The Ni80Fe20/Fe50Mn50,thin film system exhibits exchange bias behavior. Here a systematic study of the effect of atomic-scale thin film roughness on coercivity and exchange bias is presented. Cu (t) / Ta (100 Å) / Ni80Fe20 (100 Å) / Fe50Mno50 (200 Å) / Ta (200 Å) with variable thickness, t, of the Cu underlayer were DC sputtered on Si (100) substrates. The Cu underlayer defines the initial roughness that is transferred to the film material since the film grows conformal to the initial morphology. Atomic Force Microscopy and X-ray diffraction were used to study the morphology and texture of the films. Morphological characterization is then correlated with magnetometer measurements. Atomic Force Microscopy shows that the root mean square value of the film roughness exhibits a maximum of 2.5 Å at t = 2.4 Å. X-ray diffraction spectra show the films are polycrystalline with fcc (111) texture and the Fe50Mn50 (111) peak intensity decreases monotonically with increasing Cu thickness, t. Without a Cu underlayer, the values of the coercivity and loop shift are, Hc = 12 Oe and Hp = 56 Oe, respectively. Both the coercivity and loop shift change with Cu underlayer thickness. The coercivity reaches a maximum value of Hc= 36 Oe at t = 4 Å. The loop shift exhibits an initial increase with t, reaches a maximum value of HP = 107 Oe at t = 2.4 Å, followed by a decrease with greater Cu thickness. These results show that a tiny increase in the film roughness has a huge effect on the exchange bias magnitude.