Atmospheric Science, of which Meteorology is a subset, is the study of short-term weather and long-term climate, involving activities such as weather forecasting, climate projections, air quality modeling, data analysis, and basic and applied research.
Through the Atmospheric Science major, students obtain a solid foundation in both weather and climate, the tools used to study them, and their consequences to people and organizations. Our major meets all guidelines for employment with the United States Government, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Weather Service, as a Meteorologist.
A career in Atmospheric Science is very rewarding because of the impact weather and climate have on everyday life. You will find atmospheric scientists in many different roles: nearly 36% work in the private sector, which includes consulting firms and forecasting entities; 33% for governmental agencies such as NOAA and the NWS; 24% at educational institutions or laboratories; and 7% in the media. The strongest job prospects are currently in the private sector.
Our students have unique opportunities available to them that are not found at any other university in the state or region. Our Innovative Weather program provides students with paid internships in weather forecasting and communication, helping partners such as We Energies, Summerfest, and MMSD make decisions to protect their interests and communities against hazardous weather. Students can also become involved in undergraduate research, and several of our students have recently received national awards for their research! Our program is also home to the first-of-its-kind faculty-led study abroad program to Mexico, “Air Pollution and Ancient Cultures,” which takes place each January. Finally, we have two active student-led clubs, The Climate Consensus and the Atmospheric Science Club at UWM!
Students must earn a minimum of 120 credits to complete the BS in Atmospheric Science degree.
General Education Requirements (GERs)
UW-Milwaukee has General Education Requirements that must be met in order to earn a bachelor’s degree. Some of the requirements of your program fulfill the campus GERs. Please review the requirements and consult with your academic advisor.
Students in this major must complete MATH 231, MATH 232, and MATH 233 (or equivalents). MATH 221 and MATH 222 are equivalent to the sequence of MATH 231, MATH 232, and MATH 233. All majors must take either MATH 234 or MATH 240. Students in this major must complete preparatory work in mathematics, chemistry, physics, and computer science, as listed in the table below.
Students must complete at least 15 upper-division (numbered 300 and above) credits in the major in residence at UWM. The following courses are required for the atmospheric science major:
|Additional Preparatory Curriculum 1|
|CHEM 102||General Chemistry||5|
& PHYSICS 214
|Physics I (Calculus Treatment)|
and Lab Physics I (Calculus Treatment)
|PHYSICS 210||Physics II (Calculus Treatment)||4|
|COMPSCI 202||Introductory Programming Using Python||3|
|ATM SCI 101||Introductory Atmospheric Science Seminar||1|
|ATM SCI 240||Introduction to Meteorology||4|
|ATM SCI 250||Introduction to Climate Science||4|
|ATM SCI 330||Air-Pollution Meteorology||3|
|ATM SCI 350||Atmospheric Thermodynamics||3|
|ATM SCI 351||Dynamic Meteorology I||3|
|ATM SCI 352||Dynamic Meteorology II||3|
|ATM SCI 360||Synoptic Meteorology I||4|
|ATM SCI 361||Synoptic Meteorology II||4|
|ATM SCI 464||Physical Meteorology: Cloud Physics||3|
|ATM SCI 511||Seminar in Atmospheric Radiation and Remote Sensing||3|
|MATH 320||Introduction to Differential Equations||3|
|Select at least 15 credits of the following:||15|
|The General Circulation and Climate Dynamics|
|Statistical Methods in Atmospheric Sciences|
|Seminar in Atmospheric Sciences:|
|Internship in Atmospheric Sciences, Upper Division|
|Introduction to Conservation and Environmental Science|
|Environmental Law for Natural Resource Managers|
|Introduction to Energy, Environment and Sustainability|
|The Economics of Water|
|Water and Natural Resource Economics|
|Water, Energy, Food, and Climate|
|Water Law, Policy, and the Environment|
|Politics and Policy of Sustainability|
|Economics, Policy and Management of Water|
|Cost-Benefit Analysis for Environmental Resource Decisions|
|Introduction to Geographic Information Science|
|Introduction to Data Science with R, Python, and GIS|
|Conservation of Natural Resources|
|Remote Sensing: Environmental and Land Use Analysis|
|Climates of the Past and Climate Change|
|Watershed Analysis and Modeling|
|Geographic Information Science|
|Intermediate Geographic Information Science|
|Environmental Surface Hydrology|
|Field Methods in Hydrogeology|
|Introduction to Mass Media|
|Introduction To Video Storytelling|
|Television News Reporting|
|Introduction to Partial Differential Equations|
|Basic Engineering Thermodynamics|
|Introduction to Mathematical Statistics I|
|Introduction to Mathematical Statistics II|
These courses are required, but do not count in calculating the major GPA.
Honors in the Major
Students in Atmospheric Sciences who meet all of the following criteria can be awarded honors in the major upon graduation:
- A 3.000 cumulative GPA in all UWM graded credits;
- A 3.500 GPA over all UWM courses counting toward the Atmospheric Sciences major;
- A 3.500 GPA over all upper-division UWM courses counting toward the Atmospheric Sciences major; and
- Successful completion of at least two semesters of research and/or internship experiences. The research and internship experiences can include one or more of a directed independent study for credit (ATM SCI 699), an internship for credit (ATM SCI 695), the Atmospheric Sciences Study Abroad course (ATM SCI 497), undergraduate research for compensation, and participation in the Innovative Weather program as a paid staff member.
Students who believe they may qualify for honors in Atmospheric Sciences should apply to the School of Freshwater Sciences during their last semester of study.
Honors in the School of Freshwater Sciences
Dean's Honor List
GPA of 3.500 or above, earned on a full-time student's GPA on 12 or more graded credits in a given semester.
Honors College Degree and Honors College Degree with Distinction
Granted to graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements, as listed in the Honors College section of this site.
Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or above, based on a minimum of 40 graded UWM credits earned prior to the final semester, will receive all-university commencement honors and be awarded the traditional gold cord at the December or May Honors Convocation. Please note that for honors calculation, the GPA is not rounded and is truncated at the third decimal (e.g., 3.499).
Earned on a minimum of 60 graded UWM credits: Cum Laude - 3.500 or above; Magna Cum Laude - 3.650 or above; Summa Cum Laude - 3.800 or above.