Atmospheric Science

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The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers a BS, as well as a MS and a PhD in atmospheric science. This degree offers four options that include a general atmospheric science degree option, an air pollution meteorology option, a hydrometeorology option (a branch of meteorology especially concerned with precipitation), and a news media forecasting option.

Atmospheric Science Program website

Sample of Related Skills

  • Research atmospheric dynamics, climate science, boundary-layer processes, cloud processes, and remote sensing 
  • Research hurricanes, tropical meteorology, atmosphere-ocean coupling, climate, and climate change
  • Broadcast and forecast weather
  • Determine the effect weather systems have on the earth’s atmosphere
  • Study atmospheric changes (both long and short-term) that define average climates and their change over time

Popular Career Paths

General Meteorology: Prepares one for employment with the National Weather Service, airlines, and other public/private agencies.

Air Pollution & Meteorology: Involves specialization in air quality and other environmental impacts.

Hydrometeorology: Involves a career as a meteorologist in one of the many water-related activities in private companies and governmental agencies.

News Media Forecast: Involves forecasting the weather on television.

Explore More Career Paths

Jobs to Consider

Air and Water Quality Manager

Atmospheric Researcher


Computer Scientist

Earth Scientist


Instrumental Technician

Insurance Claims Investigator



Park Ranger


Radar Geophysicist


Satellite Data Analyst


Storm Specialist


Weather Correspondent

Weather Forecaster


Places to Seek Employment

Astronaut Corps

Chemical Companies

Computer and Data Processing Services

Geological Industry

Government Agencies

Insurance Companies

Launch Sites


National Weather Service

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Research and Testing Services

Patent Law Firms

Power Plants

Private Weather Consulting Firms

Recycling Plants

News Stations

The Department of Defense


Employment Strategies

  1. Identify areas of interest in atmospheric science so you can focus your academics and experiences towards these fields.
  2. Become familiar with the required professional qualifications associated with careers that interest you (i.e., advanced degrees, licensure and/or certifications).
  3. Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
  4. Register for and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
  5. Consider joining a professional organization related to atmospheric science, such as the American Meteorological Society, and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field of interest.
  6. Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant.
  7. Practice interviewing or conduct a mock interview at the University Career Center. List of practice questions: general interview (pdf).
  8. Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest: sample resume (pdf).
  9. Complete an undergraduate research experience to gain advanced research skills.
  10. Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional education.
  11. Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest, such as: American Meteorologic Society - KU Chapter.  

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