B.S. in Operational Meteorology

The Applied Aviation Sciences Department offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Operational Meteorology. This interdisciplinary program offers weather enthusiasts the opportunity to explore a wide range of atmospheric phenomena and their operational impact on a variety of customers ranging from aviation, to emergency management, to the general public.  Students will develop essential meteorological skills using our computer-equipped classrooms and state-of-the-art Weather Center, which receives over 500 gigabytes of world-wide weather information each day. In addition to meteorology, students will acquire the skills necessary to translate complex weather products and information into the practical language of operational decision makers.  The goal of the Operational Meteorology program is to offer coursework, laboratory, and operational experiences that prepare students for immediate productivity and career growth.  Graduates will be competitive for a variety of professional careers depending on their chosen area of operation. Students completing this degree will meet all U.S. Office of Personnel Management Qualification Standards for a Meteorological Technician.

Degree Requirements

The Bachelor of Science degree in Operational Meteorology requires successful completion of a minimum of 120 credit hours, which can typically be attained in eight semesters. This interdisciplinary program blends meteorology coursework with an approved minor course of study (or Airline Dispatch course sequence) to enhance the student’s ability to identify and communicate weather impacts to a wide variety of weather-sensitive operations and activities. Acceptable minors include: Aeronautical Studies, Aeronautics, Air Traffic Control, Air Transportation, Business Administration, Communication and Broadcast Media, Emergency Management, Entrepreneurship, Flight, Homeland Security, Human Factors, Space Studies, and Unmanned Aircraft Systems Science.  All students must meet all requirements in all four program areas to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Operational Meteorology.  These program areas include:  general education courses, operational meteorology core courses, program support courses, and an approved minor.  All students entering the Operational Meteorology program must take a math placement test or show suitable advanced placement.

Bachelor of Science in Operational Meteorology

General Education36
Operational Meteorology Core43
Program Support Courses11-13
Approved Minor *15-21
Open Electives **7-15
Total Degree Requirements120

 In lieu of a minor, students have the option to instead complete all courses required for FAA Dispatch Certification.


 Open electives should include sufficient coursework to satisfy the required 40 upper-level credit hours.

General Education Requirements

For a full description of Embry-Riddle General Guidelines please see the General Education section of the catalog.

COM 122English Composition3
COM 219Speech3
COM 221Technical Report Writing3
MA 111College Mathematics for Aviation I3
MA 112College Mathematics for Aviation II3
PS 103Technical Physics I3
PS 104Technical Physics II3
Lower-Level Computer Science Elective (CS 120 recommended)3
Lower-Level Humanities3
Lower or Upper-Level Humanities or Social Sciences3
Upper-Level Humanities or Social Sciences3
Lower-Level Social Sciences3
Total Credits36

Operational Meteorology Core

WX 101Meteorology Careers1
WX 201Survey of Meteorology3
WX 215Introduction to Geoscience3
WX 261Applied Climatology3
WX 270Weather Information Systems3
WX 301Aviation Weather3
WX 327Operational Analysis and Forecasting3
WX 331Operational Thermodynamic Meteorology3
WX 332Operational Physical Meteorology3
WX 344Operational Dynamic Meteorology3
WX 361Global Climate Change3
WX 363Thunderstorms3
WX 365Satellite and Radar Weather Interpretation3
WX 436Advanced Operational Forecasting3
WX 442Operational Meteorology Seminar3
Total Credits43

Program Support Courses

AS 120Principles of Aeronautical Science3-5
or AS 121 Private Pilot Operations
MA 222Business Statistics3
or WX 422 Statistical Applications for Meteorological Data Analysis
PS 101Basic Chemistry3
PS 101LBasic Chemistry Laboratory0
PS 115LTechnical Physics Laboratory1
UNIV 101College Success1
Total Credits11-13

Sample Career Options

Below are several career options; however, these are by no means the only options.  Students may seek other opportunities through the selection of appropriate minors.

Broadcast Meteorology

Broadcast meteorologists provide weather information and forecasts through television, radio, and internet broadcasts.  Students interested broadcasting careers should minor in Communication and Broadcast Media and include WX 280 and WX 475 in their course selection.  For open electives, students should consider WX 380. Students will use our state-of-the-art media studio to learn combine verbal, non-verbal, and written communication skills with video production and editing skills to become highly competitive for internships and careers with a variety of television and radio stations. Upon graduation and with work experience, students will be eligible for the National Weather Association Broadcaster’s Seal of Approval.  Students seeking to become an American Meteorological Society Certified Broadcast Meteorologists (CBM) should pursue the B.S. Meteorology program.

Flight Dispatching and/or Coordination

Flight dispatchers and coordinators help ensure the safety of commercial flights through proper flight planning.  This includes analyzing and evaluating meteorological information to determine potential hazards to safety of flight and to select the most desirable and economic route of flight.  Students interested in flight dispatching or coordination should select Aeronautical Science or Flight as their minor (or complete the Dispatch Course requirements) and consider taking WX 410 as an elective.

Emergency Management

Emergency management specialists work closely with local officials and area governments, schools, hospitals, etc. to determine their needs and capabilities in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency. They also help coordinate disaster response activities such as ordering evacuations, opening public shelters, and implementing special needs plans and programs. Students interested in supporting emergency management efforts should minor in Emergency Management and select additional upper-level Weather or Homeland Security courses as open electives. 

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Support

UAV specialists use remotely piloted aircraft for a variety of purposes ranging from aerial photography to military reconnaissance.  One such purpose is weather data collection to better understand and forecast hazardous weather.  Students interested in either collecting meteorological information using UAVs or providing weather support to UAVs should consider a minor in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Science.

Air Traffic Control

Air Traffic Controllers help maintain safety of flight by guiding and directing aircraft from take-off to landing. Students with a passion for meteorology, who are also interested in pursuing a career in Air Traffic Control, should minor in Air Traffic Management. Upon graduation students would need to attend the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Academy in Oklahoma City, OK to become a fully-certified air traffic controller.