University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Graduate Program in Land and Atmospheric Science

Graduate Program in Land and Atmospheric Science


Welcome to the Graduate Program in Land and Atmospheric Science at the University of Minnesota. This is a science-based interdisciplinary program focused on the fundamentals of Earth system processes related to land and atmosphere and their coupled interactions. Students have the option to develop a program based on one of the more traditional areas in atmospheric science or soil science or to design their own interdisciplinary course of study bridging the two disciplines.

Our program has 34 faculty members and a 2:1 faculty to graduate student ratio. Environmental science topics constitute the majority of research conducted in the department, with a core focus on the emerging area of land-atmosphere interactions.

LAAS field rideProgram

The Land and Atmospheric Science Graduate Program has no formal tracks or emphasis areas, but instead allows students to design a curriculum that addresses their interests within the scope of the program.

Graduate Research in LAAS

Research topics in Land and Atmospheric Science are diverse and highly interdisciplinary. Graduate students and faculty work together on both applied and basic science problems. Current research is focused on: biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus; impacts of climate variation on natural and managed ecosystems; the sources, transport, and fate of pollutants in soil, air, and water; improving and protecting land, air, and water quality; developing sustainable agricultural practices to ensure high quality agricultural products; and modeling the complex interactions between the land and atmosphere.

Research in LAAS is funded through many sources including the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, United States Department of Agriculture, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, State Agencies, Commodity groups, endowments and other sources.

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More Information:

Graduate Student Handbook

Master of Science Plan A Timeline


Master of Science Plan B Timeline


Timeline for LAAS PhD students


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Professional Outlook

Graduates of our program have strong career opportunities and occupy positions in academic research and teaching institutions; agricultural industries; state and federal government agencies; international agricultural and environmental agencies and foundations; environmental consulting firms; and others. Graduates find careers closely related to their graduate training. Over the period 1995 to 2010 nearly 90% of our graduates found employment in their respective disciplines.