Climate Science

Climate Science Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Earth Science: Climate Science Concentration

About the Climate Science Degree

Changes in Earth’s climate impact businesses and industries, agriculture and medicine, our environment and our local communities.

With a climate science degree from California University of Pennsylvania, you’ll be ready to address our society’s growing concerns and mitigation efforts related to the effects of a changing climate.

The climate science concentration in Cal U’s Earth science degree program provides an in-depth study of climatology and related fields. Through a robust array of both online and on-campus courses, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills needed to understand complex climate-based issues and how they interrelate with physical hazards in the natural world.

This 120-credit climate science program can position you for graduate-level study or prepare you for climate science jobs associated with weather, climate variability and environmental concerns arising from both natural and human influences.

As a trained climate scientist, you can impact the future of our planet.

Benefit from a unique professional partnership.

Cal U is the only university partnered with the American Meteorological Society (AMS), the world’s most renowned professional society for atmospheric, oceanic and hydrologic (water) scientists.

Through this partnership, faculty in Cal U’s undergraduate climate science degree program have access to special climate-focused learning materials.

They encourage students to participate in the local AMS student chapter, which provides opportunities for travel to professional meetings and to take part in weather/climate discussions, analysis and forecasting. Some weather/climate outlooks are disseminated to a wide range of stakeholders in the greater Pittsburgh region.

Cal U also has a strong relationship with the National Weather Service office in Moon Township, Pa., which opens doors to internships and research projects with NWS staff.


IN-DEMAND CAREER: Weather and climate influence decision-making and long-term planning in fields ranging from business and finance to government and public health. And the need for climate scientists is growing as the effects of climate change become increasingly evident. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job growth of 12% for atmospheric scientists (including meteorologists) between 2016 and 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. 

EXPERT FACULTY: Faculty in Cal U’s Earth Sciences Department are experts in climatology, meteorology and related fields, as well as committed teachers and research mentors. Their professional connections bring added value to the climate science program. For example, Dr. Chad Kauffman is curriculum development coordinator for the American Meteorological Society’s DataStreme program, and he worked with AMS professionals to author a textbook, Our Changing Climate: An Introduction to Climate Science. 

ALUMNI SUCCESSGraduates of Cal U’s Earth sciences programs are contributing to advances in climate science.


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Credits required to complete the B.S. in Earth Science: Climate Science concentration.
Median annual salary (in 2018) for atmospheric scientists, including meteorologists, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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Degree Benefits

Cal U’s climate science degree program applies academic rigor to  an issue of real and growing concern. It channels a passion for environmental stewardship into career-focused education and hands-on training that can be applied in a wide variety of climate science jobs. Alternatively, the concentration can serve as a springboard to graduate-level study. Program requirements build a solid foundation of knowledge in climatology and related fields such as geology and meteorology; electives encourage deeper exploration of topics such as cloud physics, geographic information systems (GIS), environmental science and conservation biology. Because of Cal U’s relationships with the American Meteorological Society, the National Weather Service and private companies, students have opportunities to engage in meaningful internships and research collaborations.

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Graduate Benefits

The climate science concentration prepares students to succeed in graduate school or to seek employment in private industry, where climate-focused planning is essential to fields such as transportation, finance, insurance, construction and environmental consulting. Employment opportunities also exist in planning agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government agencies that address climate issues and public policy. Earth science graduates from Cal U are creating climate models that contribute to our understanding of historic climate patterns and future climate trends – work that helps to identify vulnerabilities and mitigate risk.


Curriculum and Related Programs

Curriculum - Bachelor's

Course Credits
Freshman Year  
First Semester 17
CIS 120  Problem Solving and Programming 3
EAS 104  Intro to Meteorology 4
ENG 101  English Composition I 3
MAT 281  Calculus I 3
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar 1
General Education OR Free Elective Course 3
Second Semester 16
COM 101  Oral Communication 3
EAS 142  Introduction to Climate Science 3
EAS 163  Intro to Oceans and Climate 3
PHY 101  College Physics I 4
MAT 282  Calculus II 3
Sophomore Year  
Third Semester 16
EAS 245  Weather Analysis and Forecasting I 4
GEO 220  Geography of North America 3
MAT 215  Statistics 3
PHY 202  College Physics II 4
General Education OR Free Elective Course 3
Fourth Semester 17
EAS 150  Introduction to Geology 4
EAS 300  Natural Hazards 3
GIS 311  Geographic Information Systems 3
PHS 137  Envi Chemistry 4
Any Recommended OR Free Elective Course 3
Junior Year  
Fifth Semester 15
EAS 323  Atmos Instrument and Measurement 3
EAS 369  Climate Dynamics 3
EAS 419  Applied Climatology 3
Any Recommended OR Free Elective Courses 6
Sixth Semester 15
EAS 414  Synoptic Climatology 3
EAS 431  Digital Media for Weather and Climate 3
Any Recommended OR Free Elective Courses 9
Senior Year  
Seventh Semester 15
EAS 452  Atmos Thermodynamics and Radiation 3
EAS 469  Global Climate Change 3
Any Recommended OR Free Elective Courses 9
Eighth Semester 12
EAS 465  Seminar in Atmospheric Science 3
Any Recommended OR Free Elective Courses 9
Total 120

Program Notes

  • 42 credits of advanced coursework at the 300- or 400-level are required. 

Recommended Electives

(at least 12 credits)

  • BIO 248  General Ecology (3 credits)
  • EAS 200  Historical Geology (3 credits)
  • EAS 303  Hydrology (3 credits)
  • EAS 316  Subsurface Geology Land Mgmt (3 credits)
  • EAS 323  Atmos Instrument and Measurement (3 credits)
  • EAS 342  Dynamic Meteorology I (3 credits)
  • EAS 346  Tropical Meteorology & Climate (3 credits)
  • EAS 442  Dynamic Meteorology II (3 credits)
  • EAS 453  Cloud Physics (3 credits)
  • ENS 101  Introduction to Environ Science (3 credits)
  • ENS 399  Conservation Biology (3 credits)
  • ENS 440  Environ Pollution Control (3 credits)
  • GIS 350  Remote Sensing of Environment (3 credits)
  • GIS 413  Environmental Applications GIS (3 credits
  • MAT 360  Non-Parametric Statistics (3 credits)

Related Programs



Above representation of climate.

How do weather and climate differ?

In a word: time. Weather science, or meteorology, focuses on the state of the atmosphere – temperature, humidity, cloud cover, precipitation and wind – over a period of hours, days or weeks. Climate science takes a longer view, looking at atmospheric changes over a span of years, decades or centuries to see how they impact our planet and its inhabitants.   

Climate scientists looking at a computer.

What does a climatologist do?

Climate scientists collect, analyze and report on data about Earth’s climate in the past and present – and they may use those data to forecast future trends. According to NASA, their tools range “from the latest satellite observations to samples of prehistoric ice extracted from glaciers.” Climate science professionals also may develop tools and techniques to assist in climate research. Read about a Cal U graduate who contributes to climate research in the Arctic.

Climate map

How do climate scientists make a difference?

Climate scientists help us understand our rapidly changing world. Their insights can help us identify hazards, mitigate risks and adapt to climate change. All human interests – business and industry, real estate, trade, agricultural production, and our environment – are influenced by our changing climate.


Climate Science Faculty

Dr. Swarndeep Gill
Associate Professor

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Dr. Chad Kauffman
Professor and program director; curriculum development coordinator, AMS DataStreme program

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Dr. Mario Majcen
Associate Professor

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