Can you picture yourself helping people prepare for our changing environment? Are you interested in becoming a weather forecaster or enjoying a research career in meteorology?

The BS degree in applied atmospheric science prepares students to apply knowledge of weather and climate, meteorological observations, and forecasting to the societal challenges of natural hazards and climate change. You will learn the latest geospatial technologies, such as geographic information science and cartographic design, and apply them to understanding coastal hazards, severe weather, and hydrology. The Department of Geography, Planning, and Environment maintains two state-of-the-art weather stations to monitor atmospheric variables in the heart of the city and at a remote field site. The program also has a newly refurbished Atmospheric Science Lab, which houses instrumentation and the latest weather and climate computer software. Students graduating with this degree will have all the necessary skills required by the National Weather Service and the American Meteorological Society to be considered meteorologists.

ECU Advantage

The BS degree in applied atmospheric science distinguishes itself from traditional majors in atmospheric science by including strong geographic information science, remote sensing, and instrumentation components. Thus, students will develop highly sought-after technical skills to address real-world problems. This is the only program with a core mission to apply atmospheric science principles to environmental sustainability and economic prosperity. Finally, the program maintains a keen sensitivity to issues uniquely facing eastern North Carolina: agriculture meteorology, hurricanes, storm surge, coastal climatology, nor'easters, drought, and climate change.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Hong-Bing Su (223-A Brewster Building; 252-328-1040; suh@ecu.edu)

Minimum degree requirement is 120 s.h. of credit as follows:

1. General education requirements including the one listed below - 40 s.h.

(For information about courses that carry general education credit see General Education Program.)

  • MATH 1065 - College Algebra
2. Core - 37 s.h.
  • ATMO 1300 - Weather and Climate
  • ATMO 2510 - Physical Meteorology
  • ATMO 3230 - Global Climates
  • ATMO 3520 - Dynamic Meteorology
  • ATMO 3550 - Principles of Synoptic Meteorology
  • ATMO 4510 - Meteorological Instruments and Observations
  • ATMO 4525 - Dynamic Meteorology II
  • ATMO 4550 - Applied Synoptic Meteorology: Analyses and Forecasting
  • ATMO 4580 - Radar and Satellite Meteorology
  • GEOG 2250 - Earth Surface Systems
  • GEOG 2400 - Spatial Data Analysis
  • GEOG 2410 - Fundamentals of GIS
  • GEOG 4999 - Geography Professional Seminar
3. Cognates - 28-30* s.h.
  • MATH 1083 - Introduction to Functions or
  • MATH 1085 - Pre-Calculus Mathematics

  • MATH 2171 - Calculus I
  • MATH 2172 - Calculus II
  • MATH 2173 - Calculus III
  • MATH 4331 - Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations
  • PHYS 1251 - General Physics Laboratory I *
  • PHYS 1261 - General Physics Laboratory II *
  • PHYS 2350 - University Physics I *
  • PHYS 2360 - University Physics II *
  • *Note:

    May count 7 s.h. (at least one lab) toward the natural science general education requirement.

    4. Atmospheric science electives - 6 s.h.

    (Choose from the following courses.)

    • ATMO 4520 - Boundary Layer Meteorology
    • ATMO 4530 - Micrometeorology
    • ATMO 4540 - Coastal Storms
    • ATMO 4590 - Tropical Meteorology
    • CHEM 1150 - General Chemistry I
    • CHEM 1151 - General Chemistry Laboratory I
    5. Geography electives - 6 s.h.

    (Choose from the following courses.)

    • GEOG 2350 - Climate Change: Science and Society
    • GEOG 3220 - Soil Properties, Surveys, and Applications
    • GEOG 3250 - Environmental Hazards
    • GEOG 4210 - Fluvial and Hydrological Processes
    • GEOG 4220 - Coastal Geography
    • GEOG 4230 - Earth Surface Processes
    • GEOG 4270 - Water Resources Management and Planning
    • GEOG 4801 - Geographic Internship
    • GEOG 4802 - Geographic Internship
    • GEOG 4803 - Geographic Internship
    6. Geospatial technologies electives - 6 s.h.

    (Choose from the following courses.)

    • CSCI 1010 - Algorithmic Problem Solving
    • CSCI 1011 - Algorithmic Problem Solving Lab
    • GEOG 3420 - Remote Sensing of the Environment I
    • GEOG 3430 - Geographic Information Systems I
    • GEOG 3450 - Introduction to the Global Positioning System
    • GEOG 3460 - GIS Applications Programming
    • GEOG 4150 - Advanced Spatial Analysis
    • GEOG 4410 - Advanced Cartographic Design and Production
    • GEOG 4420 - Remote Sensing II
    • GEOG 4430 - Geographic Information Systems II
    • GEOG 4440 - Coastal Applications of GIS
    • GEOG 4450 - GIScience, Society and Technology
    • GEOG 4460 - Digital Terrain Analysis
    7. General electives to complete requirements for graduation.
      For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

      Careers With This Degree

      Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

      • Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology
      • Atmospheric and Space Scientists
      • Atmospheric, Earth, Marine and Space Teachers, Postsecondary
      • Scientific and Technical Services
      • Education and Training
      • Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology

      Career Opportunities

      ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

      NC Tower

      This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

      • Self-employed;
      • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
      • Work outside of North Carolina.

      US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

      This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

      Degree-specific internships

      For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.