Meteorology (BS)

To see more about what you will learn in this program, visit the Learning Outcomes website!

The degree of Bachelor of Science in Meteorology is offered in the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. A concentration in Marine Science may also be chosen.

Meteorologists study a diverse array of topics, including climate, air pollution, environmental impacts, weather analysis and forecasting, remote sensing, atmospheric physics and interactions between the atmosphere and other components of the earth system. Our undergraduate students pursue careers in air quality, weather forecasting, meteorological research, broadcast meteorology and positions with the armed forces. The proximity of the Environmental Protection Agency center in nearby Research Triangle Park, the NC Department of Air Quality, a strong working relation with the local media, and the presence of the State Climate Office and a NWS forecast office on the NC State campus all provide our students with a broad range of internship and employment possibilities.


For more information about our meteorology programs, visit our website or contact:

Maggie Puryear
Associate Director of Undergraduate Programs


Plan Requirements

COS 100Science of Change 12
English / Communication
ENG 101Academic Writing and Research 24
Select one of the following Advanced Writing courses:3
Communication for Engineering and Technology
Communication for Business and Management
Communication for Science and Research
Math / Statistics
MEA 217Introduction to Computing in the Geosciences 23
or MA 116 Introduction to Scientific Programming (Math)
or PY 251 Introduction to Scientific Computing
or CSC 113 Introduction to Computing - MATLAB
MA 141Calculus I 24
MA 241Calculus II 24
MA 242Calculus III4
MA 341Applied Differential Equations I3
ST 311Introduction to Statistics3
or ST 370 Probability and Statistics for Engineers
or ST 371 Introduction to Probability and Distribution Theory
Chemistry / Physics
CH 101Chemistry - A Molecular Science 23
CH 102General Chemistry Laboratory1
Chemistry Option4
PY 205
PY 206
Physics for Engineers and Scientists I
and Physics for Engineers and Scientists I Laboratory 2
Meteorology Core
MEA 100Earth System Science: Exploring the Connections4
MEA 215Introduction to Atmospheric Sciences4
MEA 312Atmospheric Thermodynamics 24
MEA 315Mathematics Methods in Atmospheric Sciences 24
MEA 321Fundamentals of Air Quality and Climate Change 23
MEA 412Atmospheric Physics 23
MEA 421Atmospheric Dynamics I 23
MEA 422Atmospheric Dynamics II 23
MEA 443Synoptic Weather Analysis and Forecasting4
MEA 495Junior Seminar in the Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences1
Major Electives
Geophysical Science Option3
MEA Restricted Electives9
Approved Electives 316
Approved Electives constitute a minor field of emphasis consisting of at least 12 credit hours in a single discipline or related disciplines. These include, but are not limited to: biometeorology, chemistry, computer science, environmental quality, geology-geophysics, hydrology, mathematics, physics, physical oceanography, statistics, several areas of engineering, agriculture, forestry, science education, weather communication.
GEP Courses
GEP Humanities6
GEP Social Sciences6
GEP Health and Exercise Studies2
GEP Additional Breadth (Humanities/Social Sciences/Visual and Performing Arts)3
GEP U.S. Diversity (verify requirement)
GEP Global Knowledge (verify requirement)
Foreign Language Proficiency (verify requirement)
Total Hours120

MEA Restricted Electives

MEA 415Climate Dynamics3
MEA 425Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry3
MEA 444Mesoscale Analysis and Forecasting4
MEA 455Micrometeorology3
MEA 458Introduction to Tropical Meteorology3
MEA 463Fluid Physics3
MEA 467Marine Meteorology3
MEA/CE 479Air Quality3
MEA 488Meteorology for Media3
MEA 493Special Topics in MEAS
MEA 498Internship in MEAS1-6
MEA 510Air Pollution Meteorology3
MEA 511Introduction to Meteorological Remote Sensing3
MEA 514Advanced Physical Meteorology3
MEA 515Climate Dynamics3
MEA 517Fundamentals of Climate Change Science3
MEA 518Adaptation to Climate Change3
MEA 519Barriers to Climate Change Literacy3
MEA 525Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry3
MEA/CE 579Principles of Air Quality Engineering3
MEA 580Air Quality Modeling and Forecasting4
MEA 581Fluid Mechanics in Natural Environments3
MEA/GIS 582Geospatial Modeling3
MEA 593Special Topics in Atmospheric Science1-6

 Chemistry Option

CH 201
CH 202
Chemistry - A Quantitative Science
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory
CH 220
CH 222
Introductory Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry I Lab
CH 221
CH 222
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Lab

 Geophysical Science Elective

MEA 101Geology I: Physical3
MEA 200Introduction to Oceanography
PY 123Stellar and Galactic Astronomy3
PY 124Solar System Astronomy3
SSC 200Soil Science3

Semester Sequence

This is a sample.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterHours
CH 101 Chemistry - A Molecular Science (CP) 2 3
CH 102 General Chemistry Laboratory 1
MA 141 Calculus I 2 4
MEA 100 Earth System Science: Exploring the Connections 4
GEP Health and Exercise Studies 1
COS 100 Science of Change 1 2
Spring Semester
Chemistry Option 4
ENG 101 Academic Writing and Research 2 4
MA 241 Calculus II 2 4
MEA 215 Introduction to Atmospheric Sciences 4
Second Year
Fall Semester
MA 242 Calculus III 4
MEA 217 Introduction to Computing in the Geosciences 2 3
MEA 321 Fundamentals of Air Quality and Climate Change 2 3
PY 205 Physics for Engineers and Scientists I (CP) 2 3
PY 206 Physics for Engineers and Scientists I Laboratory 1
Spring Semester
MA 341 Applied Differential Equations I 3
MEA 312 Atmospheric Thermodynamics 2 4
MEA 315 Mathematics Methods in Atmospheric Sciences 2 4
Approved Electives 3 4
Third Year
Fall Semester
Approved Elective 3
MEA 421 Atmospheric Dynamics I 2 3
Geophysical Science Option 3
GEP Social Sciences 3
Statistics Option 3
Spring Semester
inkurl^#planrequirementstext^Advanced Writing Elective 3
Approved Elective 3 3
MEA 412 Atmospheric Physics 2 3
MEA 422 Atmospheric Dynamics II 1 3
MEA 495 Junior Seminar in the Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences 1
GEP Additional Breadth 3
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
Approved Elective 3 3
MEA Restricted Electives 3
GEP Humanities 3
GEP Health and Exercise Studies 1
MEA 443 Synoptic Weather Analysis and Forecasting 4
Spring Semester
Approved Elective 3
MEA Restricted Electives 3
MEA Restricted Electives 3
GEP Humanities 3
GEP Social Sciences 3
 Total Hours120

Career Opportunities

MEAS undergraduate degree programs provide talented students with the foundation of scientific knowledge required for careers in government, industry, or academia. Many students pursue graduate degrees and pursue careers in industry, at government agencies and in academia.

Marine Sciences graduates go on to become oceanographers, to manage our coastal resources, model air-sea interaction, and explore global climate change. They conduct basic and applied research, serving as environmental consultants for industry and governmental agencies, policy and management experts for governmental agencies, and environmental science educators. Graduates with a Natural Resources degree are versed in the fundamental processes and interdisciplinary nature of the coastal zone. As scientists, managers, administrators, and regulators, they make decisions regarding use and conservation of coastal and marine resources.

Geology graduates address society’s needs for dealing effectively with earth processes, such as water resources and the stability of land forms. They work for engineering firms, permit-issuing agencies, and industries that rely on geological resources. Historical geologists are familiar with the evolution of earth through time and provide a perspective on potential long-term reactions of the earth systems to change. Those who concentrate in Environmental Geology are trained to assess and monitor geological resources such as ground water. Marine geologists are experts in the complex issues facing industry, municipalities, and residents in the dynamic and ecologically vulnerable coastal zone.

Meteorology graduates enjoy careers in weather forecasting, air quality assessment, development of weather products and services, broadcast communications, and advanced research. Marine meteorologists study ocean-generated weather systems. Their research is yielding practical benefits such as refined prediction of storm surge, which has streamlined evacuation efforts during severe storms along the Carolina coast. Meteorology graduates with an air quality emphasis work for environmental firms, regulatory agencies, and in applied research. Study of air quality and how air pollution is transported and dispersed is a rapidly expanding field in the atmospheric sciences.

MEAS graduates play a key service role for the State of North Carolina, assisting in everything from forecasting severe storms and analyzing the impact of atmospheric pollutants on agriculture and our estuaries, to determining the effects of toxic waste disposal on quality of surface and ground water.