CofC Logo

Meteorology BA


Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. Prior attempts at prediction of weather depended on historical data. It wasn't until after the elucidation of the laws of physics and, more particularly, the development of the computer, allowing for the automated solution of the great many equations that model the weather, in the latter half of the 20th century that significant breakthroughs in weather forecasting were achieved.

Meteorological phenomena are observable weather events that are explained by the science of meteorology. Meteorological phenomena are described and quantified by the variables of Earth's atmosphere: temperature, air pressure, water vapor, mass flow, and the variations and interactions of those variables, and how they change over time. Different spatial scales are used to describe and predict weather on local, regional, and global levels. Because of this, the field of meteorology has application in many diverse fields such as the military, energy production, transport, agriculture, and construction.

Our BA is unique in that we serve an audience that is not well served across the nation. Our BA degree (along with the minor) is designed to serve non-traditional meteorology careers in environmental science, business, education, law, teaching, and other fields. Hence, the BA degree is well-suited for double majors, teachers/educators, and other individuals who would like to apply their meteorological education to non-traditional fields.


The B.A. in Meteorology consists of 38 credit hours minimum of meteorology, physics, and math courses.

Core Meteorology Courses: 17+ hours

Base Experience:

1. PHYS 105 (Introduction to Meteorology) (3 cr.)

OR three of the following four classes**

1. GEOL 438 (Hydrogeology) (3 cr.)
2. PHYS 405 (Thermal Physics) (3 cr.)
3. PHYS 415 (Fluid Mechanics) (3 cr.)
4. PHYS 459 (Cloud and Precipitation Physics) (3 cr.)

Emphasis Experience:

PHYS 210 (Introduction to Air Pollution) (3 cr.)


PHYS 215 (Synoptic Meteorology) (3 cr.)

NOTE: If both PHYS 210 and PHYS 215 are taken, one will count as an elective below

Additional Required Courses:

1. PHYS 225 (Climate) (3 cr.)
2. PHYS 370 (Experimental Physics) (4 cr.)

Capstone Experience

1. PHYS 419 (Research Seminar) (1 cr.)
2. PHYS 420 (Senior Research)* (3 cr.) OR PHYS 499 (Bachelors Essay)* (6 cr.)

Core Physics Courses: 8 hours

1. PHYS 111/111L (General Physics I) (4 cr.)
2. PHYS 112/112L (General Physics II) (4 cr.)


1. HONS 157/157L (Honors Physics I) (4 cr.)
2. HONS 158/158L (Honors Physics II) (4 cr.)


1. PHYS 101/101L (Introductory Physics I) (4 cr.)
2. PHYS 102/102L (Introductory Physics II) (4 cr.)

NOTE: If the third option is chosen, a minimum grade of C- in PHYS 101, PHYS 101L, PHYS 102, and PHYS 102L is required; this option can not be used if the operational meteorology concentration is desired.

Core Mathematics Courses: 8+ hours

1. MATH 120 (Introductory Calculus) (4 cr.)
2. MATH 220 (Calculus 2) (4 cr.) OR MATH 229 (Vector Calculus with Chemical Applications) (5 cr.)

Note: MATH 229 can not be used for the operational meteorology concentration

Elective Courses: 5 hours

1. ASTR 129/129L (Introduction to Astronomy) (3 cr.)
2. ASTR 306 (Planetary Astronomy) (3 cr.)
3. BIOL 204 (Man and the Environment) (3 cr.)
4. BIOL 342 (Oceanography) (3 cr.)
5. CHEM 101/101L (General Chemistry) (4 cr.)
6. CHEM 111/111L (Principles of Chemistry I) (4 cr.)
7. CHEM 112/112L (Principles of Chemistry II) (4 cr.)
8. COMM 104 (Public Speaking) (3 cr.)
9. CSCI 220/220L Computer Programming (4 cr.)
10. ENGL 334 (Technical Writing) (3 cr.)
11. ENVT 200 (Introduction to Environmental Studies) (3 cr.)
12. ENVT 352 (Special Topics)* (3 cr.)
13. ENVT 395 (Seminar)* (3 cr.)
14. GEOL 213 (Natural Hazards) (3 cr.)
15. GEOL 288 (Global Change) (3 cr.)
16. GEOL 291 (Water Resources) (3 cr.)
17. GEOL 438 (Hydrogeology)**** (3 cr.)
18. GEOL 442 (Remote Sensing) (3 cr.)
19. GEOL 449 (GIS) (3 cr.)
20. HONS 390 (Special Topics)* (3 cr.)
21. MATH 250 (Statistical Methods) (3 cr.)
22. PHYS 106L (Exercises in Weather and Climate) (2 cr.)
23. PHYS 210 (Introduction to Air Pollution)**** (3 cr.)
24. PHYS 215 (Synoptic Meteorology)**** (3 cr.)
25. PHYS 230 (Modern Physics) (3 cr.)
26. PHYS 298 (Special Topics)* (3 cr.)
27. PHYS 301 (Classical Mechanics) (3 cr.)
28. PHYS 320 (Electronics) (3 cr.)
29. PHYS 340 (Photonics) (3 cr.)
30. PHYS 350 (Energy Production) (3 cr.)
31. PHYS 381 (Internship)* *** (3 cr.)
32. PHYS 390 (Research)* *** (3 cr.)
33. PHYS 394/394L (Digital Signal and Image Processing with Biomedical Applications) (4 cr.)
34. PHYS 399 (Tutorial)* *** (3 cr.)
35. PHYS 405 (Thermal Physics)**** (3 cr.)
36. PHYS 409 (Electricity and Magnetism) (3 cr.)
37. PHYS 410 (Electricity and Magnetism 2) (3 cr.)
38. PHYS 412 (Special Topics)* (3 cr.)
39. PHYS 415 (Fluid Mechanics)**** (3 cr.)
40. PHYS 425 (Mesoscale Meteorology) (3 cr.)
41. PHYS 457 (Satellite Meteorology) (3 cr.)
42. PHYS 459 (Cloud and Precipitation Physics)**** (3 cr.)


Some of the elective courses require prerequisites that will not count towards the major unless they are on the list above.

*Topics in these courses must involve meteorology and must be approved by the meteorology program director and the department.

**Students may replace PHYS105 with any three of the following four courses (PHYS405, PHYS415, PHYS459 and GEOL438). If the second option is taken, two will also count as electives below. Replacing one introductory course with three senior-level courses may be desirable for students pursuing a concentration in operational meteorology or a certificate in consulting meteorology or a degree in physics.

***Maximum of 3 hours each of PHYS 381, 390 or 399 may be applied to the major.

****If not used as a core course

Certificate in Consulting Meteorology

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) offers a certificate in Broadcasting Meteorology. Students will fulfill the requirements for a certificate in Consulting Meteorology from the American Meteorology Society if they complete the following coursework, in addition to those required by the B.A. in meteorology:

1. MATH 221 (Multivariable Calculus) (4 cr.)

2. PHYS 272 (Methods of Applied Physics) (3 cr.) OR [MATH 203 (Linear Algebra) (3 cr.) and MATH 323 (Differential Equations) (3 cr.)]

3. PHYS 215 (Synoptic Meteorology) (3 cr.) (not additional to the BA if this is selected as the emphasis area)

4. Complete 3 of the 4 tracks:

Track 1: PHYS 459 (Cloud and Precipitation Physics) (3 cr.)
Track 2: PHYS 230 (Modern Physics) and PHYS 405 (Thermal Physics) (3 cr.)
Track 3: PHYS 301 (Classical Mechanics) and PHYS 415 (Fluid Dynamics) (3 cr.)
Track 4: GEOL 438 (Hydrogeology) and PHYS 105 (Introduction to Meteorology) (3 cr.)

NOTE: Students may not use PHYS 101/102 to satisfy the requirement of a year in introductory physics if they wish to obtain this certificate.