Degree Requirements

The Professional and Applied Meteorology concentrations began in catalog year 2022-2023.  Please visit the Previous Catalog Years page for degree check sheets before 2022-2023 when we did not have concentrations.

The Professional Meteorology degree is nearly identical to the degree we have always offered at MSU Denver and it conforms to the requirements for students to qualify to work for the National Weather Service (NWS)  It also fulfills the American Meteorological Society’s recommendations for a Bachelor’s degree in Meteorology.  Similarly, students wanting to eventually get the AMS Broadcast Certification will want the professional concentration.

The Applied Meteorology concentration is rather different in that it does not require the level of math demanded by the NWS.  Although we proudly tote several alumni who work at the National Weather Service throughout the country, we found that the majority of our alumni have found employment as successful broadcast (TV) meteorologists or as meteorologists in the private sector or even as science educators.  The Applied Meteorology degree is for students looking to personalize their degree a bit more than the very prescribed requirements of the Professional Meteorology degree.  For example, a student looking to produce or broadcast meteorology might choose to Major in Applied Meteorology and minor in Journalism and Media Production and focus their meteorology electives on severe weather.  (However, students wanting to eventually get the AMS Broadcast Certification will want the professional concentration.)  A student looking to work in the private sector on forecasting or instrumentation might major in Applied Meteorology and minor in Computer Science or GIS.  A student interested in climate change might major in Applied Meteorology and minor i Geography, Environmental Science, or even Sociology.

Students hoping to continue their studies in graduate school in Atmospheric Science (Meteorology) should choose the Professional Meteorology degree, but students open to going to graduate school for something different like Geography, Environmental Science, GIS, or a professional master’s might be okay to choose the Applied Meteorology degree.

All students are encouraged to develop their programming and mapping skills by taking courses in computer science, python, R, and GIS.  These skills are essential to marketability and we encourage you to take them early in your degree so the skills can be practiced in your Meteorology Research Seminar course.

Both concentrations share a Meteorology core, then have their own required courses, then have their own list of meteorology electives.  The Professional concentration requires a math minor while the Applied concentration requires you to declare any minor on campus.  Use the accordions above by hitting the plus sign to see the requirements for each concentration.

Students on older catalogs may declare the Applied Concentration by moving up their catalog to 2022-2023.  Students on older catalogs wanting the Professional concentration shouldn’t bother, the old degree is essentially the same.  Please visit the Previous Catalog Years page for degree check sheets before 2022-2023.

All current students can see their current catalog and requirements by visiting their Degree Progress Report and may also choose to try a “What If” report to see how their coursework might fit into a different catalog.  Please see an advisor to chat!


Course Flow Chart

Get a visual on the flow of courses for both concentrations as well as a 5-year course rotation.

Course Descriptions

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