The Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Science (B.S.) is designed to meet the recommendations of the American Meteorological Society for a bachelor’s degree in meteorology/atmospheric science.  There are four options, each of which meet these recommendations.

1. General Option

This option is for students who want a broad background in atmospheric science.  It is also the most suitable option for those who are aiming at a career in weather forecasting.  It includes a third semester of synoptic meteorology as well as an air pollution course.

2. Air Pollution Option

Students prepare for a career emphasizing environmental aspects of meteorology.  This option includes an additional semester of chemistry as well as environmental studies.

3. Hydrometeorology Option

Students prepare for a career involving the interface between meteorology and hydrology.  These studies have important applications to flash floods, droughts and water supply.   This option includes additional courses on fluid flow and hydrology from the School of Engineering.

4. News Media Option

This option is for students who wish to enter careers whose main function is to provide information to the general public.  It requires additional courses from the School of Journalism.

Undergraduate Admission

Admission to KU

All students applying for admission must send high school and college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Unless they are college transfer students with at least 24 hours of credit, prospective students must send ACT or SAT scores to the Office of Admissions. Prospective first-year students should be aware that KU has qualified admission requirements that all new first-year students must meet to be admitted. Consult the Office of Admissions for application deadlines and specific admission requirements.

Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for information about international admissions.

Students considering transferring to KU may see how their college-level course work will transfer on the Office of Admissions website.

Admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Admission to the College is a different process from admission to a major field. Some CLAS departments have admission requirements. See individual department/program sections for departmental admission requirements.

Advising

Students who may decide to major in atmospheric science should confer early with a departmental representative about the selection of courses.

Requirements for the B.S. Degree in Atmospheric Science

4 specialized options are available for students who plan professional careers in meteorology or atmospheric science. The general meteorology option satisfies all the traditional professional meteorology requirements for employment with the National Weather Service, airlines, or other agencies. The air pollution meteorology option meets the need for trained specialists. The hydrometeorology option may lead to a career as a meteorologist in one of the many water-related activities in private and governmental agencies. The news media forecasting option can lead to a career forecasting the weather on television or radio. The B.S. degree with any of these specialties also prepares students to begin graduate programs in meteorology or atmospheric science.

Written Communication - Core Skill and Critical Inquiry

Composition (0)
Satisfied by one of the following: 1
Composition
ACT English score of 27 or above or SAT English score of 600 or above
AP English Literature & Composition score of 3 or above
Equivalent transfer course
Critical Reading and Writing (0)
Satisfied by one of the following: 2
Critical Reading and Writing
Freshman Honors English
AP English Literature & Composition score of 4 or above
Equivalent transfer course
Sophomore Reading and Writing II (0)
Satisfied by one of the following:
Topics in Reading and Writing: _____
Freshman-Sophomore Honors Proseminar: _____
Introduction to Fiction
Introduction to Poetry
Introduction to the Drama
Foundations of Technical Writing (recommended)
AP English Literature & Composition score of 5 or above
Equivalent
 
1

Requirement must be completed during initial term of admission at KU.

2

Requirement must be completed within the first academic year at KU.

Communication - Core Skills and Critical Inquiry. Satisfied by the following:

Select one of the following:
Speaker-Audience Communication
Speaker-Audience Communication, Honors
Personal Communication

Humanities - Understanding the Human Condition. Satisfied by completing 1 course with requirement code H. Approved courses may be searched for availability through the Kyou portal.

Social and Behavioral Sciences - Understanding Society and Behavior. Satisfied by completing one course with requirement code S. Approved courses may be searched for availability through the Kyou portal.

Atmospheric Science Prerequisite or Co-requisite Knowledge (49-56)
Majors must complete courses as specified in each of the following areas. Majors are advised to take honors courses when eligible. These hours do not contribute to the minimum number of hours required for the major.
Computing and Programming. Satisfied by the following:
EECS 138Introduction to Computing: _____ (Fortran preferred; C++ and Matlab accepted)3
Scientific Principles of Environmental Studies. Satisfied by the following:
EVRN 148Scientific Principles of Environmental Studies3
Calculus I. Satisfied by one of the following:
MATH 125Calculus I4
or MATH 145 Calculus I, Honors
Equivalent
Calculus II. Satisfied by one of the following:
Calculus II
Calculus II, Honors
Equivalent
General Physics I. Satisfied by one of the following:
PHSX 211
PHSX 216
General Physics I
and General Physics I Laboratory
5
PHSX 114
PHSX 201
PHSX 216
College Physics I
and Calculus Supplement to College Physics I
and General Physics I Laboratory
6
PHSX 213General Physics I Honors1-5
General Physics II. Satisfied by one of the following:
PHSX 212
PHSX 236
General Physics II
and General Physics II Laboratory
4
PHSX 115
PHSX 202
PHSX 236
College Physics II
and Calculus Supplement to College Physics II
and General Physics II Laboratory
6
PHSX 214General Physics II Honors1-4
Foundations of Chemistry I. Satisfied by the following:
CHEM 130General Chemistry I5
or CHEM 190 Foundations of Chemistry I, Honors
Vector Calculus. Satisfied by the following:
Vector Calculus
Vector Calculus, Honors
Elementary Linear Algebra. Satisfied by the following:
MATH 290Elementary Linear Algebra2
or MATH 291 Elementary Linear Algebra, Honors
Applied Differential Equation. Satisfied by the following:
MATH 320Elementary Differential Equations3
or MATH 220 Applied Differential Equations
Statistics. Satisfied by the following:
MATH 526Applied Mathematical Statistics I3
or DSCI 202 Statistics
Numerical Methods. Satisfied by the following:
MATH 581Numerical Methods3
Atmospheric Science Core Knowledge and Skills (30)
Majors must complete all of the following:
Introductory Meteorology. Satisfied by:5
Introductory Meteorology
Climate and Climate Change. Satisfied by:3
Climate and Climate Change
Weather Forecasting. Satisfied by:3
Weather Forecasting
Microclimatology. Satisfied by:3
Microclimatology
Synoptic Meteorology. Satisfied by:3
Synoptic Meteorology
Dynamic Meteorology. Satisfied by:3
Dynamic Meteorology
Remote Sensing. Satisfied by:3
Remote Sensing
Advanced Dynamic Meteorology. Satisfied by:3
Advanced Dynamic Meteorology
Physical Meteorology. Satisfied by:3
Physical Meteorology
Seminar for Seniors. Satisfied by:1
Seminar for Seniors
Total Hours79-86

Meteorology Option

Students selecting this major must select one of the following options:

General Meteorology Option

This option satisfies all the traditional professional meteorology requirements for employment with the National Weather Service, airlines, or other agencies.

Air Pollution Meteorology. Satisfied by:
ATMO 525Air Pollution Meteorology3
Operational Forecasting. Satisfied by:
ATMO 605Operational Forecasting2
Advanced Synoptic Meteorology. Satisfied by:
ATMO 650Advanced Synoptic Meteorology3

Air Pollution Meteorology Option

This option meets the need for trained specialists.

Air Pollution Meteorology. Satisfied by:
ATMO 525Air Pollution Meteorology3
Foundations of Chemistry II. Satisfied by:
CHEM 135General Chemistry II5
Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Science. Satisfied by:
CE 477Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Science3

Hydrometeorology Option

This option may lead to a career as a meteorologist in one of the many water-related activities in private and governmental agencies.

Air Pollution Meteorology. Satisfied by:
ATMO 525Air Pollution Meteorology3
Operational Forecasting. Satisfied by:
ATMO 605Operational Forecasting2
Statics and Dynamics. Satisfied by:
CE 301Statics and Dynamics5
Fluid Mechanics. Satisfied by:
CE 330Fluid Mechanics3
Hydrology. Satisfied by:
CE 455Hydrology3

News Media Forecasting Option

This option can lead to a career forecasting the weather on television or radio.

Operational Forecasting. Satisfied by:
ATMO 605Operational Forecasting2
Advanced Synoptic Meteorology. Satisfied by:
ATMO 650Advanced Synoptic Meteorology3
Infomania: Information Management. Satisfied by:
JOUR 302Infomania: Information Management3
Writing for Media. Satisfied by:
JOUR 304Media Writing3
Multimedia Reporting. Satisfied by:
JOUR 415Multimedia Reporting3

Concentration in Business

An undergraduate student may graduate from the School of Business with a concentration in atmospheric science.

Atmospheric Science Prerequisite or Co-requisite Knowledge (17-21)
Student selecting this minor must complete courses as specified in each of the following areas. Majors are advised to take honors courses when eligible. These hours do not contribute to the minimum number of hours required for the major.
Computing and Programming. Satisfied by the following:3
Introduction to Computing: _____
Calculus I. Satisfied by one of the following:4
Calculus I
Calculus I, Honors
Equivalent
Calculus II. Satisfied by one of the following:4
Calculus II
Calculus II, Honors
Equivalent
General Physics I. Satisfied by one of the following:1-5
General Physics I
and General Physics I Laboratory
College Physics I
and Calculus Supplement to College Physics I
and General Physics I Laboratory
General Physics I Honors
Introductory Meteorology. Satisfied by the following:
ATMO 105Introductory Meteorology5
Atmospheric Science Required Courses (18)
Students selecting this minor must complete all of the following:
Climate and Climate Change. Satisfied by the following:
ATMO/GEOG 321Climate and Climate Change3
Weather Forecasting. Satisfied by the following:
ATMO 505Weather Forecasting3
Microclimatology. Satisfied by the following:
ATMO/GEOG 521Microclimatology3
Air Pollution Meteorology. Satisfied by the following:
ATMO 525Air Pollution Meteorology3
Dynamic Meteorology. Satisfied by the following:
ATMO 640Dynamic Meteorology3
Physical Meteorology. Satisfied by the following:
ATMO 680Physical Meteorology3

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses (above), majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 33 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major.

Major Junior/Senior (300+) Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 30 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior (300+) Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Departmental Honors in Atmospheric Science

To be accepted as a candidate for honors, an undergraduate major must have completed at least 9 hours of upper-division credit in atmospheric science with a grade-point average of 3.5 in all atmospheric science courses and an overall average of at least 3.25. In addition, the program requires ATMO 499, an independent study course consisting of the creation of an honors paper. The student presents the results of this paper in an oral examination to a committee of a minimum of 2 faculty members, normally from the geography department, and chaired by the ATMO 499 supervisor. To graduate with honors, the student must complete the paper and the examination and maintain the 3.5 and 3.25 grade-point averages.