Atmospheric Science B.S. Degree Advisement Advice
For all students intending this major:
1. The Atmospheric
Science B.S. (essentially the same as Meteorology)
is a combined major-minor
(i.e. has a "built in" minor due to the required foundation coursework) that,
in total, requires a minimum of 66
credits. One does not "apply to"
this major. It need only be declared formally by the student, presumably after
appropriate consideration of many aspects such as listed here. Formal
declaration of a major must presently be done in person via submission of a
paper form at the Registrar or the Advisement Services Center (ASC).
2. Students seeking this degree do not need to declare a separate minor. Nonetheless, many students
in this major do so, to have an "edge" in seeking employment opportunities
after graduation. Typical additional declared minors include math (requiring just two additional
courses), physics, and computer science. Some students declare
more than one additional minor or add areas of peripheral relevance, such as business (for a student who wants to
work in the private sector, for example). The minor in broadcast meteorology is available only to ATM B.S. majors, and is
appropriate to individuals intending to work in a media position related to
weather forecasting. More detail on the possible minors available can be found
3. This major requires strong
to superior math ability. A rough rule of thumb is that
a student attempting this major should have at least a score of 600 in the math (quantitative) component of the
4. The MAP (Major Academic Pathway) for this degree can be
found online at http://www.albany.edu/advisement/MAPs/Atmospheric_Science_2012.pdf.
Please examine this matrix for the recommended sequence of courses in this
major. This is most relevant to a student starting as a freshman in the fall
semester. The same major requirements
apply to transfer students, which makes progression through the major as a
transfer student somewhat more problematic. This will be addressed below under
the section For Transfer Students.
The Undergraduate Bulletin pertaining to this major can be found at http://www.albany.edu/undergraduate_bulletin/program_atmospheric_science.html.
5. The core
atmospheric science sequence starts with AATM 209 and AATM 210; this
sequence is heavy with prerequisites,
requiring foundation coursework such as Calculus (AMAT 111 or 112 and 113) and
calculus-based Physics (APHY 140/145 and 150) in the first year, as well as additional
foundation coursework in the second year and lower-level AATM courses required
as prerequisites for later (upper level) AATM courses. This degree is designed
to allow a student to pursue advanced degree work in atmospheric science or
meteorology (i.e. MS or Ph.D.)
6. The ability to
take AATM courses out of sequence or to compress the sequence is VERY limited. There are significant
implications in this respect to attempting study abroad or other instances in
which the normal course sequence is interrupted. Careful planning and
consultation with your advisor is necessary if an interruption of the sequence
is being considered.
7. The reason for the above assertion is that AATM courses
above the 100-level are offered only once
per year and not at all in the summer;
certain elective courses are offered only every other year.
calculus-based introductory physics courses are accepted; general or
algebra-based physics such as APHY 105 and APHY 108 or equivalent, for example,
are not accepted; only one physics
lab course is required: APHY 145. In this singular
instance, APHY 106 may be substituted for APHY145.
9. Only one semester
of introductory chemistry is
required, ACHM 120; no chemistry lab is required; if truly necessary, ACHM 120
can be delayed a semester or two. One specific caution: ACHM 120 is a pre-req
for AATM 307.
10. An Honors degree
option is available; this is independent of the University's Honors College,
and should be considered by advisement for only the most qualified students;
you must apply to the Chair to be accepted to do the Honors degree by the first
semester of the junior year. See the Undergraduate Bulletin for details: http://www.albany.edu/undergraduate_bulletin/program_atmospheric_science.html.
Dual majors are also encouraged for superior students, and in the past have
included mathematics, physics or computer science.
11. General Education
requirements apply to all majors
and must be met in addition to the major requirements; fortunately, there is some
overlap. All other University level requirements also must be met.
12. There is an ongoing internship
program available to qualified students; students can intern in the
National Weather Service Forecast Office located on campus, typically during
their junior or senior year or over the summer. This can be done for credit
through AATM 490. Mr. Ross Lazear (email@example.com) oversees the
program within the department and should be contacted for more detailed
advisement of students is a priority
in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences (http://www.atmos.albany.edu),
and we encourage all majors to consult with their advisors regularly, to seek
help or advice early on to avoid problems from becoming acute. Many resources
are available to keep students on track toward completing the degree, provided
that faculty advisors are adequately informed of relevant issues and
difficulties as they arise. Lastly, consulting this document does NOT supplant
an advisement session with your appointed advisor. To be able to register, you
will need an AVN (advisement verification number), which after your initial
admission to the major, will be available ONLY from your officially designated
For transfer students:
14. Transfer students
arriving with credit for Calculus I and
II, as well as Physics I and II will still need six semesters (three years) to
complete the AATM course sequence, basically due to points 6 and 7 above.
15. Transfer students
admitted for the fall semester lacking Calculus II and/or Physics I should
attempt to complete either or both of these courses over the summer prior to
the fall semester. If necessary to choose between these two courses, Calculus
II has the higher priority to complete before starting the AATM sequence.
16. Transfer students
arriving devoid of all foundation coursework and intending this
major should resign themselves to needing eight
semesters (four years) to complete the degree.
17. We accept credit
for Atmospheric Science or Meteorology courses from very few other
institutions and only occasionally. A detailed syllabus will be required to
argue for course equivalency in specific instances.
18. Transfer students
entering in the spring semester usually will not be able to start the AATM core sequence due to AATM 209/210
being offered only in the fall semester.
In certain cases, it may make more sense to delay transfer admission to UA until
the fall. For instance, a student lacking physics and/or calculus could address
this deficit at their current institution (presumably more comfortably) over
the spring semester, and then have the prerequisites completed for AATM 209/210
in the fall semester. In other cases, it may be advantageous to yet transfer in
during the spring semester. Each students situation must be assessed according
to the specifics involved and in consultation with a department advisor.
19. Transfer credit equivalency can be determined via the
Transfer Equivalency Data Bank: https://eapps.albany.edu/tas
For freshman or potential freshman:
20. Due to the
importance of mathematics in this major, familiarity and competence with
calculus is a high priority. A pre-calculus or calculus course in high
school is recommended. While taking calculus here at UA, it is critical to
remain in sequence and to get the maximum out of these courses.
21. The calculus-based introductory physics coursework also is critical, and should never be delayed. If you are still in
high school, it is strongly recommended that you take at least standard physics,
or better, AP physics.
22. In the first year, it is recommended that intended majors take AATM courses at the
100-level, even though these will not apply credit toward the major. Success
in such courses will be a strong indicator of the appropriateness of the
23. There are no department scholarships available.
Scholarship opportunities can be had via the University's Presidential Scholars
state and federal programs, and the American Meteorological Society (http://www.ametsoc.org).