Areas of Study


We have six departments that offer graduate degrees: Biology & Wildlife, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Geosciences, Physics, and Mathematics & Statistics. The Department of Veterinary Medicine offers a DVM degree .

DisciplineDegree linked to Course SheetDepartment
Atmospheric SciencesMSAtmospheric Sciences
Atmospheric SciencesPhDAtmospheric Sciences
Biochemistry and NuerosciencePhDChemistry & Biochemistry
Biological SciencesMSBiology & Wildlife
Biological SciencesPhDBiology & Wildlife
ChemistryMSChemistry & Biochemistry
Environmental ChemistryPhDChemistry & Biochemistry
MathematicsPhD Mathematics & Statistics
Science Teaching & OutreachGraduate Certificate Science Teaching & Outreach
StatisticsMS Mathematics & Statistics
StatisticsGraduate Certificate Mathematics & Statistics
Veterinary MedicineDVM (Awarded through
Colorado State University)
Veterinary Medicine
Wildlife Biology & ConservationMSBiology & Wildlife


Below is a description of the different graduate degrees and certificates offered within our college. There is also a list of faculty who are involved with each degree and the research institutes or organizations that usually support student and faculty research in that area.

Graduate Certificates

Statistics Certificate

As a post-baccalaureate program, the certificate in statistics is equivalent to a full year of graduate statistics courses and is ideal for current graduate students in disciplines other than statistics (especially the sciences). The graduate certificate in statistics encourages a more in-depth study of statistics and provides students a credential recognizing their quantitative expertise.

Science Teaching & Outreach Certificate

The certificate in science teaching and outreach is a voluntary program that prepares science graduate students for science careers that include teaching and/or communicating science to the public. It does NOT meet the requirements for earning a state teaching certificate and will not allow graduates to apply for certified positions in the K-12 school system. The science teaching and outreach certificate will enhance readiness for college-level teaching by providing hands-on training and familiarity with pedagogical theory. The certificate is expected to increase competitive ability in the higher-education job market.

Department of Atmospheric Sciences

Atmospheric Sciences: Ph.D, M.S.

The field of atmospheric science covers a wide variety of disciplines involving the physical and chemical properties and processes of the atmosphere. Emerging trends in atmospheric science stress the interactions of the atmosphere with other components (i.e. land, sea ice, ocean) in the total earth system. Current research by atmospheric sciences focuses on atmospheric chemistry/biogeochemistry, climate modeling, cloud and aerosol physics, mesoscale modeling, numerical weather prediction and aviation weather.

Department of Biology & Wildlife

Biochemistry and Neuroscience – Ph.D.

Graduate students can conduct independent biological research in controlled-experiment or field settings while taking advantage of arctic, alpine and boreal environments near campus or at remote locations. Research strengths include arctic plant ecophysiology, plant-animal coevolution, insect ecology (terrestrial and aquatic), bird and mammal physiological ecology, vertebrate population dynamics, biology of seabirds, molecular evolution and systematics, pollution ecology, wetland ecology, population genetics, ungulate biology and wildlife management.

Environmental Chemistry – Ph.D.

The geographic location of the university is particularly advantageous for the study of wildlife biology. Spruce forest, aspen-birch forest, alpine tundra, bogs and several types of aquatic habitats are within easy reach. Studies can be made in many other habitats ranging from the dense forests of southeastern Alaska to arctic tundra. Adequate study collections of plants and animals are available, and a 2,000-acre study area is near the campus.

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Biochemistry and Neuroscience – Ph.D.

Graduate students can choose from a broad range of biomedical research experiences including molecular and cellular neuroscience, proteomics, protein structure-function and molecular toxicology. The arctic environment provides additional research opportunities in environmental biochemistry, adaptations and molecular genetics.

Environmental Chemistry – Ph.D.

This degree provides education and research opportunities focused on the molecular scale aspects of environmental science. The program defines three tracks to meet a wide range of student interest: (i) atmospheric chemistry, (ii) aqueous/environmental geochemistry, and (iii) environmental toxicology and contaminant fate. Students may also design a custom focus area, subject to approval by their advisory committee.

Department of Geosciences

Geology - Ph.D.,M.S.

Graduates in geology have broad backgrounds in the earth sciences and firm foundations in mathematics, physics and chemistry. For those wishing an M.S. degree, they can pursue one of the following concentrations: Economic Geology, General Geology, Petroleum Geology, Quaternary Geology, Remote Sensing and Volcanology.

Geophysics Ph.D., M.S.

The geophysics program allows graduate students to investigate a wide array of geophysical phenomena. Students in the M.S. program can pursue a general geophysics degree or choose one of three concentrations: solid-earth geophysics; snow, ice and permafrost geophysics; Remote Sensing Geophysics.

Department of Mathematics & Statistics

Mathematics: MS, Ph.D.

The number of new fields in which professional mathematicians find employment grows continually. This department prepares students for careers in industry, government and education. The MS in mathematics prepares students for PhD work, in addition to providing a terminal degree for those planning to enter industry or education. The aim of the PhD program is to provide the student with the expertise to accomplish significant research in applied or pure mathematics, as well as to provide a broad and deep professional education.

Statistics: M.S.

The MS degree program in statistics builds upon UAF’s strength in the sciences and our setting in Alaska by introducing a strong quantitative alternative or supplement to existing programs. The curriculum is built around four statistics core courses and flexibility in selection of elective courses. The core courses are designed to blend mathematical statistics course work typical of most MS programs in statistics with real applications. We believe this blending provides a substantial improvement in the graduate’s skills.

Department of Physics

Physics: Ph.D., M.S.

Faculty and student research programs currently emphasize space physics, infrasonics, complex dynamics of nonlinear systems, ice physics and condensed matter physics. Students in the M.S. program can concentrate in either computation physics or space physics. The MS degree with computational physics concentration provides expertise in advanced computing environments, in the relevant mathematical foundations and in the specific physics discipline. The MS degree with space physics concentration focuses on the physics of upper atmospheres, ionospheres, magnetospheres and the interplanetary medium.

Space Physics: Ph.D.

Space physics focuses on the physics of upper atmospheres, ionospheres, magnetospheres and the interplanetary medium. It includes core physics courses and specialty courses in space physics, aeronomy, magnetospheric and auroral physics, and advanced plasma physics. The specialty courses support graduate research with faculty members at UAF’s Geophysical Institute, and include areas such as numerical simulations and time-series analysis. Additional courses such as radiative transfer and physics of fluids provide added breadth.

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