Meteorology at Valparaiso University

Meteorology Degree Information

The atmospheric science course of study at Valparaiso University leads to a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology. The science of meteorology draws heavily on the fields of mathematics, physics, computer science, and chemistry. As such, students should possess a strong mathematics and science background. The local chapter of Chi Epsilon Pi meteorology honor society promotes excellence and further training in meteorology.

Career Opportunities. The job market in meteorology, like the field itself, is rich and diverse. Many graduates enter employment with airlines, private forecasting and environmental consulting firms, or the National Weather Service. Others pursue professional opportunities with the U.S. Air Force through the University's Air Force ROTC program. Still others pursue careers in research and academia, which require graduate training. Valparaiso University graduates have gone on to many of the finest meteorology graduate programs in the country. Graduate study is usually required for careers in research and academia.

Broadcast meteorology represents another promising career sector, and many recent graduates from our department have achieved success in this field. There is considerable demand nationwide for trained professionals able to communicate meteorological information effectively and accurately, either through the broadcast media (cable, television, and radio) or in association with various consulting firms. Students prepare for this field through hands-on training and experience in broadcasting in the new television weather studio in Schnabel Hall and through internships at a variety of broadcast stations across the country, including WGN-TV in Chicago. Those interested in careers in broadcast meteorology should complete a Television-Radio Minor through the Department of Communication (see below). from among the following courses, in addition to the Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology:

Activities, Internships, and Learning Experiences. Students interested in extracurricular learning opportunities are encouraged to participate in the National Weather Association chapter and VUSIT program and avail themselves of the program's field course opportunities, including the Severe Convective Storm Field Study. Internships and cooperative education experiences are also available to qualified students both within the university setting as well as at other locations. We currently have internship opportunities for qualified students with the FAA and MIT/Lincoln Labs studying aircraft icing and also have a student co-op with the various school districts throughout Porter County helping make critical decisions when inclement weather arises. Many opportunities exist to gain real-life experience while earning your degree!

Facilities. The Department maintains a well-equipped weather center with instrumented tower, 20 Sun Thin Client stations supporting McIDAS-X, GEMPAK, and other analysis tools and access to data from our state-of-the-art, 1MW dual-polarization Doppler radar here on campus. Our observation deck houses our radiosonde launcher where students perform balloon launches throughout the school year. See Facilities for more information.

Meteorology Major. A minimum of 32 credit hours constitutes a major in meteorology for the Bachelor of Science degree. For this meteorology program, students are required to take the following courses:

Bachelor of Science in Meteorology: 32 credits + math/physics prerequisites (24) = 56 credits

*MATH 131 or MATH 151 - Calculus I (4)
*MATH 132 or MATH 152 - Calculus II (4)
MATH 234 - Differential Equations and Linear Algebra (4)
*MATH 253 - Calculus III (4)
*PHYS 141 - Principles of Physics: Mechanics and Heat (3)
*PHYS 141L - Experimental Physics Lab I (1)
*PHYS 142 - Principles of Physics: Electricity/Magnetism/Waves (3)
*PHYS 142L - Experimental Physics Lab II (1)
MET 103 - Meteorology (4)
MET 215 - Climatology (3)
MET 216 - Introduction to Meteorological Observation and Analysis (3)
MET 369 - Atmospheric Thermodynamics (3)
MET 372 - Atmospheric Dynamics I (4)
MET 373 - Atmospheric Dynamics II (4)
MET 480 - Synoptic Scale Analysis and Forecasting (4)
MET 481 - Mesoscale Scale Analysis and Forecasting (4)

and one course from:

MET 279 - Severe Storm Prediction and Nowcasting (3)
MET 319 - Tropical Meteorology (3)
MET 330 - Meteorological Computer Applications (3)
MET 350 - Boundary Layer Meteorology (3)
MET 430 - Numerical Weather Prediction (3)
MET 435 - Radar Meteorology (3)
MET 440 - Global Climate Change (3)
MET 490 - Selected Topics in Meteorology (3)

Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.50 in all Valparaiso University meteorology courses and those mathematics and physics courses required for meteorology to remain in the major. Students will be reviewed initially at the end of their second semester on campus and each academic year thereafter.

Sample Four-Year Curriculum

Meteorology Minor. A minimum of 17 credits in meteorology constitutes a minor. This must include the following meteorology courses:

MET 103 - Introduction to Meteorology (4)
MET 215 - Climatology (3)
MET 216 - Introduction to Meteorological Observation and Analysis (3)
MET 369 - Atmospheric Thermodynamics (3)
MET 372 - Atmospheric Dynamics I (4)

Students interested in a broadcast meteorology career should complete the Television-Radio Minor through the Department of Communication from among the following, in addition to the Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology: consider the following courses:

COMM 101 - Media Presentation (3)
COMM 198 - Nonlinear Video Editing (3)
COMM 250 - Radio and Audio Production (3)
COMM 251 - Introduction to Broadcast Production (3)
COMM 262 - Content Research and Reporting (3)
COMM 286 - WVUR/Torch Practicum (1)
COMM 380 - Television Producing and Directing (3)
COMM 385 - Television Field Production (3)
COMM 490 - Topics: Weathercasting
THTR 134 - Voice and Diction (3)
THTR 357 - Acting for the Camera (3)




ValpoAdditions and corrections for this page may be directed to Jon T. Kilpinen
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This page was last updated November 2, 2009 by Adam J. Stepanek




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