The undergraduate Atmospheric Science curriculum is designed with two goals in mind. The basic curriculum meets the guidelines of the American Meteorological Society, and the requirements for employment in the National Weather Service and a variety of consulting and professional meteorological services. Students who are considering an advanced degree will also be well-prepared for graduate school, and typically add additional mathematics, physics and atmospheric science courses to the basic curriculum. Students who wish to broaden their studies of the environment may also choose from courses in the Science of Earth Systems Program, which may be completed in conjunction with Atmospheric Sciences major.
The curriculum in Atmospheric Science emphasizes the scientific study of the behavior of weather and climate, and applications to the important practical problems of weather forecasting and climate prediction. Students develop a fundamental understanding of atmospheric processes, and acquire skill and experience in the analysis, interpretation and forecasting of meteorological events. The curriculum includes a strong foundation in basic mathematics and science courses; core courses in atmospheric thermodynamics, atmospheric dynamics, and synoptic meteorology; and choices among a variety of Atmospheric Science electives. Two curricular options are offered, both of which include opportunities for each student to pursue individual interest and goals. In addition, students often take advantage of internships after the sophomore and junior years, which provide opportunities for work experience in operational and research activities in Atmospheric Science.