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Atmospheric Sciences Program

For Prospective Students

Who We Are

UGA at the 100th Annual AMS Meeting in Boston, MA
UGA ATSC at the 100th AMS annual meeting, Boston, MA, 2020.

The UGA Atmospheric Sciences Program (ATSC) is nationally recognized for the quality of its students, the successes of its alumni, and the teaching and research expertise of its faculty. We are a medium-sized (50-60 majors) program at a large public research university. We focus on undergraduates and prepare them not only for today's career opportunities, but also for the future in this quick-changing field.

Our Students

ATSC Sp 22 Grads
Some of our Spring 2022 ATSC graduates!

We love them! They are the heart and soul of our program. Most of them come from Georgia, although we have recruited students from as far away as Maryland and New Jersey. As part of our state's flagship public university, we want our program to resemble the population of Georgia. We have one of the most diverse programs in the nation, ranking 2nd in the nation in the percentage of women B.S. recipients (  Our current student population is about 50% women and 25% students of color as of Spring 2023. Close to forty percent of our students transfer in from another university

Molly McCollum Weather Channel
Emmy-winning Weather Channel on-camera meteorologist Molly McCollum (UGA 2015).


We have a student-led chapter of the American Meteorological Society and a student-led honor society, Chi Epsilon Pi (ΧΕΠ), that both meet regularly and host extracurricular events, from guest speakers to trivia/game nights and swim parties.

Our students also do a wide range of internships at TV stations and the National Weather Service.  They attend top REU (research experiences for undergraduates) programs around the na

tion, perform award-winning research here at UGA with our faculty, and win prestigious national awards such as the NOAA Hollings Scholarship (8 UGA winners) and AMS undergraduate scholarships (11 UGA winners).  

Our Alumni

Pie chart of alumni career outcomes
Snapshot of all UGA ATSC alumni career/education choices as of July 2022.

UGA ATSC alums include broadcast meteorologists with the AMS Certification in Broadcast Meteorology (CBM) in top markets from Atlanta and Nashville to Birmingham and Tampa. We're on The Weather Channel, and on TV in Sweden too!

We're also working in the National Weather Service from Eureka, CA to Wilmington, NC.

 We attend the best graduate schools in the nation, from Colorado State University to North Carolina State University (below).

Grad students Morgan Bell and Amanda Bowden
UGA ATSC alums and graduate students Morgan Bell (UGA 2020; NC State) and Amanda Bowden (UGA 2021; CSU), outside our front door!

 About half of our students go to graduate school. We go on to do research at the National Hurricane Center in Miami and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO. We are officers in the Air Force and make forecasts for Air Force One. We fly planes in the Navy and work for Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.


Some of us use our geography training and enjoy work in geographic information science (GIS) for companies and for governments. Still others work in the energy industry, and in jobs related to the outdoors. 

We're a young program, so our alumni are young and on the rise, too--and they will do anything to help current students!

Our Faculty

Our major is housed in the Department of Geography, and we have seven full-time Geography faculty--one of the largest groups of atmospheric scientists in any geography department in the nation. But our program is also interdisciplinary, and faculty members from Statistics, Chemistry, Engineering, and other colleges also participate as well.

Dr. Marshall Shepherd speaking at FSU Commencement
ATSC Program Director Dr. Marshall Shepherd, 2022 SEC Professor of the Year.

Our faculty include multiple national-award-winning researchers, and several UGA-award-winning teachers. They testify before Congress;

Flavia Moraes Tom Mote
Founding ATSC Program Director Dr. Tom Mote with Ph.D. recipient Flavia Moraes in 2021. Flavia is now a faculty member at Georgia State University.

and they mentor both undergraduates and graduate students in research projects that lead to publications in high-impact journals. Because of the low student-faculty ratio, our students get to know our faculty well. Our alums will tell you that this is one of the best aspects of our program.  

Our Curriculum

Our major can be completed in four years even without prior AP or dual-enrollment credits. With careful advisement prior to transferring to UGA (please contact us ASAP if you're planning to transfer), transfer students can complete the degree in two years. For especially well-prepared and high-achieving students, we offer a "Double Dawgs" five-year combined B.S. in atmospheric sciences/M.S. in geography. 

Our curriculum is designed to provide both breadth and depth. We are in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and the breadth requirements help our students expand their horizons and hone their liberal-arts skills, including both oral and written communication.

Within our Geography Department, we strongly encourage double-majoring with a B.S. in geography.  Depending on your prior coursework, the second major in geography may require as few as four additional classes.

On the depth side, our coursework satisfies the National Weather Service requirements for employment as a meteorologist, and closely follows the American Meteorological Society recommendations for the bachelor's degree in our discipline.

We also are leaders in innovation in curriculum. At UGA we have developed unique courses on Data Assimilation, Urban Climatology, and a new Hidden Figures in the Atmospheric Sciences class that explores the diversity inherent (but often hidden) in our field. We also

Matt Daniel and Ginger Zee 2012
Matt Daniel (UGA 2014), founder of AthensGaWeather, with a friend of our program Ginger Zee, chief meteorologist at ABC News, here in Athens in 2012. As AMS chapter President, Matt conceived of and planned Ginger's visit. He's now at WBRC-TV in Birmingham, AL.

combine a Weather Forecasting Seminar with our digital meteorology social media initiatives, now branded as WeatherDawgs. This social media initiative, begun as side

projects by UGA students Matt Daniel and Austin Chaney, give students experience doing hyperlocal forecasting, on-camera presentations, and social media updates, which is the reality in broadcast meteorology today. Our students make forecasts, do live "wall-to-wall" streaming during severe weather, and get jobs based on their on-camera experience.

Austin Chaney WHIO-TV
Austin Chaney (UGA 2020), founder of North Georgia Weather Authority, now chief meteorologist at WHIO-TV in Dayton, OH.

The common theme of these innovative courses is: to expand our students' understanding of atmospheric sciences in the same directions that our field is gravitating toward, now and in the near future.


Latest Additions

Our program has added an X-band radar (in conjunction with Georgia Tech) to detect inclement weather in the "radar void" between Atlanta and Athens; WSI Max, the industry standard for professional broadcast meteorology graphics; and, via a UGA grant, numerical modeling capabilities in the cloud using the WRF forecast model. These additions are providing new educational and research opportunities for our undergraduates!

Interested? See the Curriculum link and the Four-Year Plans (ATSC major, and double major in ATSC and GEOG) or the Two-Year Plan for transfer students for more information!

Support us

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about how to help us grow.

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.