Mar 03, 2021  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Atmospheric Sciences, BS

The Bachelor of Science program in Atmospheric Sciences addresses the needs of students interested in studying meteorology or climate science. The program provides students with an in-depth knowledge of the physical characteristics, motions and processes of air; as well as the interactions of this protective layer with the underlying oceans and continents. The undergraduate program emphasizes a systems approach, combining traditional atmospheric sciences with emerging fields. In particular, the program focuses on the fields of tropical meteorology and oceanography that are directly linked to the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding coastal regions where the university is strategically located.


Student Learning Outcomes

 Students will:

  1. Possess a broad understanding of the field of atmospheric sciences in preparation for successful careers in related disciplines;
  2. Gain experience and professional competence in the use of scientific method to develop and conduct atmospheric sciences related work;
  3. Acquire the necessary skills to effectively communicate the meteorology and climate sciences information to a range of audiences and participate in community and/or professional service through various organizations.


Requirements of the Undergraduate Atmospheric Sciences Major

The Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Sciences degree requires a minimum of 120 semester credit hours: 42 are from designated University Core Curriculum Program courses, 60 are from atmospheric sciences core courses and 18 are from career track courses. The atmospheric sciences core provides students with a broad background in meteoroloy and climate sciences, and satisfy the requirements for federal employment as a National Weather Service meteorologist (also referred to as NOAA GS1340 positions). The students can choose a career track in either general atmospheric sciences or the broadcast meteorology. Students should select a career track as soon as possible after they complete their freshman year and well before they begin their junior year.


Degree Requirements


  Sem. Hrs.
I.    First-Year Seminars (2)

II.   University Core Curriculum Programs  *


III.  Atmospheric Sciences Core Courses


IV.  Atmospheric Sciences Career Track Courses - Electives

  Total 120 (122)


I. First-Year Seminars

 Full-time, first-year students are required to take these First-Year Seminar courses:

II. University Core Curriculum

*The Core Curriculum includes 42 semester credit hours, within which, MATH 2413 (Calculus I), PHYS 2425 (University Physics I) and PHYS 2426 (University Physics II) are required by the ATSC program. These three 4 semester credit hours courses will result in 3 extra semester credit hours, which may be counted as part of the Component Area Option in the University Core Curriculum. The ATSC Freshmen are encouraged to take advantage of the First-Year Writing classes (COMM 1311  & ENGL 1302  ) as part of the First-year Learning Communities Program to give them opportunities to work together, get to know each other, and learn together.

Total: 42

Total: 60

IV. Career Tracks in Atmospheric Sciences

The atmospheric sciences program offers the general Atmospheric Sciences Track and the Broadcast Meteorologist Track. The students from both tracks will satisfy the requirements for federal employment as a National Weather Service meteorologist (also referred to as NOAA GS1340 positions). A total of 18 semester hours of electives courses are required for both career tracks.

A. Atmospheric Sciences Track

The students in the general atmospheric sciences track are required to take 18 Sem. Hrs. from the following electives.

Total: 18

B. Broadcast Meteorology Track

Those students interested in becoming broadcast meteorologists should follow the Broadcast Meteorology Track. Students in this track take COMM 1315 Public Speaking , ATSC 2101 Weathercasting  and an additional 9 hours from the other electives listed below plus another 5 hours from the Atmospheric Sciences Track electives.

Students interested in English-only broadcasting need to take all 9 hours from the communication (COMM or MEDA) courses. Students interested in bilingual English-Spanish broadcasting must choose 3 hours from the communication (COMM or MEDA) courses, and 6 hours from the Spanish (SPAN) courses. An internship experience through COMM 4399 is highly recommended for all broadcast meteorology students, preferably during their junior or senior years.

Total: 13**

**Note: additional 5 semester hours of the electives from the general Atmospheric Sciences Track will be needed to satisify the 18 semester hours of electives requirement.