Academics at the School of Meteorology
About the School of Meteorology
The School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma is the largest such program in the nation, with more than 300 undergraduate and 110 graduate students. Is ranked in the top ten of all atmospheric sciences graduate programs in the nation by the Chronicles of Higher Education. The atmospheric sciences in this ranking were broadly defined and, among this elite group, SoM is at or near the top spot in the severe storms, radar, and mesoscale research. For more information about the School of Meteorology, please read our fact sheet. To learn about the department's history, please read about the evolution of SoM.
Prepare for a Degree in Meteorology
You can begin preparing to earn a degree in Meteorology in a number of ways
- Take as many math courses as you can, especially in algebra and calculus. Meteorology majors are required to complete Calculus I through IV for Science & Engineering majors, as well as Physical Math and a senior-level course in statistics. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to have Calculus I (MATH 1823) complete before their first semester at OU, as this course is the prerequisite to introductory courses in meteorology.
- If your school offers them, take Physics courses as well as courses in Computer Science (in particular, programming). A BS degree requires the completion of Physics for Science & Engineering Majors I & II, along with two separate physics labs (PHYS 1311 and PHYS 1321), and a course in computer programming for non-majors (C S 1313, which covers the C++ programming language).
- Take Chemistry; the BS degree requires that you complete General Chemistry I (CHEM 1315)
- If you are a high school student, take AP classes in as many subjects as possible; take the AP tests at the end of these courses to earn college credit. Studies have shown that students who take AP courses (regardless of the subject area), have much more realistic expectations of the amount of work necessary to succeed in courses at a university.
- You may also establish credit for some degree requirements by CLEP. Up to 1/4 of your degree requirements may be fulfilled with CLEP or AP credit.
- A Bachelor of Science degree through the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences requires two years of high school foreign language (in the same language, with grades of C or better), or two beginning semesters in a foreign language at the college level.
- Prepare for and take the ACT, SAT, and PSAT exams. Retake these tests if your initial scores were low.
- Gradually increase your study time; many students study fewer than four hours per week; expect to study at least 15 hours per week to succeed in the meteorology degree program.
Visit the University of Oklahoma and the School of Meteorology
The best way to experience the Sooner tradition and to learn about all that OU offers is to visit our beautiful campus in Norman, Oklahoma. During your visit, you will have the opportunity to meet current OU students and staff, see our state-of-the-art facilities and experience the OU community and spirit. Campus tours are offered Monday-Friday at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. or Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Please call (405) 325-2151 or (800) 234-6868 or schedule a tour online. (more information)
Tours of the National Weather Center for the general public are offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1 p.m. Each tour lasts approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. The Public tour is a comprehensive overview of the NWC and the units housed within. Please Note: All tours require a reservation due to scheduling and security issues. You can schedule a tour online or call (405) 325-1147.
School of Meteorology faculty are typically available to meet with prospective students each week on Monday and Friday afternoons (usually after the tour of the National Weather Center). You must make an appointment to meet with a faculty member. To schedule an appointment to meet with a School of Meteorology faculty member, please contact the OU Prospective Student Services office at (405) 325-2151 or (800) 234-6868, or by email.
Admission to the University of Oklahoma
To start the admission process, please visit the University of Oklahoma Prospective Services page where you will find out how and when to file your application to OU, as well as important information on academics, housing, financial matters and scheduling campus tours.
- Students entering OU for the first time must be assessed. Information about the Math Placement Test is available here.
- There are many scholarships and financial aid opportunities available at The University of Oklahoma. Students are encouraged to apply for scholarships, financial aid, and other resources by the appropriate deadlines. Visit the OU financial aid office for more information on scholarships and financial aid.
- The American Meteorological Society administers several undergraduate scholarships with the support of its members, corporations, and government agencies nationwide. The scholarships help further the education of outstanding undergraduate students pursuing a career in the atmospheric and related oceanic or hydrologic sciences.
- The School of Meteorology awards scholarships to top out-of-state incoming freshmen based on superior academic performance in high school and a strong interest in meteorology. These scholarships are typically between $1000-$2000 for the academic year and can only be applied to the cost of out-of-state tuition. Full-time students who maintain academic excellence while at OU, with an OU cumulative GPA of no less than 3.0 over all coursework, will continue to receive this monetary award each academic year for up to 4 years total.
- Each year the School of Meteorology faculty, adjunct faculty, and staff are asked to nominate students for awards to acknowledge academic performance, leadership, and service. Typically, nominations are made by early February and award decisions are made by early March. Awards are presented at the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences Student Awards Ceremony, typically held in April. Each student receives a certificate and monetary award, as well as a place on the School of Meteorology recognition plaque.
What to Expect as a Student in the School of Meteorology
- Requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree
- Oklahoma Weather Lab
- OU Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society
- Student Affairs Committee
- The School of Meteorology has developed exchange programs with the University of Reading in England, Hamburg University in Germany, and Monash University in Australia. Meteorology majors at the University of Oklahoma can apply to study abroad at one of these institutions during the spring semester of their junior year.
Careers in Meteorology
Careers in meteorology include weather forecasting, research in federal laboratories, teaching and research in colleges and universities, consulting for government and private industry and radio and television broadcasting. In general, advanced degrees in meteorology lead to a wider range of employment opportunities. Please visit the School of Meteorology job board for more information.
Storm Chasing Policy
The University of Oklahoma’s College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences does not condone or encourage storm chasing by students. Anyone who chooses to chase storms does so at their own risk and should not imply that their activities are connected with the University, unless granted permission to do so as part of well-planned scientific projects led by safety-trained faculty or scientists in the National Weather Center research units. Storm chasing is not part of the School of Meteorology course curriculum nor should such activities take precedence over the academic activities of the School such as coursework and attending classes and seminars.
Do not hesitate to contact the School of Meteorology at (405) 325-6561 if you have any questions. Visit our contact page for more information.