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College of the Environment

Atmospheric Sciences

408 Atmospheric Sciences
206-543-4250
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Atmospheric sciences is a wide-ranging discipline that includes topics as diverse as weather forecasting, global warming, air quality, Pacific Northwest weather and climate, mountain weather, marine weather, El Nino, the ozone hole, ice ages, and the weather of Mars. It considers problems that are both scientifically challenging and critical for the welfare of modern society.

 Undergraduate Programs


Atmospheric Sciences

416 Atmospheric Sciences
206-543-4576
atmosadv@uw.edu

 Program of Study: Major: Atmospheric Sciences


Program Overview

Atmospheric sciences is a wide-ranging discipline that includes topics as diverse as weather forecasting, global warming, air quality, Pacific Northwest weather and climate, mountain weather, marine weather, El Nino, the ozone hole, ice ages, and the weather of Mars. It considers problems that are both scientifically challenging and critical for the welfare of modern society. These problems are addressed with theory, measurements, and computer simulations

This program of study leads to the following credentials:
  • Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Atmospheric Sciences: Chemistry
  • Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Atmospheric Sciences: Climate
  • Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Atmospheric Sciences: Data Science
  • Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Atmospheric Sciences: Meteorology
Recommended Preparation

Suggested First- and Second-Year Courses: English composition; ATM S 220; MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126; PHYS 121, PHYS 122, PHYS 123. The first upper-division core course is ATM S 301, which is offered autumn quarter only. Any lower-division atmospheric sciences courses except ATM S 220 count as electives and not as part of the major.

Admission Requirements
  1. Minimum course requirements: English composition; MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126; PHYS 121, PHYS 122, PHYS 123
  2. Grade requirements: Minimum 2.0 grade for each course required for admission; minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA in courses required for admission

 Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Atmospheric Sciences: Chemistry


Credential Overview

The Atmospheric Chemistry and Air Quality option provides students with a strong background in environmental issues such as evolving atmospheric composition and air quality through coursework that focuses on chemistry and the environment.

Completion Requirements

Minimum 97-108 credits, depending on credential/option

  1. Foundation requirements (30 credits): MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126; PHYS 121, PHYS 122, PHYS 123
  2. Core requirements (28-29 credits): STAT 390 (or Q SCI 381 for options in meteorology, climate, chemistry); ATM S 220 (2), ATM S 301, ATM S 321, ATM S 340, ATM S 341, ATM S 370, ATM S 431.
  3. Additional requirements specified below
  4. Minimum 2.0 grade in courses applied to the major

Pre-graduate Program for Physical Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Majors

  • The following elective course sequence is suitable preparation for students interested in pursuing graduate study in atmospheric sciences: ATM S 301, ATM S 340, ATM S 441.
Additional Completion Requirements

Option specific credits (45-48 credits)

  1. Requirements (39 credits): ATM S 458/CHEM 458; CEE 480/ATM S 480; CHEM 142, CHEM 152, CHEM 162, CHEM 223, CHEM 224, CHEM 321; ATM S 310 or CSE 160
  2. Electives (6-9 credits): minimum two courses from an approved list. See adviser for approved list of electives.

 Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Atmospheric Sciences: Climate


Credential Overview

The Climate Option provides students with a strong interdisciplinary ground in environmental change through the lens of atmospheric, ocean and earth sciences.

Completion Requirements

Minimum 97-108 credits, depending on credential/option

  1. Foundation requirements (30 credits): MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126; PHYS 121, PHYS 122, PHYS 123
  2. Core requirements (28-29 credits): STAT 390 (or Q SCI 381 for options in meteorology, climate, chemistry); ATM S 220 (2), ATM S 301, ATM S 321, ATM S 340, ATM S 341, ATM S 370, ATM S 431.
  3. Additional requirements specified below
  4. Minimum 2.0 grade in courses applied to the major

Pre-graduate Program for Physical Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Majors

  • The following elective course sequence is suitable preparation for students interested in pursuing graduate study in atmospheric sciences: ATM S 301, ATM S 340, ATM S 441.
Additional Completion Requirements

Option specific credits (39-49 credits)

  1. Requirements (27-29 credits): AMATH 301; ATM S 350; ATM S 358, ATM S 380, ATM S 487; ATM S 310 or CSE 160; either ESS 431 or ESS 433; either OCEAN 423 or OCEAN 450
  2. Electives (12-20 credits): minimum four courses from an approved list. See adviser for approved list of electives.

 Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Atmospheric Sciences: Data Science


Credential Overview

The Data Science Option provides students with a strong foundation in data science skills with specific applications to meteorology-, climate-, and air pollution-related careers.

Completion Requirements

Minimum 97-108 credits, depending on credential/option

  1. Foundation requirements (30 credits): MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126; PHYS 121, PHYS 122, PHYS 123
  2. Core requirements (28-29 credits): STAT 390 (or Q SCI 381 for options in meteorology, climate, chemistry); ATM S 220 (2), ATM S 301, ATM S 321, ATM S 340, ATM S 341, ATM S 370, ATM S 431.
  3. Additional requirements specified below
  4. Minimum 2.0 grade in courses applied to the major

Pre-graduate Program for Physical Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Majors

  • The following elective course sequence is suitable preparation for students interested in pursuing graduate study in atmospheric sciences: ATM S 301, ATM S 340, ATM S 441.
Additional Completion Requirements

Option specific credits (31-35 credits)

  1. Requirements (31-35 credits): CSE 143 or CSE 163; one of CSE 416/STAT 416, STAT 435, or INFO 371; SOC 225 (3); ATM S 358; MATH 207, MATH 208, MATH 209; either CSE 414 or INFO 430; either CSE 412, HCDE 411, or INFO 474

Note: Prerequisites for option specific courses could add up to 4-30 credits. See adviser for list of prerequisites.

 Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Atmospheric Sciences: Meteorology


Credential Overview

The meteorology option provides students with a strong background in atmospheric dynamics, synoptic meteorology and weather forecasting.

Completion Requirements

Minimum 97-108 credits, depending on credential/option

  1. Foundation requirements (30 credits): MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126; PHYS 121, PHYS 122, PHYS 123
  2. Core requirements (28-29 credits): STAT 390 (or Q SCI 381 for options in meteorology, climate, chemistry); ATM S 220 (2), ATM S 301, ATM S 321, ATM S 340, ATM S 341, ATM S 370, ATM S 431.
  3. Additional requirements specified below
  4. Minimum 2.0 grade in courses applied to the major

Pre-graduate Program for Physical Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Majors

  • The following elective course sequence is suitable preparation for students interested in pursuing graduate study in atmospheric sciences: ATM S 301, ATM S 340, ATM S 441.
Additional Completion Requirements

Option specific credits (38-41 credits)

  1. Requirements (29 credits): AMATH 301; ATM S 358, ATM S 441, ATM S 442, ATM S 451, ATM S 452; ATM S 310 or CSE 160
  2. Advanced Mathematics (9-12 credits): MATH 224; either AMATH 351 and AMATH 353, or MATH 207, MATH 208, and MATH 209

 Program of Study: Minor: Atmospheric Sciences


Program Overview

Atmospheric sciences is a wide-ranging discipline that includes topics as diverse as weather forecasting, global warming, air quality, Pacific Northwest weather and climate, mountain weather, marine weather, El Nino, the ozone hole, ice ages, and the weather of Mars. It considers problems that are both scientifically challenging and critical for the welfare of modern society. These problems are addressed with theory, measurements, and computer simulations.

This program of study leads to the following credential:
  • Minor in Atmospheric Science

 Minor in Atmospheric Science


Completion Requirements

25 credits to include ATM S 301 plus other approved courses. The minor may include a maximum of 6 independent study credits. Prerequisites include MATH 126 or MATH 136, and PHYS 123. Some courses may require further math or chemistry experience.

Additional Information

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: The degree program qualifies students for professional employment in weather forecasting, air-quality control and monitoring, and other areas of atmospheric sciences and related fields. The baccalaureate degree also is appropriate preparation for graduate study in atmospheric sciences.
  • Instructional and Research Facilities: Extensive computer resources are available in the departmental computer laboratory. The department also maintains an extensive collection of weather data in graphical and numerical electronic format. A study area is provided for undergraduates. An instrument laboratory is maintained with a wide range of observing and data collection systems. Students also have access to a machine shop and an electronics laboratory.
  • Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors); With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: Internships are available either within the department or with outside organizations, providing a valuable opportunity to test a student's interests in various meteorological career paths and to extend the student's knowledge. A limited number of departmental scholarships are available each year, based on academic excellence or financial need. Employment opportunities are often available in one of the many departmental research groups, and some internships are paid.

    Students majoring in atmospheric sciences may take advantage of a variety of opportunities to enhance their education. Undergraduate students are welcome at the department's many seminars and colloquia and are encouraged to join in the annual forecast contest. They may work on independent research projects under the guidance of a faculty member, or be an active participant in a field program.

  • Department Scholarships: The Mindlin-Reed-Caldwell Memorial is awarded annually, based on both academic excellence and financial need.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: Student Chapter of American Meteorological Society, Puget Sound American Meteorological Society Chapter, Weekly Weather Discussion for all majors.