Meteorology programs give students the opportunity to study the atmosphere, including its structure, processes, and characteristics. The first section of most programs includes foundation study in mathematics, physics, and chemistry, as well as an introduction to the atmosphere. Students also take meteorology electives that do not generally count toward their major. During their later years in the program, students take courses in required areas of atmospheric science along with more specialized or advanced courses in such topics as atmospheric dynamics, climatology, tropical meteorology, hurricanes, solar energy, atmospheric physics, and computer applications.
Students in meteorology programs gain an understanding of the societal and economic impacts of weather, and they develop an academic background that prepares them for a variety of careers. They learn to apply scientific principles using highly interdisciplinary methods. Students also have the option of pursuing a specialized degree in broadcast meteorology that is intended to prepare them for careers in the media. These programs emphasize communication skills as well as the necessary scientific study.