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The Atmospheric Sciences major at Ohio State focuses on exploring systems that determine our weather and climate. Students learn about the interactions between the Earth's surface and the atmosphere that often lead to severe storms, droughts and floods, and global climate change. Upon completion of their degree, students are prepared to serve as operational and broadcast meteorologists and research scientists in the private and public sectors.

The Atmospheric Sciences undergraduate curriculum fulfills the 1340 Series curricular requirements established by the American Meteorological Society. This coursework is required to apply for meteorology positions within the National Weather Service and other offices within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). As an Ohio State graduate, you will be prepared to enter directly into the workforce and apply for positions as both operational and broadcast meteorologists, in addition to numerous other careers.

There is no minimum GPA, required prerequisites, or application required to declare a major in Atmospheric Sciences.

Atmospheric Sciences Curriculum

Undergraduate Curriculum

Issues & Topics:

Weather Forecasting

  • Satellite imagery
  • Radar
  • Programming
  • Model output
  • Reporting
  • Seasonal forecasting

Severe Weather

  • Thunderstorms
  • Tornadoes
  • Hurricanes
  • Hail
  • Hydrology


  • Urban heat islands
  • Pollution
  • Energy budgets
  • Surface effects
  • Field research
  • Instrumentation

Global Climate Change

  • Human influence
  • Glaciers/Ice sheets
  • Impacts
  • Detection


  • Droughts
  • Floods
  • Climates of the world

Acquired Skills:

Critical skills

  • Critical thinking and reasoning
  • Oral and written communication
  • Research design, interpretation, and implementation
  • Ability to integrate and analyze information from a range of sources

Technical skills

  • Solid foundation in mathematics and the physical sciences
  • Quantitative data analysis
  • Synoptic and mesoscale weather forecasting
  • Graphic communication (including map reading and geovisualization)
  • Ability to develop graphical models and visually represent vast amounts of data


Atmospheric Scientists find careers in many fields both within the private and public sectors. Below is a partial listing of careers for which students majoring in Atmospheric Sciences are well-suited and where previous graduates have found employment.

  • Operational Meteorologist at the National Weather Service or other NOAA offices
  • Science Operations Office for the National Weather Service
  • Certified Broadcast Meteorologist for local and national television stations
  • Meteorologist for private firms in the aviation, agriculture, and utility industries
  • Risk analyst for the insurance industry
  • Professional storm chaser/Weather guide
  • Meteorologist in the military (Air Force and Navy)
  • State Climatologist
  • Service Hydrologist
  • Researcher for the U.S. Geological Survey or the National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • Environmental Analyst
  • Business Consultant