Earth, Atmospheric, and Geographic Information Sciences

Bachelor of Science - Meteorology

Degree Overview

Meteorology majors are exposed to concepts, methodologies and practical applications related to both weather analysis and forecasting. The core of the degree includes courses in synoptic meteorology (study of atmospheric circulation, cyclonic rotation, weather forecasting, and weather map analysis) and dynamic meteorology (atmospheric thermodynamics and the equations that describe atmospheric motion). Students learn how to forecast weather and use the specialized equipment and reporting techniques associated with weather observations, weather radar, and remotely sensed information.

Western Illinois University’s meteorology curriculum meets the National Weather Service requirements for employment as a meteorologist (GS-1340). We also have full membership in the University Corporation for Atmospheric Sciences (UCAR).

Meteorology majors select between two options within the major:

  • Operational Meteorology (need 3-4 words describing the differences in the 2 options)
  • Applied Meteorology (need 3-4 words describing the differences in the 2 options)

View the Undergraduate Catalog for specific degree requirements and course descriptions .

Integrated Meteorology (BS) - GIScience and Geoenvironment (MS)

The integrated degree programs provide an opportunity for our talented undergraduates to obtain both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in five years. The integrated program saves students time and money.

View the Graduate Catalog for Integrated Program details.

Careers

Our graduates have been highly successful in finding employment in four areas:

  1. Weather Forecasting - Forecasting has always been at the heart of meteorology and has seen exciting advances which aid in the ability to predict the weather using sophisticated computer models.
  2. Atmospheric Research - Research meteorologists often work closely with scientists in basic physical disciplines such as chemistry, physics, and mathematics, as well as with oceanographers, hydrologists, and researchers in other branches of environmental science.
  3. Broadcast Meteorology - Broadcast meteorologists deliver their own local and national forecasts on television and radio.
  4. Private Sector Meteorology - Private forecasting organizations provide highly specialized forecasts for clients with very specific needs such as short-term, small-scale snow forecasts for city public works managers, weather reports for commodities traders who are concerned about the impact of weather on crop production and prices, and game-day weather reports for athletic events such as professional football games and golf tournaments. Insurance companies, the military, instrumentation companies, software companies and others also hire meteorologists.
Additional Career Opportunities

Earth Scientist, Emergency Manager, Environmental Conservationist, Hydrologist, Climatologist, Forensic Meteorologist, Weather Forecaster, Wind Analyst, Meteorological Data Analyst, Aviation Meteorologist, Consulting Meteorologist, Utility/construction Company Meteorologist, Broadcast Meteorologist, Science Reporter, Weather Risk Analyst, Damage Assessor

Benefits

With a low student-to-faculty ratio, professors are actively engaged in students’ progress and career readiness. Students can gain proficiency in the computer programs, languages, and visualization systems commonly used in the industry including MATLAB, Vis5D and Linux. WIU meteorology students can also develop valuable professional skills by participating in research, internships, and on-air forecasting on public radio and WWIR, the campus TV station. Having both meteorology and geography/geographic information science expertise in one department offers students an opportunity to pair their major with additional, highly marketable skill sets.

Our student-led Severe Weather Club is an official NOAA Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador. The club connects students together and to the community with severe weather preparedness outreach to local schools and community organizations.