About the Program
Program of Studies
A student usually takes seven to ten courses during his/her first two years to prepare for the General Examination. The General Examination is normally administered in the spring of the second year. This exam consists of two parts. Students take a written examination covering the basics of meteorology, oceanography and geophysical fluid dynamics. Each student is also asked to give an hour-long seminar in which he/she presents and defends his/her work on an original research problem.
When the student passes the General Examination, he/she pursues research for the Ph.D. thesis. This may or may not be a continuation of the research that was used as the basis for his/her General Examination seminar. Normally the thesis is finished at the end of the student's fourth year in the program. Each thesis must be approved by the student's faculty advisor and two other faculty members who act as readers. The student defends his/her thesis at the Final Public Oral Examination. Final acceptance of the dissertation is conditional on passing this examination.
The Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program (AOS) occupies Sayre Hall on Princeton’s Forrestal Campus (located about 3 miles from the main University Campus). Sayre Hall is home to a portion of the AOS Program’s students and faculty, as well as the administrative offices. Across the street from Sayre Hall, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) maintains a high level of collaboration with AOS and is home to the majority of the AOS Program’s students and faculty.
All enrolled graduate students are automatically enrolled in the Student Health Plan (SHP) insurance coverage, which covers off-campus specialty care and hospitalization. Students may also elect to participate in optional vision and dental plans that provide benefits beyond those included in the SHP for an additional fee.