Atmospheric Science Major

Students must take 38 preparatory credits and 33 credits from the core curriculum. To accommodate students with varying interests and to represent the breadth of the field, atmospheric science majors also choose at least 9 elective credits from a set of courses covering specialties in atmospheric sciences (such as microscale, mesoscale, and tropical meteorology, or data analytics), applied mathematics, and statistics. We invite you to learn more about the requirements for the Atmospheric Science major.

In addition to the major’s requirements, students must also satisfy all of the university general education requirements and the College of Letters & Science breadth and other degree requirements. Degree requirements will vary depending on when you first enroll at UWM. You are strongly advised to consult regularly with your Atmospheric Science faculty advisor and College of Letters & Science advisor to ensure you stay on track towards your degree. Read more about College of Letters and Science Degree Requirements.

To clarify any requirements, contact the Atmospheric Science Program Chair.

Capstone Experience

Atmospheric Science majors must complete Atm Sci 599, “Capstone Experience.” The aim of the capstone experience, which satisfies the College of Letters and Science’s research requirement, is to encourage independent learning through applied research. Students typically complete their capstone experience during their final semester before graduation. Students must obtain the consent of a professor to enroll in Atm Sci 599.

Honors in the Major

Students in Atmospheric Sciences who meet all of the following criteria can be awarded honors in the major upon graduation:

  1. A 3.000 cumulative GPA in all UWM graded credits;
  2. A 3.500 GPA over all UWM courses counting toward the Atmospheric Sciences major;
  3. A 3.500 GPA over all upper division UWM courses counting toward the Atmospheric Sciences major; and
  4. Successful completion of at least two semesters of research and/or internship experiences. The research and internship experiences can include one or more of the Capstone Experience (Atm Sci 599), a directed independent study for credit (Atm Sci 699), an internship for credit (Atm Sci 695), the Atmospheric Sciences Study Abroad course (Atm Sci 297/497), undergraduate research for compensation, and participation in the Innovative Weather program at the staff level. The staff level of Innovative Weather is the third level of participation, coming after a pre-internship (several weeks in one semester) and an internship (one semester at 5-10 hours per week). Staff positions are paid, and staff members typically work around 10 hours per week during the fall or spring semesters, more in the summer session.

No formal application for Honors in the Major is necessary. The College of Letters and Science automatically checks to see whether a student meets these requirements when clearing the student for graduation.

Beyond the Major

Professionals in the Atmospheric Sciences work extensively with data. While our major offers several electives that emphasize data analysis, students interested in broadening their job prospects within and beyond the atmospheric sciences may wish to combine their Atmospheric Science major with added coursework or a minor/double-major in computer programming, data science, statistics, or actuarial science. Depending on your interests, you may also wish to consider extra coursework in geographic information studies (GIS), physics, chemistry, communication, or applied mathematics. Students interested in opportunities beyond the major are encouraged to meet with the Atmospheric Science Program Chair to help tailor their studies accordingly.