About the School of Meteorology
The School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma is the largest such program in the nation, with more than 250 undergraduate students and approximately 85 graduate students. The School offers studies leading to a Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees in Meteorology. Our program lies within the relatively small College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, so you will have a small college feel within a large department and university atmosphere. We are proud of our award winning student body as evidenced by a long list of accomplishments. The highlights of student awards include a recent PhD graduate receiving a Marshall Sherfield Post-Graduate Fellow—- the 1st ever in the atmospheric sciences, a undergraduate becoming a Goldwater Scholar (plus an honorable mention), a PhD candidate receiving a Bluewater Scholar and our undergraduates receiving 7 of the 23 American Meteorological Society 2015 Named Scholarships.
Unique aspects of the School of Meteorology include our location in the National Weather Center on the University’s research campus, which benefits students by the close proximity and exposure to the breadth of the atmospheric sciences. Our partners within the National Weather Center and on the research campus include: i) Mission oriented research with NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory and the Department of Interior’s South Central Climate Science Center; ii) Operational forecasters with NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center and the local office of the National Service; iii) The Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorology (CIMMS) building research collaboration between NOAA and the University; iv) University Strategic Research Organizations including the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms and the Advanced Radar Research Center. Undergraduates have opportunities to apply for internships and shadowing opportunities with several of these organizations. Graduate students can have advisors are faculty within the School or Affiliate or Adjunct Faculty with these organizations. Besides our strong NOAA collaborations, our graduate program was recently ranked in the top five atmospheric sciences graduate programs in the nation in terms of funding received by the National Science Foundation.
For more information about the School of Meteorology, please read our fact sheet.
To learn about the department’s history, please read about the evolution of the School.
Prepare for a Degree in Meteorology
You can begin preparing to earn a degree in Meteorology in a number of ways:
- Take as many math courses as you can, especially in algebra and calculus. Meteorology majors are required to complete Calculus I through IV for Science & Engineering majors, as well as Physical Math and a senior-level course in statistics. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to have Calculus I (MATH 1823) complete before their first semester at OU, as this course is the prerequisite to introductory courses in meteorology.
- If your school offers them, take Physics courses as well as courses in Computer Science (in particular, programming). A BS degree requires the completion of Physics for Science & Engineering Majors I & II, along with two separate physics labs (PHYS 1311 and PHYS 1321), and a course in computer programming for non-majors (C S 1313, which covers the C++ programming language).
- Take Chemistry; the BS degree requires that you complete General Chemistry I (CHEM 1315)
- If you are a high school student, take AP classes in as many subjects as possible; take the AP tests at the end of these courses to earn college credit. Studies have shown that students who take AP courses (regardless of the subject area), have much more realistic expectations of the amount of work necessary to succeed in courses at a university.
- You may also establish credit for some degree requirements by CLEP. Up to 1/4 of your degree requirements may be fulfilled with CLEP or AP credit.
- A Bachelor of Science degree through the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences requires two years of high school foreign language (in the same language, with grades of C or better), or two beginning semesters in a foreign language at the college level.
- Prepare for and take the ACT, SAT, and PSAT exams. Retake these tests if your initial scores were low.
- Gradually increase your study time; many students study fewer than four hours per week; expect to study at least 15 hours per week to succeed in the meteorology degree program.
Careers in meteorology include weather forecasting, research in federal laboratories, teaching and research in colleges and universities, consulting for government and private industry and radio and television broadcasting. In general, advanced degrees in meteorology lead to a wider range of employment opportunities. Please visit the School of Meteorology job board for more information.