Atmospheric science 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. Although some universities may refer to this major as Meteorology, at UWM we call it Atmospheric Science because our program is much broader than just weather analysis and forecasting. Students 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!
Atmospheric Science Brochure 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 is UWM’s 24/7 weather operation that serves radio, utility and transportation clients by providing highly-customized forecasts on a subscription basis. Rather than following traditional weather business models, Innovative Weather focuses on understanding its clients’ business needs and how weather can impact operations, staffing and profitability. Forecasts produced by Innovative Weather are designed to mitigate business risk for the client. Innovative Weather employs graduate and undergraduate students to give them hands-on experience in operational meteorology.
Innovative Weather is housed in the Alumni House, approximately 1/2 mile east 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, and Atmospheric Science Club, comprised of students who share an enthusiasm for the atmospheric sciences.
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.