Bachelor of Science (BS) 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.

During the final year in the program, students are required to do a graduation check. Final degree checks are done by the College Advising & Student Services staff of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (109 Strong Hall). As part of this check, students will also need to meet with the Undergraduate Advisor in the Geography Department to check the Geography or Atmospheric Science major requirements. It is strongly recommended that students consult with a Geography advisor on a regular basis to make certain that, at each stage in their program, they are meeting all of the requirements for the degree.


Written Communication – Core Skill and Critical Inquiry.

  • Composition. Satisfied by ENGL 101, ACT English score of 27 or above or SAT English score of 600 or above, AP English Literature & Composition score of 3 or above, or equivalent transfer course. Requirement must be completed during initial term of admission at KU.
  • Critical Reading and Writing. Satisfied by ENGL 102, or ENGL 105 (Honors), AP English Literature & Composition score of 4 or above, or an equivalent transfer course. Requirement must be completed within the first academic year at KU.
  • Sophomore Reading and Writing II. Satisfied by ENGL 203, or ENGL 205 (Honors), ENGL 209, or ENGL 210 or ENGL 211, or ENGL 362 (ENGL 362 recommended), or AP English Literature & Composition score of 5 or above, or an equivalent.

Communication - Core Skills and Critical Inquiry. Satisfied by: Completing COMS 330 and COMS 130, COMS 131 (Honors), or COMS 150.

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 2 principal courses in the social sciences. Approved courses may be searched for availability through the Kyou portal.

Atmospheric Science Prerequisite or Co-requisite Knowledge. 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 EECS 138.
  • Scientific Principles of Environmental Studies. Satisfied by EVRN 148.
  • Calculus I. Satisfied by MATH 125 or MATH 145 (or equivalent).
  • Calculus II. Satisfied by MATH 126 or MATH 146 (or equivalent).
  • General Physics I. Satisfied by PHSX 211 & PHSX 216, or PHSX 114 & PHSX 201 & PHSX 216, or PHSX 213.
  • General Physics II. Satisfied by PHSX 212 & PHSX 236, or PHSX 115 & PHSX 202 & PHSX 236, or PHSX 214.
  • Foundations of Chemistry I. Satisfied by CHEM 130 or CHEM 190.
  • Calculus III. Satisfied by MATH 127 or MATH 147.
  • Elementary Linear Algebra. Satisfied by MATH 290 or MATH 291 .
  • Applied Differential Equation. Satisfied by MATH 320 or MATH 220.
  • Statistics. Satisfied by MATH 526 or DSCI 202.
  • Numerical Methods. Satisfied by MATH 581.

Atmospheric Science Core Knowledge and Skills. Majors must complete all of the following:

  • Introductory Meteorology (5). Satisfied by ATMO 105.
  • Climate and Climate Change (3). Satisfied by ATMO 321/GEOG 321.
  • Weather Forecasting (3). Satisfied by ATMO 505.
  • Microclimatology (3). Satisfied by ATMO 521/GEOG 521.
  • Synoptic Meteorology (3). Satisfied by ATMO 630.
  • Dynamic Meteorology (3). Satisfied by ATMO 640.
  • Remote Sensing (3). Satisfied by ATMO 642.
  • Advanced Dynamic Meteorology (3). Satisfied by ATMO 660.
  • Physical Meteorology (3). Satisfied by ATMO 680.
  • Seminar for Seniors (1). Satisfied by ATMO 697.

 

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.

Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Science: HydrometerorologyOption

General Requirements

Credit Hours

English - ENGL 101 (or exemption)

0-3

ENGL 102 (or 105 or exemption)

0-3

Additional English (ENGL 203, 205, 209, 210, 211, or 362; ENGL 362 recommended)

3

COMS 130 or COMS 150 (or exemption)

0-3

COMS 330 (Recommended to take during the senior year)

3

One course in the Humanities

3

One course in the Social Sciences

3

Preparation for the Major

 

MATH 121, MATH 122, MATH 223 and MATH 290

15

MATH 220 or MATH 320

3

PHSX 211 and PHSX 212 (PHSX 213 and 214 recommended: special permission provided)

8

EECS 138

3

MATH 581

3

CHEM 184

3

DSCI 301 or MATH 526

3 or 4

EVRN 148

3

Atmospheric Sciences Requirements

Core Atmospheric Science Courses

 

ATMO 105

5

ATMO 321/GEOG 321

3

ATMO 505

3

ATMO 521/GEOG 521

3

ATMO 630

3

ATMO 640

3

ATMO 642

3

ATMO 660

3

ATMO 680

3

ATMO 697

1

Note: Math 320 should be completed by the Junior year; ATMO 640 should be taken in/by the fall semester of the junior year, and ATMO 660 being taken in the Spring of the Junior year

 

Additional Atmospheric Sciences

 

ATMO 506

3

ATMO 525

2

Civil Engineering requirements

 

C E 301

5

C E 330

4

C E 455

3

Note: You need to start this sequence by the beginning of your junior year, and you need to have finished the math and physics prerequisites to start this sequence.

 

 

Electives (12 credits, any university courses: Note general University restrictions)

12

Hour and GPA Requirements

 

Total Credit hours

> 124

CLAS Hours

> 99

Junior Senior hours

> 45

KU Res hours

> 30

CC Transfer credits

< 64

Other KU Schools

< 25

Hrs Music Org

< 6

Hrs Phys Ed

< 4

Overall GPA

> 2.0

ATMO GPA

> 2.0

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.

 

Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Science: Air Pollution Option

General Requirements

Credit Hours

English - ENGL 101 (or exemption)

0-3

ENGL 102 (or 105 or exemption)

0-3

Additional English (ENGL 203, 205, 209, 210, 211 or 362;

English 362 recommended)

3

COMS 130 or COMS 150 (or exemption)

0-3

COMS 330 (recommended to take during senior year)

3

One course in the Humanities

3

One course in the Social Sciences

3

Preparation for the major

 

MATH 121, MATH 122, MATH 223 and MATH 290

15

MATH 220 or MATH 320

3

PHSX 211 and PHSX 212 (PHSX 213 and 214 recommended:

Special permission provided)

3

EECS 138

3

MATH 581

3

CHEM 184

5

DSCI 301 or MATH 526

3 or 4

EVRN 148

3

Atmospheric Sciences Requirements

Core Atmospheric Sciences courses

 

ATMO 105

5

ATMO 321/GEOG 321

3

ATMO 505

3

ATMO 521/GEOG 521

3

ATMO 630

3

ATMO 640

3

ATMO 642

3

ATMO 660

3

ATMO 680

3

ATMO 697

1

Note: Math 320 should be completed by the Junior year; ATMO 640 should be taken by the fall semester of the Junior year, and ATMO 660 being taken in the Spring of the Junior year

 

Additional Atmospheric Sciences

 

ATMO 525

3

Additional course work outside Atmospheric Sciences

 

CHEM 188

5

C E 477

3

Electives (18 credits, any university courses:

Note general University restrictions)

18

Hour and GPA requirements

 

Total Credit Hours

> 124

CLAS Hours

> 99

Junior Senior Hours

> 45

KU Res Hours

> 30

CC Transfer Credits

< 64

Other KU Schools

< 25

Hrs Music Org

< 6

Hrs Phys Ed

< 4

Overall GPA

> 2.0

ATMO GPA

> 2.0

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.
 

Requirements for a General Meteorology Option

General Requirements

Credit Hours

English - ENGL 101 (or exemption)

0-3

ENGL 102 (or 105 or exemption)

0-3

Additional English (ENGL 203, 205, 209, 210, 211, or 362;

ENGL 362 recommended)

3

COMS 130 or COMS 150 (or exemption)

0-3

COMS 330 (recommended to take during the senior year)

3

One course in the Humanities

3

One course in the Social Sciences

3

Preparation for the major

 

MATH 121, MATH 122, MATH 223, and MATH 290

15

MATH 220 or MATH 320

3

PHSX 211 and PHSX 212 (PHSX 213 and 214 recommended:

special permission provided)

8

EECS 138

3

MATH 581

3

CHEM 184

5

DSCI 301 or MATH 526

3 or 4

EVRN 148

3

Atmospheric Sciences Requirements

Core Atmospheric Science courses

 

ATMO 105

5

ATMO 321/GEOG 321

3

ATMO 505

3

ATMO 521/GEOG 521

3

ATMO 630

3

ATMO 640

3

ATMO 642

3

ATMO 660

3

ATMO 680

3

ATMO 697

1

Note: Math 320 should be completed by the junior year

ATMO 640 should be taken by fall semester of the junior year

ATMO 630 & ATMO 660 taken in the spring semester of junior year

 

Additional Atmospheric Sciences

 

ATMO 506

3

ATMO 525

2

ATMO 650

3

Electives (21 credits, any university courses:

Note general University restictions)

21

Hour and GPA Requirements

 

Total Credit Hours

>124

CLAS Hours

>99

Junior Senior Hours

>45

KU Res Hours

>30

CC Transfer credits

<64

Other KU Schools

<25

Hrs Music Org.

<6

Hrs Phys Ed

<4

Overall GPA

>2.0

ATMO GPA

>2.0