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General Information


Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology

Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology

Hawaii Natural Energy Institute

Hawaii Space Grant Consortium

Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory

International Pacific Research Center

Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research

Sea Grant College Program




HIG 350
2525 Correa Road
Honolulu, HI 96822

Tel: (808) 956-8775
Fax: (808) 956-2877
Email: metdept@hawaii.edu


*Graduate Faculty

*B. Wang, PhD (Chair)—climate dynamics, geophysical fluid dynamics, and tropical meteorology
*G. M. Barnes, PhD—mesometeorology, hurricanes, and boundary layer meteorology
*M. M. Bell, PhD—radar meteorology, tropical cyclones, and mesoscale meteorology
*S. Businger, PhD—mesoscale and synoptic meteorology, satellite meteorology, storm structure and dynamics
*Y. L. Chen, PhD—mesoscale meteorology, heavy rainfall
*P. S. Chu, PhD—climate variability and natural hazards, tropical cyclones, climate prediction
*K. P. Hamilton, PhD—dynamical meteorology and climate dynamics
*F. F. Jin, PhD—atmospheric dynamics, climate dynamics
*T. Li, PhD—climate dynamics and coupled atmosphere-ocean modeling
*J. D. Small, PhD—satellite remote sensing of clouds and aerosol, cloud microphysics, aerosols and climate meteorology
*D. E. Stevens, PhD—atmospheric dynamics
*Y. Wang, PhD—atmospheric dynamics and physics, climate modeling, tropical meteorology
*S. P. Xie, PhD—large scale ocean-atmosphere interaction, climate dynamics
*J. Zhao, PhD—atmospheric chemistry and aerosols

Cooperating Graduate Faculty

A. D. Clarke, PhD—marine aerosols, biogeochemical cycles, optical properties
B. J. Huebert, PhD—atmospheric chemistry
J. Porter, PhD—satellite and ground-based optical sensing of atmospheric aerosols

Affiliate Graduate Faculty

M. Fiorino, PhD—prediction, analysis and forecast modeling of tropical cyclones, development of the FIM global atmospheric model for earth system application
W. C. Lee, PhD—radar and mesoscale meteorology
J. P. Li, PhD—nonlinear climatic dynamics and predictability, monsoon and air-land-sea interactions
F. D. Marks, ScD—tropical cyclones

Degrees Offered: BS (including minor) in meteorology, MS in meteorology, PhD in meteorology

The Academic Program

Meteorology (MET) is the study of phenomena in the Earth's atmosphere. These phenomena include the daily weather and climate. Students pursuing the BS in meteorology receive preparation for professional employment in meteorology and are qualified for employment in the federal meteorological agencies. The meteorology major must be well-grounded in the fundamentals of mathematics and physics. Thus BS graduates are qualified to pursue graduate studies both in meteorology and other applied sciences, such as oceanography or computer sciences. Graduate degrees prepare students to pursue research careers both with government and in academia.

The meteorology program at UH Manoa is unique in its focus on tropical meteorology. The tropics exert critical controls on the global atmosphere. BS students receive comprehensive training in tropical weather analysis and forecasting. Graduate students often pursue thesis research in tropical meteorology; some study topics that take advantage of Hawai'i's unique natural laboratory. Some students pursue graduate thesis research with funding from the National Weather Service, whose Honolulu Weather Forecast Office is housed in the same building as the meteorology department. Meteorology faculty cooperate actively with physical oceanography faculty through the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research and the International Pacific Research Center in the study of air-sea interaction and climate variability. Students also have access to both research databases and cooperative employment opportunities at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Pearl Harbor.


UH Manoa is an active member of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.


The department has one undergraduate advisor, who may be contacted through the department office (808) 956-8775. Graduate students are assigned individual faculty advisors by the graduate chair after their preliminary conference.

Undergraduate Study

Bachelor’s Degree


Students must complete 120 credit hours, including:

  • General Education Core (see the “Undergraduate General Education Requirements” section of this Catalog).
  • MET 101L and 200
  • MATH 241, 242, 243, and 244 (Students planning careers with federal meteorological agencies should take MATH 405.)
  • PHYS 170/170L and 272/272L
  • 21 credit hours in meteorology courses numbered 300 and above, including MET 302, 303, 305, and 402; and MET 412 or 416 (Students planning careers with federal meteorological agencies should take at least two courses from 405, 412 and 416.)
  • 15 additional credit hours from physical and mathematical sciences (e.g., engineering, geography, geology and geophysics, information and computer sciences, mathematics, oceanography, physics, and soil science) including (but not limited to) MET 310, 405, 406, and 600; MET 412 or 416; CEE 424 and 626; GEOG 300, 303, 402, and 412; GG 455; ICS 211, 311, and 442; MATH 311, 371, 373, 402, 403, and 405; OCN 620; PHYS 274/274L and 400
  • CHEM 161/161L and 162
  • ICS 111 or MET 320

For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ovcaa/programsheets/.

Student Learning Outcomes (BS Meteorology)

  1. Apply physical principles to explain the thermal structure of the atmosphere.
  2. Describe atmospheric circulation systems.
  3. Develop and explain a forecast in the short-to-medium time range.
  4. Know the design and use of instrumentation, computer software, and data interpretation methods in atmospheric studies.
  5. Be able to explain ideas and results through written, numerical, graphical, oral, and computer-based forms of communication.
  6. Be adaptable to new avenues of scientific inquiry, which offer interdisciplinary and practical applications to commercial and public needs for atmospheric studies.



Students must complete 15 credit hours of non-introductory courses, including:
  • MET 200, 302, and 303
  • 6 credits of electives from MET 305, 310, 405, 406, 412 and 416

Graduate Study

The department offers MS and PhD degrees. Through courses in dynamic, synoptic, and physical meteorology, students develop a strong foundation in tropical meteorology, the department's special field, and are prepared to do research in the atmospheric sciences.

Candidates should have a thorough preparation in physics (with calculus), chemistry, and mathematics through differential equations. Undergraduate courses in physical, dynamic, and synoptic meteorology are expected, but they can be taken in the first year. The application deadline for fall semester is January 15 for both U.S. and foreign applicants. The application deadline for spring semester is August 1 for foreign applicants, and September 1 for U.S. applicants.

Master’s Degree


Graduation with a master's degree requires completion of an acceptable thesis and a successful defense of the thesis in an oral examination.

A total of 30 official course credit hours must also be earned. This will be made up of:

  1. At least 18 credits of regular course work (i.e., excluding MET 699, 700 and 765), with a minimum of 12 credits in courses numbered 600 and above.
  2. 1 credit of MET 765
  3. 6 credits of MET 700 Thesis Research and
  4. 5 more credits either from regular courses or MET 699

Directed Research

Our core requirements include MET 600, 610, 620 and one term of synoptic meterology (MET 412 or 416), unless a student has completed an equivalent synoptic meterology course elsewhere with at least a B-.

Students must obtain a minimum GPA of 3.0 for the courses counted as our core (MET 600, 610, and 620, plus one of MET 412 or 416, if that is taken by the student).

As well, students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 for the courses they take in the MS program.

Doctoral Degree

The PhD student exhibits a higher level of independence and originality of thought than that required of the MS student.


Students must satisfy several requirements in order to graduate with a PhD degree. Each student is required to pass at least 8 graduate level courses numbered 600 and above with a grade of B- or higher. These courses will be in dynamic, synoptic, physical, tropical meteorology, oceanography, or other closely related fields. At least five of these courses must be completed at the UH Manoa campus. At the discretion of the graduate chair, a student must be awarded credit for up to three relevant graduate courses taken elsewhere. The courses taken either here or elsewhere need to cover the core requirements MET 600, 610, 620 and one of 412 or 416. A student must pass each of these core courses with a grade of at least B-. A student must obtain a minimum 3.0 GPA in the core courses taken at UH Manoa. A student must also maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 for all the courses taken in the PhD program at UH Manoa.

After these 8 courses are successfully completed, but no later than the 24th month in the PhD program, each student must pass a two-part comprehensive examination. The purpose of this exam is to ascertain the student's comprehension of the broad field of meteorology and so to insure that the student is well prepared for PhD research. The first part of the comprehensive examination is a set of written exercises completed on a single day. Within 3 to 7 days after the written exam, the student sits for the oral portion with his or her committee. No later than 12 months after successful completion of the comprehensive examination, each student is required to submit a written research prospectus for approval to his or her dissertation committee.

A PhD student must also successfully complete two semesters of MET 765 during his or her PhD studies (MET 765 taken before the student was admitted to the PhD program cannot be counted towards satisfying this requirement).

Finally, the student must complete an acceptable PhD thesis and successfully defend it in a public final oral defense.

MET Courses