Elective Concentrations

One of the unique things about our Atmospheric Science major is how it allows you to tailor it to your own interests! Thus, not only will you get a world-class education in the fundamentals of weather and climate, you’ll also get the opportunity to deepen your skills and understanding through elective courses! We’ve developed four concentrations – Foundational, Broadcasting, Climate and Environmental Science, and Operational Meteorology – that you can follow, or you can design your own concentration from our list of nearly 50 elective courses!

Foundational Concentration

Do you think that graduate school and a research-focused career might be for you? Our foundational concentration provides a set of data-science- and math-focused courses to equip you with the skills that are increasingly necessary for success in weather and climate research. Students following this concentration complete the following elective courses:

MATH 321 Vector Analysis 3
MATH 322 Introduction to Partial Differential Equations 3
ATM SCI 480 The General Circulation and Climate Dynamics 3
ATM SCI 500 Statistical Methods in Atmospheric Sciences 3
ATM SCI 600 Data Analytics 3

Broadcasting Concentration

Are you interested working in traditional or digital media? Our broadcasting concentration may be right for you! This concentration provides you with an excellent foundational education that meets all requirements for the AMS’s Certified Broadcast Meteorologist program and media training as part of a minor in Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies! Students following this concentration complete the following elective courses:

JAMS 101 Introduction to Mass Media (counts for the Social Sciences GER) 3
JAMS 201 Media Writing (counts for the OWC-B GER) 3
JAMS 204 News Writing and Technology 3
JAMS 302 Video Storytelling 3
JAMS 325 Audio Storytelling 3
JAMS 342 Television News Reporting 3
ATM SCI 460 Mesoscale Circulations 3

Climate and Environmental Science Concentration

There are an increasing number of jobs related to climate in research, with state and federal governments, and with non-governmental organizations. Through our climate and environmental science concentration, you’ll learn about what drives our climate, how it is changing, and how it impacts society. Students following this concentration complete the following elective courses:

CIV ENG 311 Introduction to Energy, Environment, and Sustainability 3
FRSHWTR 392 Water-Energy-Food-Climate 3
GEOG 450 Climates of the Past and Climate Change 3
ATM SCI 480 The General Circulation and Climate Dynamics 3
ATM SCI 505 Micrometeorology 3

Operational Meteorology Concentration

Are you interested in working for the National Weather Service or a private-sector forecasting company? Our operational meteorology concentration is an excellent choice! This concentration provides you with the skills you’ll need to succeed in the modern operational weather forecasting workforce. Students following this concentration complete the following elective courses:

JAMS 325 Audio Storytelling 3
GEOG 215 Introduction to Geographic Information Science 3
GEOG 310 General Climatology 3
ATM SCI 460 or ATM SCI 470 Mesoscale Circulations or Tropical Meteorology 3
ATM SCI 695 Internship in Atmospheric Sciences 3

The internship requirement is often fulfilled through our Innovative Weather program, though which you can gain paid experience in providing decision support to weather-sensitive partners in Milwaukee and across the Midwest!

Or Build Your Own Concentration!

Students are free to design their own concentrations from our full list of nearly 50 approved elective courses. This is a great option for students interested in pairing their Atmospheric Science major with specialized training in hydrology, water resources, science policy, economics, data analytics, geographic information systems, and other related fields! Students choosing to develop their own concentration are encouraged to regularly meet with our Academic Advisor, Kristina Schell, and the Program Chair to tailor a plan to meet their interests!