Atmospheric science is the study of short-term weather and long-term climate, involving activities such as weather forecasting and meteorology, climate projections, air quality modeling, data analysis, and basic and applied research. Students in our program obtain a solid foundation in the math, physics, and chemistry that form the basis not just of meteorology but also climate change and the consequences of weather and climate to society.
We welcome you to learn more about our major, how to apply to UWM, information specific to incoming freshman and transfer students, and scholarships and internships available to prospective and current Atmospheric Science students!
To clarify any requirements, contact the Atmospheric Science Program Chair.
All undergraduate program admissions are handled through UWM’s Admissions Office. For more information about applying to UWM and the undergraduate program in Atmospheric Science, see our How to Apply page, or visit the UWM Admissions Office website.
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; 33% for governmental agencies; 24% at educational institutions or laboratories; and 7% in the media. The strongest job prospects are currently in the private sector.
According to the American Meteorological Society, atmospheric scientists with less than five years of experience have average salaries of $40,000 to $50,000, increasing to a median of $90,000 with experience. Salaries can vary greatly depending upon the type of company.
Beyond the Classroom
Innovative Weather gives the next generation of meteorologists hands-on experience in operational meteorology and impact-based decision support by partnering with weather-sensitive community and business partners throughout the Midwest. Students can become involved with Innovative Weather as early as their freshman year, typically progressing to the paid internship in their junior years. Graduates with Innovative Weather experience have an excellent track record of finding a job shortly after graduation, with nearly 40 alumni employed by over twenty National Weather Service forecast offices and countless others in the public and private sectors!
Innovative Weather is housed at the School of Freshwater Sciences, approximately 5 miles south of the main UWM campus and adjacent to Lake Michigan. For further information about Innovative Weather, please visit their website.
Undergraduate research is a great way to apply what you’re learning in the classroom to real-world problems, advance our knowledge of weather and climate, and make a difference in the world around you. Students can become involved in undergraduate research – including as paid research fellows! – as early as their freshman year! We invite you to learn more about recent undergraduate research projects from the students themselves. If you’re interested in becoming involved, click here to learn more about our research specialties, and click here to reach out to the faculty to express your interest!
UWM’s Atmospheric Science program is home to the Greater Milwaukee chapter of the American Meteorological Society, a local professional organization; Atmospheric Science Club, comprised of students who share an enthusiasm for the atmospheric sciences; and The Climate Consensus, comprised of students interested in climate science and outreach.
UWM offers the world’s first faculty-led study-abroad program in Atmospheric Science. In this course, you can explore the effects of acid rain on Mexico’s cultural heritage sites.