The requirements for our Bachelor of Science degree closely follow the American Meteorological Society's statement on bachelor's degrees in Atmospheric Science and satisfy federal service positions as a meteorologist or oceanographer.

Requirements for a Degree in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science

Total Credits and Their Distribution

A student must complete 120 credits in order to graduate from the University with a B.S. degree. Of these, the University requires students to take 40-46 credits of General Education/CORE courses. The AOSC Department major requires that the students take either 69 or 70 credits. Under special circumstances such as transfer from another program, a waiver may be requested and approved by the director of undergraduate studies. However, AOSC major requirements will satisfy 25 of the General Education/CORE requirements leaving a minimum of 120 – (69+46-25) = 30 credits available for electives.

General Degree Requirements and a List of Required Courses

List of Courses

In order to meet the requirements of the AOSC major, students must achieve a grade of C or higher in all courses applied to the major. 

Click the links below to expand the degree requirements

1) Required Courses Provided by AOSC

AOSC course at the 200 level
3 credits
AOSC 201 Weather and Climate Laboratory
1 credit
AOSC 431 Atmospheric Thermodynamics
3 credits
AOSC 432 Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Oceans
3 credits
AOSC 494 Seminar
1 credit
AOSC 493 Senior Research Project I
3 credits
AOSC 498 Senior Research Project II
3 credits

Accumulated total credits: 17

2) Required Additional Courses Provided by AOSC

12 credits at the 400 level chosen from among:

AOSC 400 Physical Meteorology of the Atmosphere 3 credits
AOSC 401 Climate Dynamics and Earth System Science 3 credits
AOSC 424 Remote sensing 3 credits
AOSC 433 or 434 Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate / Air Pollution 3 credits
AOSC 470 Synoptic Meteorology 3 credits

Accumulated total credits: 29

 

3) Required Computer/Computational Course

(One of the following or equivalent)
AOSC 358L Computing and Data Analysis: Deciphering Climate Change Clues 3 credits
CMSC 106 Introduction to C Programming 4 credits
CMSC 131 Object-Oriented Programming I 4 credits

Accumulated total credits: 33

 

4) Required Courses Provided by Mathematics and Chemistry

CHEM 135 &
CHEM 132 or CHEM 136
General Chemistry and Laboratory 4 credits
MATH 140 Calculus I 4 credits
MATH 141 Calculus II 4 credits

Accumulated total credits: 45

 

5) Additional Required Mathematics Courses

Either Block 1*:

MATH 241 Calculus III 4 credits
MATH 246 Differential Equations 3 credits

Or Block 2*:

MATH 340 Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra and Differential equations I 3 credits
MATH 341 Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra and Differential equations II 3 credits

Accumulated total credits: 51-52


*Block 1 includes courses frequently taken by nonmajors, while Block 2 includes somewhat more rigorous courses taken by math majors.

 

6) Required Physics Courses

Either Block 1*:

PHYS 161 &
PHYS 174

General Physics: Mechanics and Particle Dynamics & Laboratory 4 credits
PHYS 260 & PHYS 261 General Physics: Vibration, Waves, Heat Electricity & Laboratory 4 credits
PHYS 270 & PHYS 271 General Physics: Electrodynamics, Light Relativity & Laboratory 4 credits

Or Block 2*:

PHYS 171 &
PHYS 174
Introductory Physics: Mechanics & Laboratory 4 credits
PHYS 272 & PHYS 275 Introductory Physics: Fields & Laboratory 5 credits
PHYS 273 Introductory Physics: Waves 3 credits

Accumulated total credits: 63-64


*Block 1 includes courses frequently taken by nonmajors, while Block 2 includes somewhat more rigorous courses taken by physics majors.

7) Required Elective Courses

(6 credits. Can not be satisfied by the courses used to fulfill the previous requirements.)

  AOSC 346 Cycles in the Earth System 3 credits
  AOSC 375 Introduction to the Blue Ocean 3 credits
  AOSC 400 Physical Meteorology of the Atmosphere 3 credits
  AOSC 401 Climate Dynamics and Earth System Science 3 credits
  AOSC 424 Remote Sensing 3 credits
  AOSC 433 Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate 3 credits
  AOSC 434 Air Pollution 3 credits
  AOSC 470 Synoptic Meteorology 3 credits
  CMSC 206 Introduction to Matlab 1 credit
either CMSC/AMSC 460 Computational Methods 3 credits
or CMSC 466 Introduction to Numerical Analysis I 3 credits
  BSCI 106 Principles of Biology II 4 credits
  BSCI 373 Natural History of the Chesapeake Bay 3 credits
  BSCI 375 Biological Oceanography (not offered every year) 3 credits
  CHEM 231 Organic Chemistry I 3 credits
  GEOG 201 Geography of Environmental Systems 3 credits
  GEOG 472 Remote Sensing: Digital Processing and Analysis 3 credits
  GEOG 415 Land Use Climate Change and Sustainability 3 credits
  GEOL 120 Environmental Geology 3 credits
  GEOL 437 Global Climate Change: Past and Present 3 credits
  GEOL 451 Groundwater 3 credits
  GEOL 452 Watershed and Wetland Hydrology 3 credits
either MATH 240 Linear Algebra 3 credits
or MATH 461 Linear Algebra for Scientists and Engineers 3 credits
  MATH 416 Applied Harmonic Analysis: An Introduction to Signal Processing 3 credits
  MATH 452 Introduction to Dynamics and Chaos 3 credits
  MATH 462 Partial Differential Equations for Scientists and Engineers 3 credits
  STAT 400 Applied Probability and Statistics I 3 credits
  STAT 401 Applied Probability and Statistics II 3 credits

Accumulated total credits: 69-70