Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

The Master of Engineering Degree in Applied Climate

Creating Real-World Experiences for Applied Climate Students

REPORT: Using Climate Change Scenarios to Explore Management at Isle Royale National ParkStudents in MEng Applied Climate will be the climate experts in real-world problems.

This project with Isle Royale National Park studied how to manage the park's unique wolf-moose ecosystem. It helped us to think about the best possible futures, when the climate will not support the present ecosystems.

In 2014-2016, we will have projects with Isle Royale National Park and Apostle Islands National Lakeshore focused on incorporating climate change into management decisions.

Download Using Climate Change Scenarios to Explore Management at Isle Royale National Park 2013

Student Testimonials

From the Field

Learn about the applied climate field from Laura Briley, research associate for the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences & Assessments (GLISA) Center.

Scientists talk about the usefulness of their data while practitioners talk about the usability of data. The Climate & Space Applied Climate MEng is the bridge between the two and as a student you are the translator and, with a foundation in science and engineering, jobs in public policy, urban planning, public health, water management, and engineering are opened up to you. The ability to translate useful information into useable information is the goal of this degree and is built upon developing skills and knowledge in:

  • Scientific foundation in climate science
  • Where to get data and information
  • How to place data and information in context of applications
  • Statistics
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Problem Solving Skills

The program culminates with a sponsor-defined “hands-on” project that will expose patterns of problem solving and will allow you to structure end-to-end systems that link data, information, knowledge, planning, decisions, and actions. These are skills that students will find they can use in many professions.

Graham Sustainability Institute

The Applied Climate student’s coursework will culminate in a capstone project. Many of these projects are conducted through a partnership with U-M's Graham Sustainability Institute and its family of centers and programs. The projects and clients associated with Graham bring real-world problems with deliverables (download July 23, 2014 Memo of Understanding).

Example projects includes:

  • Using Climate Change Scenarios to Explore Management at Isle Royale National Park
    • The National Park is actively developing climate change adaptation tools to support management options for a future characterized by both rapid directional change and great uncertainty.
  • Sustained assessment of the scientific knowledge of how Great Lake levels and lake ice will change
  • Climatological descriptions of important weather and climate process such as freezing rain and freeze-thaw cycles
  • Integration of lake and land observations into consistent datasets to study coupled processes

The goal of program for each student is to have the expertise that will enable you to be the expert at the interface between climate science and practitioners.

Required Courses

Courses required of Applied Climate Program students fall into three categories:

  • Departmental Core Courses:  Required of all Climate & Space MEng Applied Climate graduate students.
  • Program Core Courses:  Required courses in this MEng Program, and those required of a concentration, if one is chosen.
  • Program Elective Courses: The Climate & Space courses or/and additional non-Climate & Space courses that support a student’s area of interest.

Undergraduate Requirements

Undergraduate Requirements for Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering (BSE)
Subjects required by all concentration 55 hrs
Required Core Subjects

28 hrs

Concentration Subjects + Electives 45 hrs
Total: 128 hrs

Masters of Engineering (MEng) Requirements require 31 additional credit hours. This program will allow 6 credits to be double counted by Climate & Space SGUS students. Eighteen (18) hours need to be at the 500 levels and higher.

Departmental Core Courses (19 Credit Hours)

The five core courses required of the MEng Applied Climate students cover aspects of applied research and engineering that are considered fundamental and necessary parts of our educational program. These courses are listed below.

  • CLIMATE 586 Climate Data Analysis
  • CLIMATE 588 Regional Scale Climate
  • CLIMATE 591 Climate Practicum I
  • CLIMATE 592 Climate Practicum II
  • NRE 531 Principles of GIS (preferred), or UP 506 Introduction to GIS, or NRE 541 Remote Sensing for Environmental GIS

Two courses among five cover both relevant aspects of physical phenomena (such as a change in regional climate, air pollution, extreme weather events) and methods (such as downscaling, integrated assessment and modeling, sustainable environmental systems, methods of environmental monitoring). Three other courses constitute the three sequential parts of one Program Project (see below). One part of the Program Project is an introduction to the scientific and engineering approaches in environmental and climate change data mining and data management. The remaining two parts are centered around a year-long hands-on project that focuses on applied research in production and management of climate information; risk analysis; uncertainties assessment; formulation of adaptive climate strategies; and the systems approach to conceiving, designing, managing and operating complex observing and modeling systems.

Concentration Elective Courses (6 Credit Hours)

Students select two from an approved list of applied science and engineering-specific courses. These courses are intended to allow students to tailor the program to their individual interests while maintaining a focus on aspects of climate science. These courses are listed below. In any term, there is likely to be a 605 course, which is a Current Topics course. Check with advisor to determine if this course can be used for a Concentration Elective. There are many courses across the University. With Advisor's approval, students can use these courses to tailor their curriculum. The list, here, from other departments is pre-approved.

Courses in CLIMATE (formally AOSS)

  • CLIMATE 410 Earth System Model
  • CLIMATE 411 Cloud and Precipitation Processes
  • CLIMATE 422 Boundary Layer Meteorology
  • CLIMATE 466 Carbon Cycles
  • CLIMATE 467 Biogeochemistry
  • CLIMATE 473 Climate Physics
  • CLIMATE 474 Ice and Climate
  • CLIMATE 475 Earth System Interactions
  • CLIMATE 476 Ocean Dynamics and Climate
  • CLIMATE 480 Climate Change Problem Solving (preferred) 
  • CLIMATE 511 Aerosol Physics and Chemistry 
  • CLIMATE 530 Using Climate Change Knowledge in Planning and Design (preferred) 
  • CLIMATE 589 Art of Climate Modeling
  • CLIMATE 605 Current Topics (check with advisor) 
  • CLIMATE 605/SI 614 Climate Informatics 
  • CEE 565 Seminars on Energy Systems
  • EEB 408 Modeling for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 
  • ESENG 501 Seminars on Energy Systems
  • NRE 552 Ecosystem Services 
  • NRE 555 Climate Development 

Breadth Elective Courses (6 Credit Hours)

Students select two from a list of the courses with topics generally related to environment and applied research. These courses are intended to provide breadth. They will permit students to pursue advanced, graduate level studies in a wide variety of specialized topics that are relevant to applied science and engineering. In any term, there is likely to be a 605 course, which is a Current Topics course. Check with advisor to determine if this course can be used for a Breadth Elective. There are many courses across the University. With Advisor's approval, students can use these courses to tailor their curriculum. The list, here, from other departments is pre-approved.

Courses in CLIMATE (formally AOSS)

  • CLIMATE 401 Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
  • CLIMATE/SPACE 407 Mathematics for Geosciences
  • CLIMATE 414 Weather Systems
  • CLIMATE 420 Environmental Ocean Dynamics
  • CLIMATE 421 Introduction to Physical Oceanography
  • CLIMATE 430 Thermodynamics of the Atmosphere
  • CLIMATE 440 Meteorological Analysis Lab
  • CLIMATE 442 Ocean Dynamics 1
  • CLIMATE 451 Atmospheric Dynamics I
  • CLIMATE 463 Air Pollution Meteorology
  • CLIMATE 479 Atmospheric Chemistry
  • CLIMATE 532 Radiative Transfer I (required for PhD program)
  • CLIMATE 551 Advanced Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (required for PhD program)
  • CLIMATE 563 Air Pollution Modeling
  • CLIMATE 578 Air Pollution Chemistry 
  • CLIMATE 584 Instrumentation & Analysis Techniques 
  • CLIMATE 585 Introduction to Remote Sensing and Inverse Theory 
  • CLIMATE 587 Microwave Remote Sensing 
  • CLIMATE 605 Current Topics (check with advisor)
  • CEE 428 Introduction to Groundwater Hydrology
  • CEE 520 Physical Processes of Land-Surface Hydrology
  • EARTH 446 Paleo-climatology
  • EARTH 452 Paleo-oceanography
  • EEB 466 Mathematical Ecology

Example MEng Audit

Download Excel file

General Admission Information

The application deadline for the Winter MEng student cohort is October 1 and for the Fall MEng student cohort, February 1. The program code is: 02051. It is recommended that you submit your application early to ensure that it arrives on or before the deadline. If your application will be significantly delayed, please contact Sandra Pytlinski to discuss your situation. Information about the cost of attending the University of Michigan is available from The Office of Registrar.

All Climate & Space MEng students are admitted to the program through the College of Engineering. Climate & Space requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale. All international students need to provide  TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS scores. However, if you’ve graduated from an undergraduate program where the language of instruction is exclusively English, then the TOEFL requirement is waived. Admission decisions will be made by the program adviser, who will evaluate the undergraduate courses previously taken by a student to determine whether the undergraduate degree is appropriate for this program.


Need-based funding may be available, usually in the form of a student loan, through the University's Office of Financial Aid, (734) 763-6600. There are application materials required to complete this process.

The Michigan Difference:

As part of the University of Michigan College of Engineering, Climate & Space offers high-quality academic programs that combine extensive hands-on experience at all levels with a strong emphasis on the theoretical and applied aspects of specific areas of concentration.