Atmospheric Science (BS)

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This program was approved for students entering the university in the Summer 2019–Spring 2020 catalog year. For more information about catalog year, go to Catalog Year Information.

Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Science
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Academic Plan Code(s): ATMSBS

Program Information

Atmospheric Science is an ever-changing field that continues to grow in scope and knowledge.

There are several universities across the U.S. with undergraduate Atmospheric Science programs, but few with the Louisville area's various and ever-changing climate patterns. Louisville has seen snow on the ground one day—and 70 degrees the next; hurricane force winds; ice storm damage;major tornado outbreaks...along with everything in between. The rich weather history of Louisville makes UofL a perfect place to study the atmosphere and its processes.

The University of Louisville sits in the center of one of the densest populations of professional meteorologists in the world. The National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Louisville is just minutes away from campus, and affords students many volunteer internship and research opportunities. Louisville's four major media outlets all take interns and actively collaborate with our program, and the United Parcel Service (UPS) has its global meteorology group based in Louisville, with a shadow program for students.

Completion of this degree requires work to be submitted for the department’s Learning Outcomes Measurement. For details, contact the department.

Degree Summary

General Education Requirements 131
College/School Requirements13-15
Program/Major Requirements 175-77
Minimum Total Hours121

Specific coursework information can be found on the Degree Requirements tab.

Departmental Admission Requirements

The entry-level requirement for the BS in Atmospheric Science is 24 on ACT Math or 550 on SAT Math or a C in Calculus II (MATH 206).

The application for major form can be found on the Arts & Sciences Advising Center website.

General Education Requirements

General Education Requirements *31
The following courses are required by the program and can satisfy the respective General Education Requirement:
Introductory Mechanics, Heat and Sound - S
Introductory Laboratories I - SL
Calculus I - QR

All degrees require the completion of the University-wide General Education Program (link provided above).  Some General Education requirements may be met in the requirements for the major or supporting coursework, in which case additional electives may be required to complete the minimum hours for the degree.

College/School Requirements

Arts & Sciences Requirements
GEN 100Student Success Center Orientation1
or GEN 101 Arts and Sciences Orientation
Foreign Language 16-8
Electives in Humanities or Social Sciences at 300-level or above, in addition to Courses counted toward General Education6
WR—two approved courses at the 300 level or above 2
Minimum Total Hours13-15

Program/Major Requirements

Department of Physics
Physics Core
PHYS 295Introductory Laboratories I - SL1
PHYS 296Introductory Laboratories II - SL1
PHYS 298Introductory Mechanics, Heat and Sound - S4
PHYS 299Introductory Electricity, Magnetism and Light4
PHYS 300Introductory Modern Physics3
Atmospheric Science Core
PHYS/GEOS 220Contemporary Issues in Meteorology - S3
PHYS 360Introduction to Weather Analysis3
PHYS 361Atmospheric Thermodynamics3
PHYS 362Physical Meteorology3
PHYS 365Mesoscale Meteorology3
PHYS 465Dynamic Meteorology I3
PHYS 466Dynamic Meteorology II3
GEOG 355Introduction to Remote Sensing3
PHYS 469Synoptic Meteorology - CUE3
Supporting Courses
MATH 205Calculus I - QR4
MATH 206Calculus II4
MATH 301Calculus III4
PHYS 350Differential Equations for the Physical Sciences4
A minimum of 9 hours from the following Related Electives: 9
Surface Water Hydrology
Organic Chemistry I
Elements of Physical Chemistry
Climate Science
Statistical Data Analysis - WR
Optics Laboratory
Thermal Physics
Electromagnetic Fields
Advanced Optics
Advanced Optics Lab
Minimum Electives 310-12
Minimum Total Hours75-77

Only 60 hours in the major department may be applied toward the Bachelor of Science degree.

At least 50 of the total minimum hours required must be at the 300 level or above.

Culminating Undergrade Experience (Graduation requirement)
Requirement fulfilled by completing:
Synoptic Meteorology - CUE

Flight Plan

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
GEN 100
Student Success Center Orientation
or Arts and Sciences Orientation
ENGL 101 Introduction to College Writing - WC 3
MATH 205 Calculus I - QR 4
Foreign Language 1 3-4
GEOS 220
Contemporary Issues in Meteorology - S
or Contemporary Issues in Meteorology - S
ENGL 102 Intermediate College Writing - WC 3
MATH 206 Calculus II 4
PHYS 298 Introductory Mechanics, Heat and Sound - S 4
PHYS 295 Introductory Laboratories I - SL 1
Foreign Language 2 3-4
Year 2
MATH 301 Calculus III 4
PHYS 299 Introductory Electricity, Magnetism and Light 4
PHYS 296 Introductory Laboratories II - SL 1
PHYS 360 Introduction to Weather Analysis 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Oral Communication - OC 3
General Elective 1
PHYS 361 Atmospheric Thermodynamics 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities - AH 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences US Diversity - SBD1 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences Historical Perspective - SBH 3
Related Elective 3
Year 3
PHYS 362 Physical Meteorology 3
PHYS 350 Differential Equations for the Physical Sciences 4
PHYS 465 Dynamic Meteorology I 3
Related Elective 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities Global Diversity - AHD2 3
PHYS 365 Mesoscale Meteorology 3
PHYS 466 Dynamic Meteorology II 3
Related Elective 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
Year 4
GEOG 355 Introduction to Remote Sensing 3
PHYS 300 Introductory Modern Physics 3
Humanities or Social Science Elective (300 level or above) 3
WR Elective (300 level or above) 3
General Elective 3
PHYS 469 Synoptic Meteorology - CUE 3
Humanities or Social Science Elective (300 level or above) 3
WR Elective (300 level or above) 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
 Minimum Total Hours121-123

Degree Audit Report
Degree Audit reports illustrate how your completed courses fulfill the requirements of your academic plan.  What-if reports allow you to compare the courses you have completed in your current academic plan to the courses required in another academic plan.  Should you have questions about either report, please consult with your academic advisor.

To create either report:

  1. Log into your ULink account.
  2. Click on the Student Services tab.
  3. Next, click on "View my Academic Advisement Report" to run a Degree Audit report in the Undergraduate Advising area. 
  4. To create a What-if report, click on "Create a What-if Advisement Report."

Click here to run a Degree Audit report, or create a What-if report.

Flight Planner
Based on your major, the Flight Planner tool may be available for you to create a personalized Flight Plan.  The Flight Planner can be found in the ULink Student Center.  Consult with your advisor for assistance with the Flight Planner.