Apply to our PhD Program

The Center for Atmosphere Ocean Science (CAOS) is a unit of the Mathematics Department, which itself is part of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences (a division of NYU). CAOS offers a PhD in Atmosphere Ocean Science and Mathematics (AOSM), distinct from the Mathematics PhD, but sharing many features with it.

How to Apply

NYU's Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS) expects graduate student applications to be completed on-line. Please refer to the NYU GSAS Application Resource Center for complete information on applying to graduate programs at NYU, and for a link to the On-line Application. All applications are due by January 4.

Please note that applicants must take a GRE Subject exam in either Mathematics or Physics. While we do make exceptions to this requirement, your application will be at a disadvantage without it.


For questions about the details of the CAOS Ph.D. program and admissions requirements, please email our current Director of Graduate Studies.

For more general questions about applying to graduate school at NYU (for example, questions about the online application process, transcripts, dates and communication of GRE scores), please refer to the Application Resource Center.

Who Should Apply

The interdisciplinary AOSM graduate program was designed train students in both applied mathematics and disciplinary atmosphere-ocean-climate science. Given the under-met need for rigorously trained researchers in the discipline (see our Program Philosophy), we seek to attract and train students with strong undergraduate backgrounds in mathematics, physics and/or engineering. While we value knowledge of, and research in the climate sciences at the undergraduate level, neither is required, nor does either replace the need for having completed significant course work in mathematics.

Note that all students accepted and enrolled in our program receive full financial support, including, at a minimum, tuition remission, health insurance and a stipend for the nine-month academic year.

Please also see the Application and Admissions Policies for the Mathematics Ph.D. Program - apart from the caveat about the GRE mathematics exam discussed above, all of these requirements also apply to the AOSM PhD program.

Synopsis of Program Requirements

Our unique program combines training in atmospheric, oceanic and climate research with courses in advanced mathematics, applied probability and scientific computing. The curriculum for the program provides a balance between mathematics and physical science, and aims at preparing students for research and teaching in both applied mathematics and disciplinary atmosphere-ocean-climate science. The requirements for the PhD are the following:

  • A total of 72 points: 48 points of core course credits (16 courses), 18 points of research credits, and 6 points of additional electives.
  • A grade of A on the written comprehensive examinations in linear algebra, advanced calculus, and geophysical fluid dynamics (GFD) taken during the first year of study. [Note: The calculus and linear algebra exams are the same as those taken by the mathematics Ph.D. students, while the GFD exam is special to our program, and follows material introduced in the first-year GFD course required for all AOSM students.]
  • An oral examination in basic physical principles and applied mathematics taken in the second year.
  • A thesis topic defense in the third or fourth year.
  • Defense of the PhD dissertation at the end of the fifth year, or sooner.

Please refer to the AOSM Degree Requirements page for further information on coursework, examinations and other aspects of the program.

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