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.
Some universities may call this major "Meteorology." We call it Atmospheric Science because our program is much broader than just weather forecasting. Students in our program will obtain a solid foundation in the mathematical modeling that forms the basis of analysis not just of tomorrow's expected weather but also long-term climate change, storm impact and predictability, pollution patterns and impact, and the consequences of weather to people and organizations.
While TV weather forecasters may be the most visible job outcome for an Atmospheric Science major, the fact is that there are a very limited number of these jobs nationally. Most majors work in other areas of the field such as research, government agencies such as NASA and NOAA, consulting firms, and schools. As more and more companies realize the impact weather can have on business operations, more job opportunities are opening in the private sector, and this is the sector with the greatest projected job growth.
Atmospheric Science students at UWM have a unique opportunity not found at any other university in the state. Our Innovative Weather program is hired by numerous businesses such as the Milwaukee Brewers and We Energies that need to make decisions based on the weather. Students work with these clients to provide customized forecasts and risk analysis. The Atmospheric Science major provides distinct tracks that help prepare students for careers in weather forecasting, natural hazard risk assessment, and data analytics, or for graduate study.
Please download our fact sheet to the right to learn more about job options and the classes in the major.