Meteorology Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Earth Science On-campus

About Meteorology

Build a strong foundation for your future career in meteorology.

At PennWest California, you will learn about the atmosphere in depth and explore the dynamic ways the Earth, climate and weather interconnect. In the Bachelor of Science in Earth Science degree program, the meteorology concentration will help you understand how incredibly challenging weather forecasting can be, especially under extreme atmospheric conditions. 

Meteorology students learn how to perform state-of-the-art research. Our program gives undergraduate meteorology majors the opportunity to attend or present their research at professional conferences, sometimes in collaboration with other professionals.

Benefit from a holistic education in Earth sciences.

PennWest California's meteorology degree program is especially distinctive because the concentration is part of the Earth Sciences Department. As a student studying Earth sciences, you'll have opportunities to work with modern technologies, software, databases and field methods. You will also take field courses designed to give you practical experiences.

PennWest California has one of the few undergraduate meteorology programs that offers a course in global climate change, which also satisfies the ethics and multicultural requirements for PennWest California's general education courses. This course is one of five climate-related courses in the meteorology curriculum.  Very few programs offer more than one climate-related course in the meteorology program.

Among our other strengths is our program's affiliation as a local chapter of two larger professional societies: The National Weather Service (NWS) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS).


Solid foundation: The Earth Sciences Department houses a meteorology lab, which is equipped with 22 dual-boot Windows/Linux computers with interactive meteorological software and visualization programs to enhance student research and learning. This lab also has a live feed to Unidata for real-time meteorological analyses to improve student forecasting skills. Meteorology students have access to a state-of-the-art broadcast studio with multiple digital cameras, chroma key and production equipment to develop their skills in broadcast meteorology. The digital studio also features a 70-inch touchscreen AccuWeather StoryTeller system, which uses numerous on-air apps, such as StormDirector+, woven into the platform. Students are able to broadcast live via Periscope and Facebook Live, as well as share content with our campus television station, CUTV. We also offer six meteorology courses with labs in which students gain hands-on experiences.

Career edge: Meteorology majors can get practical experience in numerous ways. Students interested in broadcast meteorology participate in internships, available at numerous TV stations. Some students choose stations close to their home during the summer, but PennWest California also has excellent connections for internships at Pittsburgh TV stations. Students interested in forecasting can intern with the Pittsburgh office of the National Weather Service (NWS). Meteorology majors who want to go on to graduate school can take advantage of Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs, including internships at such federal agencies as the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Okla., and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Fla.

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Median pay (in 2018) for atmospheric scientists, including meteorologists, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Expected employment growth in the field between 2016 and 2026, faster than the average of all occupations.


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Degree Benefits

PennWest California's meteorology program offers both academic rigor and experienced advising to help you shape a program that matches your career goals. The meteorology program fully implements American Meteorological Society guidelines for a bachelor's degree in meteorology. The program has expanded over the years with the addition of expert faculty, enabling students to gain a broad education to prepare for career success. Among our exceptional courses is a field experience that allows students to chase tornadoes and practice severe weather forecasting skills in real time. PennWest California is the only university in the region to offer this type of course for credit. We are the first school to offer an upper-division Digital Media Meteorology course that takes advantage of our unique technological partnership with AccuWeather. Students are required to generate, curate and produce original digital weather-related content that is pushed out to our various social media outlets, including the meteorology program's YouTube account.

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Graduate Outcomes

PennWest California meteorology graduates go on to weather enterprises in private industry, the military (Navy and Air Force), consulting firms, the federal government, the broadcast industry, air quality companies, GIS firms, and local and county government. Most often, meteorology graduates work for TV stations or go on to graduate study. A sampling of PennWest California meteorology graduates includes Dr. Patrick C. Taylor '04, who works at NASA-Langley as a climate modeler. He represented NASA at the Paris Climate Talks in 2015 and received the Early Career Achievement Award from NASA, presented by President Barrack Obama at the White House. Karly Bitsura-Meszaros '12, a Ph.D. candidate at the College of Natural Resources, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, is focusing her research on the role that national parks play in visitors' perceptions of and attitudes toward taking action on climate change.


Curriculum and Related Programs

Curriculum - Bachelor's

Course Credits
General Education Courses 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar
ENG 101  English Composition I
Public Speaking
CDC 101  Public Speaking
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
MAT 281  Calculus I
Health and Wellness
Any Health and Wellness Course
Technological Literacy
CSC 124  Computer Programming
Any Humanities Course
Fine Arts
Any Fine Arts Course
Natural Sciences
PHY 101  College Physics I
Social Sciences
Any Social Sciences Course
General Education Options
  • EAS 469  Global Climate Change
  • ENG 217  Scientific and Technical Writing
  • CSC 120  Problem Solving and Programming Constructs
  • MAT 282  Calculus II
Required Major Courses 45
EAS 104  Introduction to Meteorology 4
EAS 142  Introduction to Climate Science 3
EAS 245  Weather Analysis and Forecasting I 4
EAS 323  Atmos Instruments and Measurements 3
EAS 342  Dynamic Meteorology I 3
EAS 365  Radar and Satellite Meteorology 3
EAS 369  Climate Dynamics 3
EAS 431  Digital Media for Weather and Climate Apps 3
EAS 442  Dynamic Meteorology II 3
EAS 445  Weather Analysis and Forecasting II 4
EAS 449  Mesoscale Meteorology 3
EAS 452  Atmos Thermodynamics and Radiation 3
EAS 453  Cloud Physics 3
EAS 465  Seminar in Atmos. Science  OR  EAS 419  Applied Climatology 3
Related Electives 13
MAT 381  Calculus III 3
MAT 382  Calculus IV 3
MAT 215  Statistics 3
PHY 202  College Physics II 4
Recommended Free Electives 21
The following are recommended free electives:
  • EAS 105  Extreme Weather (3 credits)
  • GLG 303  Hydrology (3 credits)
  • CIS 120  Application Programming I (3 credits)
  • COM 106  Introduction to Mass Communication (3 credits)
  • COM 336  Broadcast Reporting (3 credits)
  • CSC 306  Fortran (3 credits)
  • CSC 308  Python (3 credits)
  • CSC 420  Artificial Intelligence (3 credits)
  • ENS 440  Environmental Pollution Control (3 credits)
  • GIS 311  Geographic Information Systems (3 credits)
  • MAT 406  Differential equations (3 credits)
  • MAT 462  Statistical Analysis I (3 credits)
Total 120

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): EAS 431 Digital Media Meteorology
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): EAS 323 AND EAS 465
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): EAS 104 Intro to Meteorology
Curriculum - Minor
Course Credits
Required Courses 14
EAS 104  Introduction to Meteorology 4
EAS 105  Extreme Weather 3
EAS 142  Climatology 3
EAS 245  Weather Analysis and Forecasting I 4
(Select 6 credits from the following)
EAS 323  Atmospheric Instruments and Measurements 3
EAS 342  Dynamic Meteorology I  3
EAS 369  Climate Dynamics and Modeling 3
EAS 469  Global Climate Change 3
Total 20
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The Sky's the Limit

Working closely with the National Weather Service, meteorology student Aaron Haegele flies drones over possible tornado touchdown sites. By looking at the patterns created by downed trees and other debris, he can tell if a particular path of destruction was caused by a tornado. He knew PennWest California would present some amazing opportunities. As a student in the Eberly College of Science and Technology, Aaron has done his best to take advantage of all PennWest California has to offer.

Meterology students use a digital globe to simulate weather patterns.

Outlook for Meteorology Jobs

Employment of atmospheric scientists, including meteorologists, is projected to grow 12% through 2026, faster than the average for all occupations, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Atmospheric scientists and meteorologists study the weather and climate, and how those conditions affect human activity and the earth in general. Most meteorologists and atmospheric scientists work indoors in weather stations, offices or laboratories, and may have to work extended hours during weather emergencies. The best job prospects for meteorologists and atmospheric scientists will be in private industry.

PennWest California students walk in the student center.

Campus Connections

The Meteorology Club gives our students many advantages. The club has won prestigious chapter of the year honors twice from both the American Meteorology Society and the National Weather Association. The club is very active in educational outreach and also hosts a speaker series.  The club is successful in fundraising, which allows meteorology majors to attend conferences where they can network with professionals and learn about different career opportunities in meteorology. Club members also can take advantage of leadership opportunities that help to build their resumes.