available! Application deadlines are given here. The regular deadline is usually 3-4 weeks before the start of the semester. Under special conditions, an application is still possible afterwards. We encourage you to apply even if your Bachelor's degree is not in Atmospheric Science (or Meteorology). In this case, the admission procedure takes longer. You should submit your application at least two months prior to the start of the Semester.
After having examined your application the Associate Dean of Studies will make the final decision whether you have the prerequisites for the programme or whether you will have to take additional courses parallel to your regular classes. Admission is not possible if you do not have at least 15 ECTS points in the core subjects of mathematics (linear algebra, calculus, partial differential equations), at least 10 ECTS points in physics and/or chemistry, and at least 2 ECTS from a programming course (python preferred but other languages also accepted).
If you have not taken dynamical meteorology and/or weather forecasting courses you may still be admitted but will have to take supplementary courses in your first semester/year of the program. Please submit your application paperwork at least two months prior to the beginning of the semester, especially when your bachelor degree is not in Atmospheric Science. Note, however, that you may only apply with the complete set of required documents. The Master's programme takes at least two years. The first 3 semesters are largely dedicated to coursework. During the fourth semester you will be mostly doing the research for the thesis. The sequence of courses is geared towards starting the program in a fall semester. However, starting in the spring semester is also possible. The courses consist of auxiliary subjects teaching you the mathematical, numerical modeling and observational methods needed for the core subjects in atmospheric dynamics, atmospheric physics and chemistry, climatology and glaciology. Depending on your interest you have to choose between a more dynamics or a cryosphere oriented Focus.

  Course work and thesis  

Phase 1: Course work: The course work consists of numerical methods, numerical modelling, geostatistics, scientific programming, scientific writing and presenting. Core subjects - all with an emphasis on mountainous regions: atmospheric physics and chemistry, climate and cryosphere, Dynamics, boundary layer meteorology plus elective courses from atmospheric and cryospheric sciences and related disciplines. The recommended course schedule (as of October 2019) is available here.

Phase 2: Thesis: Writing the thesis occurs in two steps - preparation and finalization - and takes at least six months if you are working full time on it. It is best to choose your topic and advisor in the semester prior to your last one, especially if the topic requires obtaining data. You find a list of topics in OLAT by clicking this link. After logging in with your account details, you will be redirected to the Master thesis course page, where you will have to register before you can see the list of topics and sign up for them. You may also suggest your own topic or ask advisors if they have other topics than the ones listed.

The preparatory step begins with agreeing on a topic with your advisor. It ends when you hand in a a draft containing motivation, current state of research (literature), goals, a brief statement (2 paragraphs) of the methods and data being used, and a work plan for your thesis. At that time fill out the forms - registration of the thesis and grading of the preparatory work. Have your advisor sign them and take them to the secretaries. The preparatory step fulfills the compulsory module 10 ("Preparation of the Master's Thesis") and earns you 7.5 ECTS.

The finalizing step consists of doing the research to reach the goals stated in the preparatory step and writing the thesis. The first part of the thesis will be a finetuned version of the preparatory work you did. No specific layout is prescribed for the thesis but you may use a LaTeX-template provided here: Source:  Download thesis_template_v2.0 Preview:  thesis_template_v2.0-1
You must, however, include a sworn statement about having properly conducted your research.

Phase 3: Finishing: Fill out the form with all your courses and take it to the Department of Examinations. Once your advisor approved of the final version of your thesis, print and bind two copies, take them to the Prüfungsreferat, and get the forms for your final defence exam and the grading (for your advisor). The university library gets one of the hardcopies, your advisor the other (stored centrally at the institute). Upload the pdf of your thesis to the Repository of the University Library

Your advisor will fill out the grading form. Arrange the date of the final exam with three professors: your advisor, a second examiner and one chair of the examination committee. Have them sign the final defence form, and return it and the grading form to the Prüfungsreferat. IMPORTANT: The defence cannot be any sooner than 4 weeks after handing in your thesis. The recommended period is even longer: 8(!) weeks. Ask the secretaries to post details of your defence presentation on home page of the Institute and also for the reservation of either our seminar or computer room for the presentation and the Institute's conference room for the exam with your committee. The first part of the defence is a public presentation of your research results (about 30 minutes). Afterwards anybody in the audience may ask questions. Finally, the defence committee will examine the candidate about the broader scientific area into which the thesis is embedded– again, the public is admitted. The last part may last up to an hour.


  Associate Dean of Studies (assoc. Prof. Dr. Georg Mayr)

 Student representatives (StV Atmosphärenwissenschaften)

  1.  Student representative: Paula Spannring, 5. Semester Bachelor
  2.  Student representative: Christian Resch, 3. Semester Master
  3.  Student representative: Alexander Hedenig, 1. Semester Master

As student representatives we are the first point of contact for students. Our aim is to make studying at our institute as comfortable as possible. If you have suggestions for courses, but do not want to address them personally, feel free to contact us. You can also tell us if you have a problem with a teacher or other students. We are also organizing some events during the semester to get together students of all semesters. These events will be announced at our OLAT course. For any questions please contact us personally or write an email at

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