Postdoctoral Researchers

You can apply for fellowships that will enable you to set your own direction (in contrast to positions from currently available project-based funds):

Undergraduate Researchers

Current Cornell undergraduate students interested in joining the group should email Professor Pendergrass. You can do research for credit, and if that goes well, potentially stay on for pay in the summer. Or, you can do research as part of a senior research thesis project. Some coding and data analysis skills and/or coursework in fields like atmospheric science, physics, and/or math are good preparation to have for joining the group. In an ideal situation, with about a year of research you might be in a position to submit a publication to a peer-reviewed journal.

Graduate Students

Graduate studies are through the Atmospheric Sciences graduate field in Cornell University’s Graduate School. You can read more details of the program in the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Graduate Student Handbook. The goal of the program is to learn to do research in atmospheric science.

Graduate assistantships are funded, covering tuition and providing a stipend are sometimes available for students interested in pursuing a PhD (or combined MS/PhD).

The deadline to apply to start in August (fall semester) is January 1. You can learn more about the application process here. The GRE is not required. Applications are reviewed by a committee of faculty before decisions are made.

Application fee waivers: There is a fee to apply to Cornell’s graduate school. In some cases, you can ask the fee waiver from the university. There are two ways to do this, which are described in more detail on the Graduate School’s information page, but in short: either (1) participate in a Pathways program, including AGU Bridge, SACNAS, COMPASS, AmeriCorps, Teach for America, Peace Corps, or a (virtual) visit weekend that the university offers and then email, or (2) if the application fee is a hardship for you, provide a thoughtful and documented explanation to the graduate school at

For prospective MS students: unfortunately funding is limited, and the group does not have the capacity to support students who are only interested in pursuing an MS at this time. However, please be aware that you do not need an MS degree to apply for the PhD program – it is typical in the US and Canada to go straight from a BS into a PhD (or MS/PhD) program. It is important, though, that your goal is to do research, as this is the purpose of these research-based degree programs. If you are interested in a coursework-based, self-funded MS, that is a separate option at Cornell.

Decisions about admission won’t be made ahead of official application through Cornell, with all materials – statements, letters, and transcripts. If you reach out to Professor Pendergrass by email before you apply, please be aware that response time may be slow. The volume of email that I get is large and I must prioritize responsibilities including communicating with current group members and seeking funding to support new group members like you (as well as teaching responsibilities). Whether or not you receive a prompt response is not a reflection on your potential as an applicant (your application will be evaluated after submission to the university).

It is a good use of your time to apply for any graduate fellowships you are eligible for; this would allow you to join the group as a graduate fellow. These will give you more freedom in your research:

For more information about grad programs, applying and more, check out A Field Guide to Grad School: Uncovering the Hidden Curriculum (Skills for Scholars) by Jessica Calarco.