Departmental Advice to Transfer Students

Atmospheric Science B.S. Degree Advisement Advice

  1. The Atmospheric Science B.S. (essentially the same as Meteorology) is acombined major-minor (i.e. has a “built in” minor due to the required foundation coursework) that, in total, requires a minimum of 65 credits.

  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, andcomputer 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 here.

  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 SATs.

  4. The MAP (Major Academic Pathway) for this degree can be found here. Please examine this matrix for the recommended sequence of courses in this major. As a transfer student it is important to understand where you are beginning this major. The Undergraduate Bulletin pertaining to this major can be found here.

  5. Transfer students arriving devoid of all foundation coursework (Calc l and ll, Phy l and ll) should recognize that they will need eight semesters (four years) to complete the degree.

  6. Transfer students arriving with credit for Calculus I and II, as well as Physics I and II will need six semesters (three years) to complete the AATM course sequence.   Students without Calc ll or Physics l should attempt to complete either or both of these course sequences 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.

  7. 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 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.) 

  8. 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. (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.)

  9. Only calculus-based introductory physics courses are accepted toward the major; 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.

  10. 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.

  11. We accept credit for Atmospheric Science or Meteorology courses fromvery few other institutions and only occasionally. A detailed syllabus will be required to argue for course equivalency in specific instances.

  12. 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 student’s situation must be assessed according to the specifics involved and in consultation with a department advisor.

  13. Transfer credit equivalency can be determined via the Transfer Equivalency Data Bank.

  14. 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 fordetails. Dual majors are also encouraged for superior students, and in the past have included mathematics, physics or computer science.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 oversees the program within the department and should be contacted for more detailed information.

  17. Excellent advisement of students is a priority in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences 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 department advisor.

Course Scheduling

  1. You are advised to complete and submit your Educational Plan as soon as possible, to maximize access to available seats. The plan does not have to be perfect or be the final plan.

  2. Your Educational Plan will be reviewed by a member of the ATM faculty who will contact you by email with comments or questions. When your proposal is approved, you will receive your AVN (Advisement Verification Number). This will allow you access to the registration system to create your fall schedule.


  • Contact Advisement Services Center 518 442-3960 or ITS Help Desk (518 442-3700).


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