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One of the most exciting things about these sciences is that they bring together aspects of many different disciplines. Understanding and predicting the atmosphere requires knowledge in mathematics, computer science, physics, and chemistry. Interested high-school students should take as many classes as possible in these subject areas in order to prepare them for further studies in college and the broad range of possible careers thereafter.

Good communication skills are very important in any career: Courses in reading, composition, grammar, literature, and speech can help tremendously.

There are hundreds of possible courses that can be taken in High School and the first two years of college that can lead you to a degree in atmospheric sciences.

  • Atmospheric sciences are often called something other than 'Atmospheric Science' or 'Meteorology' or 'Oceanography' and are located in such diverse campus branches as Arts and Science, Earth Science, Engineering, or Agriculture.
  • To pursue a Bachelor's degree in the atmospheric sciences you will need a good foundation in physics, chemistry, and mathematics. Computer skills are important! Many Bachelor's programs do not need to be started in the freshman year. Taking one or two years of general science and math courses will often allow you to enter an atmospheric science or meteorology major in the junior year.
  • The American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) maintain a web-based publication of institutions offering differing degrees in the atmospheric and related sciences, the AMS/UCAR Curricula Guide for the Atmospheric, Hydrologic and Oceanic Sciences. Institutions offering Bachelor's degrees can be found there.
  • If you have some specific question about the career you are planning, we'd recommend that you email one of the university or college departments on the AMS/UCAR list. You are almost certain to receive a friendly reply. It helps if you also spend some time reading the departments' Web pages to help you refine your question.
Below there are some examples of transcripts of undergraduate students who went on and obtained B.S. degrees in atmospheric sciences. These will show the variety of preparation that can serve as entries into the atmospheric sciences.

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