The Master of Engineering Degree in Applied Climate

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Contact our Student Services Office for more information about the program: [email protected].

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 knowledge is the goal of this degree and is built upon developing skills and knowledge in:

  • Climate Expertise: Scientific foundation in climate science
  • Data Retrieval: Where to get data and information
  • Data Interpretation: How to place data and information in context of applications
  • Data Analysis: Statistics and visualization of information
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Problem Solving Skills: Scenario planning

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 multi-disciplinary professions.

Program Overview

The MEng Applied Climate degree program consists of two or three academic semesters (see Undergraduate and SUGS sections).

The degree is a 30-credit hour program with the following components:
Departmental Core Courses (19 credits including Program Practicum Projects)
Program Elective Courses (11 credits)

Most of the Departmental Core Courses are taught in the Climate and Space Research Building. Other courses are spread out around campus. Course descriptions can be found at the Registrar’s Schedule of Classes. For term information, see Academic Year on the Registrar’s website.

Required Courses

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

  • Departmental Core Courses:  Required of all Climate & Space MEng Applied Climate graduate students.
  • Program Elective Courses: A combination of Climate and Space and other related courses, that bolster the MEng Applied Climate degree and support a student’s area of interest.

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, 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 Practicum Project (see below). One part of the Program Practicum 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.

Program Elective Courses (11 Credit Hours)

Students select from an approved list of applied science and engineering-specific courses. These courses are intended to permit students to pursue advanced, graduate level studies in a wide variety of specialized topics that still maintain a focus on aspects of climate science, while also allowing them to tailor the program to their individual interests. Check with the Academic Advisor to determine if this course can be used as a Program Elective. There are many courses across the University. With Advisor’s approval, students can use these courses to tailor their curriculum.

Refer to the link for a pre-approved list of Program Elective Courses: MEng Applied Climate Course List

Program Practicum Project

The goal of the 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. The program involves a two-semester practicum that consists of a sponsor-defined “hands-on” project. The practicum project 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. Sample projects include:

  • Using climate change scenario planning to explore management at Isle Royale National Park and the Fort Custer Training Center. (GLISA project)
  • Customizing climate information for a vulnerability assessment for the National Park Service at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. (GLISA project)
  • Using climate model projections to simulate future Great Lakes water levels and analyze hydrologic biases. (NOAA GLERL project)
  • Sea level rise and storm surge in Charleston, SC. (Jupiter Intel project)
  •  Using ESRI story boards for climate education and outreach on invasive species, lake levels, and fisheries. (GLISA project)
  • Update to Aspen Colorado Climate Action Plan. (Aspen Institute)

General Admission Information

The application deadline for the Winter MEng student cohort is October 1 and for the Fall MEng student cohort, March 5. 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 CLaSP Student Services to discuss your situation. Information about the cost of attending the University of Michigan is available from The Office of Registrar.

All 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.


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

Additional funding opportunities for Master’s students are listed at the College of Engineering Fellowships and Scholarships webpage.