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Atmospheric Sciences

Degree: BS

Campus: Columbus

College: Arts and Sciences

The atmospheric sciences major at Ohio State focuses on exploring systems that determine our weather and climate. Students learn about the interactions between the Earth's surface and the atmosphere that often lead to severe storms, droughts and floods, and global climate change. The atmospheric sciences undergraduate curriculum fulfills the 1340 Series curricular requirements established by the American Meteorological Society. This course work is required to apply for meteorology positions within the National Weather Service and other offices within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). As an Ohio State graduate, you will be prepared to enter directly into the workforce and apply for positions as both operational and broadcast meteorologists.

Students admitted to the university enroll directly in the atmospheric sciences program. 

Atmospheric sciences course work:

  • calculus and analytic geometry
  • physics
  • Atmospheric Thermodynamics 
  • Microclimatology: Boundary Layer Climatology
  • Synoptic Meteorology: Synoptic Analysis and Forecasting
  • Microclimatological Measurements
  • Dynamic Meteorology

An internship is a career-related, educational work experience where a student takes on a role as a worker in an organization. Internships provide students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, the chance to “test” various careers and work environments, the opportunity to identify and develop career-related skills and abilities, and also provide a chance to connect with professionals for future networking. The Department of Geography also offers students the opportunity to earn credit for a structured work experience either as an employment position or a position identified as an internship.

Students may consider joining the Meteorology Club. Each year the club hosts several professional and social events, in addition to its frequent meetings. Meetings include speakers and major-related field trips. The club provides the opportunity for students to learn more about the meteorological field as a whole through its Annual Severe Weather Symposium. Past social events include bowling, miniature golf, Magic Mountain, and pizza and video game nights.

Students may also join the Scarlet and Gray Forecasting Team. Weekly meetings allow members to gain experience by creating weather forecasts for the Columbus campus area.

Graduates are well prepared for additional study at the graduate level. The major also prepares students for a career as a weather forecaster. Graduates will fulfill all of the Federal Civil Service requirements for meteorologist positions and will qualify for meteorology positions in the National Weather Service, the Federal Aviation Administration or any other federal agency. 

The atmospheric sciences major also is sufficiently flexible to meet the needs of undergraduates who are interested in careers in broadcast meteorology, climatic research, environmental monitoring, forensic meteorology, applications development and the military.

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The Sharpe Innovation Commons includes state-of-the-art technology for broadcast recording, two 3D printers, breakout space for collaboration and integrated equipment to engage with colleagues across universities.

Interested in a career in the STEM fields?

Check out the STEM Pathway to discover the many majors Ohio State offers that can lead to a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.