Climate Physics and Chemistry
Ph.D. Program 

Core Subjects

The elements of climate are so broad that one cannot cover all important aspects in course work, nor is it possible for any small group of subjects to provide a completely adequate foundation. But the Committee for the Climate Physics and Chemistry degree strongly recommends that all students, in the interests of having a good grounding in the essential disciplines, should understand the content of at least the following subjects:

12.800    Fluid Dynamics of Ocean and Atmosphere
12.842    Climate Physics and Chemistry
12.806     Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry
12.740     Paleoceanography

Substitutions are possible with the agreement of the studentís adviser

Examples of Course Selections

Students will have or will develop more specialized interests within the wider climate problem.  A background adequate to carry out original research within one of these areas, leading to a PhD dissertation, can be obtained through courses offered in the Department and elsewhere at MIT. 

It is expected that individual programs will be worked out by students in close consultation with their adviser. The following examples are intended to be only illustrative and not restrictive of the possibilities.

For a student focusing on dynamics

First year, term 1
12.800 Fluid Dynamics of the Ocean and Atmosphere [12]
12.842 Climate Physics and Chemistry [12]
12.815  Atmospheric Radiation [6]
18.075 or 18.305 [Mathematics] [12]

First year, term 2
12.810 Dynamics of the Atmosphere [12]
12.806 Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry [12]
12.801 General Circulation of the Oceans [12]
Electives or "Special Problems"
[12]

Second year, term 1
12.803 Quasi-Balanced Circulations [12]
12.804 Large-Scale Flow Dynamics Laboratory [9]
12.812 General Circulation of the Earthís Atmosphere [12]
Electives or "Special Problems" [12]

Second year, term 2
12.864 Inference from Data and Models [9]
12.870 Air-Sea Interaction [12]

 

For a student focusing on paleoclimate

First year, term 1
12.800 Fluid Dynamics of the Ocean and Atmosphere [12]
12.815  Atmospheric Radiation
[6]
12.842 Climate Physics and Chemistry [12]
18.085 Mathematical Methods for Engineers I [12]

First year, term 2
12.801 General Circulation of the Oceans [12]
12.806 Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry [12]
12.452 Mechanics of Sedimentary Processes [12]
Electives or "Special Problems" [12]

Second year, term 1
12.742 Marine Chemistry [12]
12.808 Introduction to Observational Physical Oceanography [12]
12.818 An Introduction to Atmospheric Data and Synoptic Meteorology [12]
Electives or "Special Problems" [12]

Second year, term 2
12.707 Pre-Pleistocene Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology [12]
12.740 Paleoceanography [12]
12.864 Inference from Data and Models [9]
Electives or "Special Problems" [12]

For a student focusing on ocean biogeochemistry

First year, term 1
12.800 Fluid Dynamics [12]
12.8
42 Climate Physics and Chemistry [12]
1.76 Aquatic Chemistry [12]
18.075, or 18.085, or 18.305 [Mathematics] [12]
 

First year, term 2
12.801 Steady Circulation of the Oceans [12]
12.806 Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry [12]
HA.7752 Biological Oceanography [12]
12.736 Special Problems in Chemical Oceanography [12]
 

Second year, term 1
12.742 Marine Chemistry [12]
12.803 Quasi-balanced Circulation [12]
12.804 Large-scale Flow Dynamics Laboratory [9]
12.736 Special Problems in Chemical Oceanography [12]

Second year, term 2
12.740 Paleoceanography [12]
12.864 Inference from Data and Models [9]
12.736 Special Problems in Chemical Oceanography [18]
7.440 Introduction to Mathematical Ecology [9]
 

General Examination
A student will normally have acquired the necessary background in academic subjects by the end of the fourth academic semester and will take the General Examination at that time.  In extenuating circumstances, the Examination may be taken at a later date.  (See the separate document on the General Examination and Thesis.)

 

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