The M.S. degree is offered under two options. Plan A requires a thesis. Plan B substitutes additional course work and special reports or projects for the thesis. The M.S. program ordinarily requires from three to five semesters in residence and cannot be completed in less than two semesters. At least 60% of the coursework must be completed as a registered University of Minnesota Graduate School student. Both Master’s degree plans require that students maintain a B or better average.
The Ph.D. degree is granted chiefly in recognition of the candidate’s discovery of new information and knowledge in a specific field. Students typically complete 40-50 credits to develop competency in their field of interest. Seven credits are required and include: Integrated topics in Land and Atmospheric Science; Research in Land and Atmospheric Science; Research Ethics; Directed Teaching Experience; and Departmental Seminar.
Written and oral examinations, preparation of the doctoral dissertation, and publishing manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals are the principal measures of achievement. Appropriate graduate level courses taken at another university may be considered for transfer to a University of Minnesota program. Course work completed under an M.S. program can be counted toward the Ph.D. degree. A yearly departmental seminar is required. The program requires that students maintain a B or better average.
While research or coursework in other graduate programs and departments address similar research topics, LAAS is unique in investigating Earth system processes from an interdisciplinary perspective of land and atmospheric science.
Minor Requirements for Students Majoring in Other Fields
Students may minor in Land and Atmospheric Science (LAAS) with the approval of the director of graduate studies and under the direction of a Land and Atmospheric Science graduate faculty member serving as the minor adviser.
The Minor in Land and Atmspheric Science
The minor in LAAS for doctoral students requires a minimum of 12 graduate level credits of regular course work (not special problems) in Land and Atmospheric Science. The minor in LAAS for master's students requires a minimum of 9 graduate level credits in LAAS. All courses for use in the minor must be taken using the A-F grading system, unless approved by the Graduate Advisory Committee, or if they are offered on an S-N basis only. All students seeking a minor in LAAS must take LAAS 5050, Integrated Topics in Land & Atmospheric Science (3 cr). The remaining 9 or 6 credits for the doctoral or master's minor, respectively, must come from other graduate-level LAAS courses. Courses for use in the minor must be selected with the consultation of the Land and Atmospheric Science graduate faculty member serving as the minor adviser and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.