B.S. in Applied Meteorology

The Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Meteorology provides a practical understanding of the physics and dynamics of the atmosphere. Students use a state-of-the-art meteorology lab and interactive meteorological graphics software to understand and forecast complex atmospheric phenomena ranging from severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, to cyclones, fronts, and jet streams, to global climate and how it is changing. Emphasis is placed on applying theory to operational weather forecasting and decision making for weather-sensitive industries, including possible hands-on experience as a meteorology intern. The program prepares graduating students for careers as meteorologists, within the government, military, television, or private sectors, or as flight dispatchers or for graduate studies toward a career in research or academia.

Students in the Applied Meteorology degree may choose to pursue an Emergency Response Meteorologist Certification, Aircraft Dispatch Certification, Fixed-wing or Helicopter Flight minor (leading to Commercial Pilot Certification), or a Defense Studies minor. Each of these options requires additional credits and involves unique course requirements. Students can find the requirements for the Aircraft Dispatch Certification, Flight minor, and Defense Studies minor in the course catalog.

All students entering the Applied Meteorology program should have completed four years of high school science and mathematics. Proficiency in trigonometry and pre-calculus is essential to enter this program. Students should be prepared to enroll in Calculus I in their first semester.

Degree Requirements

The Bachelor of Science in Applied Meteorology requires successful completion of a minimum of 120 credit hours.  Students should be aware that many courses have prerequisites and/or corequisites and should plan to begin the required math-calculus sequence as soon as they are eligible. In addition, all meteorology (WX) classes, except WX 201, WX 203L, and WX 301, are offered only once per year, although some additional summer classes may be offered.

The courses necessary to earn this degree are listed below.

Suggested Program of Study

Freshman Year
COM 122 English Composition 3
COM 219 Speech 3
MA 241 Calculus and Analytical Geometry I 4
MA 242 Calculus and Analytical Geometry II 4
PS 150 Physics for Engineers I 3
PS 216 Physics I Laboratory 1
UNIV 101 College Success *1
WX 201 Survey of Meteorology 3
WX 203L Survey of Meteorology Laboratory 1
WX 301 Aviation Weather 3
WX 353 Thermodynamics of the Atmosphere 3
Lower-level EC or SS elective 3
 Credits Subtotal32.0
Sophomore Year
CHM 105 General Chemistry I 4
CS 125 Computer Science I 3-4
Introduction to Computing for Engineers
MA 243 Calculus and Analytical Geometry III 4
MA 441 Mathematical Methods for Engineering and Physics I 3
PS 160 Physics for Engineers II 3
WX 270 Weather Information Systems 3
WX 354 Dynamics of the Atmosphere 3
WX 363 Thunderstorms 3
WX 365 Satellite and Radar Weather Interpretation 3
Lower-level HU (HU 14X) 3
 Credits Subtotal32.0-33.0
Junior Year
COM 221 Technical Report Writing 3
MA 345 Differential Equations and Matrix Methods 4
WX 220 Data Analysis and Visualization 3
WX 390 Atmospheric Physics 3
WX 391 Applied Synoptic Meteorology 3
WX 420 Advanced Atmospheric Thermodynamics 3
WX 492 Advanced Synoptic Meteorology 3
Lower-level EC or SS elective 3
Upper-level HU or SS elective 3
 Credits Subtotal28.0
Senior Year
MA 222 Business Statistics 3
Statistics for Organizational Analysis and Research
WX 261 Applied Climatology 3
WX 427 Forecasting Techniques 3
WX 490 Advanced Dynamic Meteorology I 3
WX 491 Advanced Dynamic Meteorology II 3
WX 493 Senior Research Thesis 3
Open electives 9-10
 Credits Subtotal27.0-28.0
 Credits Total: 120

UNIV 101 meets open elective or credit in excess of degree requirement

Emergency Response Meteorologist Certification

The Emergency Response Meteorologist (ERM) Certificate* prepares graduates for employment as an ERM or Incident Meteorologist. This certification is only available to students who complete a B.S. in Applied Meteorology. It gives students additional knowledge and skill to provide decision support services more effectively to meteorology customers. This additional training will prepare graduates to work in emergency operations centers for national or local government agencies and help guide decisions related to meteorology.

Students in this certification program learn about the U.S. incident command structure, gaining official National Incident Management System (NIMS) certification issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Intermediate and Advanced Incident Command Certification through local emergency management personnel.

Students will also achieve familiarity with geographic information systems (GIS) as essential for mapping geophysical datasets and visualizing emergency plans and incident response operations. Then, the capstone experience (WX 45X) gives students the opportunity to configure and operate various hazard models used in emergency management scenarios to predict the impacts of floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfire behavior, and the spread of hazardous materials.

Certification Requirements

The ERM Certificate is only available at the Prescott Campus to students majoring in Applied Meteorology. It requires the successful completion of the IS-100.b, IS-200.b, IS-300, IS-400, IS-700.a, IS-701.a, IS-702.a, IS-703.a, IS-706, and IS-800.b NIMS certificates, which may be earned while taking SIS 430 and SIS 431. It also requires satisfactory performance in all required courses, which must be completed with a “C” grade or better.

Cooperative Education/Internship3
SIS 430Emergency Management and Contingency Planning3
SIS 431Incident Command System3
WX 210Introduction to Geographic Information Systems3
WX 458Hazards Mapping and Modeling3

It is highly recommended (but not required) that students complete an internship as part of their cooperative education during the year preceding graduation. Students may earn credit for their internship activities. This will provide practical on-the-job experience while shadowing real emergency response meteorologists at various locations around the country. Internships also provide valuable networking opportunities and open doors to future employment.

*This program is offered within the Applied Meteorology program at ERAU and not as separate training. To complete the Emergency Response Certification program, the student must also complete the Applied Meteorology degree and must earn a “C” grade or higher in all required courses. For more information, contact the Chair of the Applied Aviation Sciences Department.