Academic Program

The Atmospheric Sciences Academic Program

The Atmospheric Sciences major has been designed to provide students with considerable flexibility in designing a program consistent with their interests and needs. With the assistance of the undergraduate advisor and faculty, the student chooses courses to create a tailored program reflecting his/her interests and career goals.  For those students wishing to explore oceanography in more detail, a marine science minor program is also available, which can be attached to the atmospheric science major.

Entrance Requirements:

There are no entrance requirements. A student may declare Atmospheric Sciences as a major upon application and admission to the university.

Required Core Courses:

The atmospheric science major is designed to provide flexibility in response to student interests and career goals. All students take a collection of core courses that provide essential material that all atmospheric scientists should master. A grade of at least 2.0 is required in the core courses.

A. Required Departmental Courses:

  • ATM 205 Introduction to Atmospheric Sciences
  • ATM 247 Atmospheric Structure and Analysis
  • ATM 320 Spacial Data Analysis using Matlab
    or PHY 251 Modern Physics
  • ATM 345 Atmospheric Thermodynamics and Dynamics
  • ATM 348 Atmospheric Physics
  • ATM 397 Air Pollution and Its Control
  • MAR 334 Remote Sensing
  • MAR 350 Ocean Physics

B. Required Courses in Mathematics and Related Sciences:

  • MAT 131 and 132 Calculus I and II (see note, below)
  • MAT 203 Calculus III with Applications
    or MAT 205 Calculus III
    or AMS 261 Applied Calculus
  • CHE 131 General Chemistry I (no lab required)
    or CHE 141 Honors Chemistry I (no lab required)
  • PHY 125, 126, 127 Classical Physics A, B and C
    or PHY 131/133, 132/134 Classical Physics I and II with labs
    or PHY 141,142 Classical Physics I and II: Honors
  • PHY 277 Computation for Physics and Astronomy
    or ESG 111 C Programing for Engineers
    or CSE 130 Introduction to Programming in C

Note: The following alternate beginning calculus sequences may be substituted for major requirements or prerequisites: MAT 124, 126, 127 or 125, 126, 127 or 141, 142 or 131, 132. Equivalency for MAT courses achieved by earning the appropriate score on the Mathematics Placement Examination is accepted as fulfillment of the requirement without the necessity of substituting other credits.

C. The additional requirements for the Meteorology track are as follows:

  • ATM 247 Atmospheric Structure and Analysis
  • ATM 346 Advanced Atmospheric Dynamics
  • ATM 347 Advanced Synoptic Meteorology and Weather Forecasting
  • ATM 348 Atmospheric Physics
  • CHE 132 General Chemistry II or CHE 142 Honors Chemistry II
  • MAT 303 or MAT 305 Calculus IV with applications
    or AMS 361 Applied Calculus

In this track, students learn both the mathematics and physics governing atmospheric behavior and apply this knowledge to forecasting the weather using real-time data received at our weather laboratory. Opportunities are available for students to gain additional practical experience by working under the cooperative agreements at two nearby NOAA weather service offices. Students graduating in this track will have satisfied all the course work recommended by the American Meteorological Society for undergraduate training in meteorlogy and also the course work required by NOAA for certificatrion as an entry level meteorologist

D. The additional requirements of the Atmospheric/Ocean track are as follows:

  • MAR 333 Coastal Oceanography
  • MAR 340 Environmental Problems and Solutions
    or ENS 301 Contemporary Environmental Issues
  • AMS 102 Elements of Statistics
  • AMS 394 Statistical Lab
    or AMS210 Linear Algebra

Students graduating in this track will have taken the course work necessary to prepare them for study toward graduate degrees that prepare them for research and teaching positions in the atmospheric sciences, in physical oceanography or in the atmosphere-ocean interactions.

E. Other Available Courses:

  • ATM 102 Weather and Climate
  • ATM 237 Current Topics in World Climate and Atmosphere
  • ATM 305 Global Atmospheric Change
  • ATM 437 Weather Forecasting Practicum
  • ATM 447 Senior Tutorial in Atmospheric Sciences
  • ATM 487 Senior Research in Atmospheric Sciences
  • ATM 488 Internship

F. Upper-Division Writing Requirement:

All students majoring in atmospheric sciences/meteorology must submit two papers from required courses (term papers, laboratory reports, or independent research papers) to the director of undergraduate studies for evaluation by the middle of their senior year. If this evaluation is satisfactory, the student has fulfilled the upper-division writing requirement. If it is not, the student must fulfill the requirement before graduation.