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Atmospheric Sciences Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1. With the Atmospheric Sciences Certificate, can I work as a meteorologist?

Yes, the certificate and its curriculum meet both Federal requirements for civil service employment as a meteorologist (e.g., with the National Weather Service, NOAA, NASA, FAA, etc.) and the American Meteorological Society's recommended atmospheric sciences coursework for completion of the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM).

2. What are careers/jobs that Atmospheric Sciences alumni have attained after graduation?

Our graduates have gone on to positions in broadcast television, energy/utilities Industry, National Weather Service/NOAA, emergency management, environmental consulting, among others.

3. I want to be a TV or broadcast meteorologist; shouldn't I get a journalism or communications degree and take a few atmospheric sciences courses?

The trend in the broadcast field is toward hiring meteorologists rather than journalists. Most station managers now hire broadcast meteorologists who either have the AMS CBM (Certified Broadcast Meteorology seal) or are qualified to apply for the CBM. The CBM is administered by the AMS and requires a comprehensive test, in addition to an on-camera presentation. It is important to note that you will not even be allowed to take the CBM test if you do not have certain core atmospheric sciences coursework on your transcript. Our program's curriculum meets this requirement.

4. Do atmospheric sciences students continue to graduate school or enter the workforce?

Many of our students go onto reputable graduate programs in geography, geoscience, meteorology, atmospheric sciences, and other fields. Our graduates have gone to top meteorology/atmospheric science graduate programs, including Colorado State, Florida State, Penn State, and Texas A&M, among other programs. Some students go directly into the work force.

5. How long does it take to get the combined Certificate in Atmospheric Sciences with my B.S. degree?

This can vary depending upon student majors, scheduling, and dedication. A 4-5 year time frame is reasonable. This may vary for transfer or returning students depending on their backgrounds in math and science.

6. Besides TV and the National Weather Service, what are jobs that a person with a Certificate in Atmospheric Sciences and B.S. in Geography degree could pursue?

Federal and state government meteorologists (NWS, NOAA, EPA, NASA, DOI, DOT, state agencies, etc.), broadcast meteorology production, environmental/atmospheric science consulting and services, aviation industry (e.g., Delta Air Lines, UPS, FAA, National Transportation Safety Board), other private industry (agriculture, food and product services, energy, transportation, forensics), climate and climate services are all possibilities. The American Meteorological Society is a good source for information on careers in the atmospheric sciences.

7. What makes the UGA program unique from other universities offering programs in this field?

The UGA program provides a top-notch AMS and federally recognized curriculum in the atmospheric sciences taught by acclaimed professors recognized for their teaching and research. Additionally, because our program is interdisciplinary, and focused in Geography, students are exposed to a broader set of academic coursework, training and experiences that make them competitive and, in some cases, unique compared to students who complete a traditional atmospheric sciences curriculum. In addition to the typical meteorology curriculum, students may choose coursework in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), cartographic/remote sensing methods, climatology-climate sciences, and societal-human implications of weather and climate. 

Additionally, because we are located in Georgia, our students have access to National Weather Service, FAA, Delta and UPS Aviation Meteorological Services, CNN, The Weather Channel, a top 10 media market, and other major industries that have meteorological interests.

8. Do Atmospheric Science students get internships?

Yes, our students have interned at the NWS/NOAA, The Weather Channel, CNN, Delta Air Lines, and local television stations in Atlanta and other markets. An internship can count for academic credit toward the Certificate in Atmospheric Sciences.

9. Can a student complete the certificate via distance education? 

No. We do not offer our courses off campus or via distance education.

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