Path Through Program
It is in the students’ best interest to finish their graduate studies expeditiously. For each part-time student, the pace and duration of graduate studies will depend on the individual circumstances of the student. As students progress through program, they submit department forms to the Graduate Coordinator. The following timetable applies to full-time students.
For full-time students, the first two years of the program is generally occupied by class work during the Fall and Spring semesters. The curriculum includes Fundamental Climate Science Courses, Core Computational Courses, Climate Dynamics Seminars and Electives. See the Mason Catalog Program Description for more information about required classes, and Graduate Courses for more information on individual Climate Dynamics classes. For students who have already completed graduate work at another institution, there are provisions for Transfer of Credits from the previous classes.
Qualifying Examination and Dissertation
Full-time students must pass a qualifying exam before working on their dissertation. Students should form a dissertation committee upon qualifying, and defend their dissertation proposals within twelve months of passing the qualifying examination. Details can be found in the George Mason University Catalog.
Students will normally be given financial support for no more than five years. Regardless of the source of their financial support, full-time students are encouraged to finish their PhD within five years.
For an exception to any of the requirements discussed above, a student may submit a written request to the Chair of the AOES Department.