Why study meteorology at CMU?
CMU is the only university in Michigan offering an undergraduate major in meteorology. A well-rounded science curriculum prepares students for a variety of meteorology careers or for graduate study. Consider these key features of this program:
- Involved faculty members who are experts in weather forecasting, air pollution, agricultural meteorology, and tropical meteorology
- Small classes with laboratory time for practical learning on some of CMU's most powerful computers
- Professional development, resources, and contacts through student organizations such as the Mid-Michigan Meteorological Society and the American Meteorological Society
- Opportunities in the Science and Technology Residential College to live and learn with students who share your interests in science and technology
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, for all occupations through the year 2014:
- Overall employment of atmospheric scientists is expected to grow 9 to 17 percent.
- A bachelor's degree in meteorology, or in a closely related field with courses in meteorology, is the minimum educational requirement for entry level positions.
- As research leads to improvement in weather forecasting, demand should grow for private weather consulting firms to provide more detailed information, especially climate-sensitive industries.
- Making and improving global weather observations could also have a positive impact on employment.
Graduates of the meteorology program at CMU will find a variety of career opportunities. Some of these may require additional education.
- Atmospheric Scientist
- Chief Meteorologist
- Lead Forecaster
- Military Base Forecaster
- Operational Meteorologist
- Research Meteorologist
- U.S. Government Meteorologist
The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.
(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)
Total: 68-72 semester hours
Note: Students are encouraged to consult with an advisor during their freshman year.
Structure of the atmosphere; radiation and global warming; forces causing the wind; moisture, stability, and clouds; thunderstorms and tornadoes; hurricanes and extratropical cyclones. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format. (University Program Group II-B)
Atmospheric Radiation and Thermodynamics
Properties of radiation and radiative transfer in the atmosphere. Thermodynamic properties of dry and moist air. Atmospheric stability. Theory and applications of thermodynamic diagrams. Prerequisites: MET 240 with a grade of C- or better; MTH 133. Pre/Co-requisite: PHY 145.
Meteorological Radar and Satellites
Principles of remote sensing of the atmosphere using meteorological radar and satellites. Prerequisite: MET 310 with a grade of C- or better.
Microphysical processes in warm and cold clouds. Formation and evolution of precipitation in convective and stratiform clouds. Prerequisites: MET 310 with a grade of C- or better; PHY 145; MTH 133.
Dynamic Meteorology I
Application of Newton's laws of motion to various scales of atmospheric phenomena. Vorticity, divergence and vertical motion. Prerequisites: MET 310 with a grade of C- or better; MTH 233; PHY 145. Pre/Co-requisite: MET 340.
Dynamic Meteorology II
Quasi-geostrophic theory and its application in weather prediction and diagnosis. Atmospheric waves, baroclinic instability theory. Prerequisite: MET 330 with a grade of C- or better.
Synoptic Meteorology I
Analysis of large-scale weather patterns through the application of concepts from physical and dynamical meteorology. Focus on cyclogenesis and frontogenesis. Prerequisites: MET 310 with a grade of C- or better; MTH 233; PHY 145. Pre/Co-requisite(s): MET 330.
Synoptic Meteorology II
Advanced analysis of large-scale weather patterns through the application of concepts from physical and dynamical meteorology. Focus on quasi-geostrophic, isentropic, and potential vorticity frameworks. Prerequisite: MET 340 with a grade of C- or better. Pre/Co-requisite: MET 335.
Structure, dynamics, and morphology of atmospheric phenomena on the mesoscale including thunderstorms and mesoscale convective systems. Prerequisites: MET 335, 345.
Numerical Weather Prediction
Numerical differencing techniques, stability analysis, structure and operation of one to three dimensional weather models, physical parameterizations and their implications. Prerequisites: MET 450; CPS 150 or 180.
Additional Requirements I
Limits, continuity, interpretations of the derivative, differentiation of elementary functions, applications of derivatives, antiderivatives, Riemann sums, definite integrals, fundamental theorem of calculus. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. Recommended: MTH 106, 107; or MTH 130. (University Program Group II-B)
Techniques of integration, applications of definite integrals, improper integrals, elementary differential equations, infinite series, Taylor series, and polar coordinates. Prerequisite: MTH 132.
Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory
Systems of linear equations, matrices, determinants, vectors, vector spaces, eigenvalues, linear transformations, applications and numerical methods. Prerequisite: MTH 132.
Vectors and surfaces in R3, vector-valued functions, functions of several variables, partial differentiation and some applications, multiple integrals, vector calculus. Prerequisites: MTH 133. Pre/Co-Requisites: MTH 223 or 232.
Definition and solution of first, second, and higher order differential equations. Prerequisites: MTH 133, MTH 223.
University Physics I
Normally the first physics course for majors and minors. Mechanics of single and many-particle systems, conservation laws, statistical concepts, and gravitational interaction. Pre/Co-Requisite: MTH 132. (University Program Group II-B)
University Physics II
Temperature and thermodynamics, electromagnetic interaction, electrical circuits, electromagnetic radiation, and optics. Not open to those with credit in PHY 131. Prerequisite: PHY 145. Pre/Co-requisite: MTH 133.
University Physics Laboratory I
Laboratory experience for PHY 145. Introduction to experimental techniques and the treatment of experimental data. Satisfies University Program Group II laboratory requirement. Pre/Co-Requisite: PHY 145. (University Program Group II-B)
University Physics Laboratory II
Laboratory experience for PHY 146. Introduction to electrical measurements and instrumentation. Introduction to techniques of optical measurements. Prerequisite: PHY 175. Pre/Co-Requisite: PHY 146.
Elementary Statistical Analysis
An introduction to statistical analysis. Topics will include descriptive statistics, probability, sampling distributions, statistical inference, and regression. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses: STA 282, STA 382, STA 392. Prerequisite: MTH 130 or 132 or 133.
Additional Requirements II
Select one of the following:
Algorithms, programs, and computers. Computer solution of several numerical and nonnumerical problems. Does not count toward a major or minor in CPS. Prerequisites: One of: MTH 106, 107, 130, 132.
Principles of Computer Programming
Algorithm development and problem solving methods. Design and development of computer programs in a structured programming language. Pre/Co-requisite: One of MTH 130, 132, 133, 217. (University Program Group II-B)
Additional Requirements III
Select one of the following options: