Undergraduate Program Overview

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in atmospheric sciences is designed to prepare a graduate for professional employment as an atmospheric scientist. Our B.S. program meets the Federal GS 1340 requirements for an operational meteorologist.  A new graduate may be commissioned as a meteorological officer in the Air Force or Navy or appointed to a meteorological internship in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), they may work at the National Weather Service, Academic Institutions, Software and Data Engineering, the Armed Forces, research labs, aviation, the airline industry, utilities, infrastructure, insurance companies, and state and federal government agencies.

Students must complete 120 credit hours, including:

  1. General Education Core (see the “Undergraduate General Education Requirements” section of this Catalog).
  2. OEST 100
  3. ATMO 101L and 200
  4. MATH 241, 242, 243, 244, and 302
  5. PHYS 170/170L and 272/272L
  6. 19-20 credit hours in atmospheric sciences courses numbered 300 and above, including ATMO 302, 303, 305, and 402; and ATMO 405, 412 or 416 (Students must take at least two courses from 405, 412 and 416.)
  7. 9 additional credit hours from physical and mathematical sciences (e.g., engineering, geography, earth sciences, information and computer sciences, mathematics, oceanography, physics, and topical plant and soil science) including (but not limited to) ATMO 310, 405, 406, 412 or 416, 449, 600, 610; CEE 305, 422, 424, and 626; ERTH 455; GEO 300, 302, 303, 380, 388, 400, 401, 402, 404, 405, 412, 470, and 489; ICS 211, 311, and 442; MATH 311, 371, 372, 373, 402, 403, and 405; OCN 318, 320, 401, 408,435, 463, 620, and 638; PHYS 274/274L and 400
  8. CHEM 161/161L and 162, MATH 372
  9. ICS 111 or ATMO 320

NOAA National Weather Service Course Requirements

Completion of a BS in Atmopheric Sciences at UH Mānoa completes the course requirements for the NOAA National Weather Service Operational Meteorologist Qualifications.

  • 6 credit hours in Atmospheric Dynamics *
  • 6 credit hours of analysis and prediction of weather systems (synoptic/mesoscale)
  • 3 credit hours of physical meteorology; and
  • 2 credit hours of remote sensing of the atmosphere and/or instrumentation.
  • 6 credit hours of physics with at least one course that includes laboratory sessions. *
  • 3 credit hours of ordinary differential equations.
  • At least 9 credit hours of course work for a physical science major in any combination of
    three or more of the following: Physical Hydrology, Chemistry, Physical Climatology, Aeronomy,
    Computer Science, Advanced Electricity and Magnetism, Statistics, Physical Oceanography,
    Radiative Transfer, Advanced Thermodynamics, and Light and Optics

* Prerequisite or corequisite of calculus for course work in atmospheric dynamics and thermodynamics,
physics and differential equations. Calculus courses must be appropriate for a physical science major.

For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to programsheets/.

Details about the credit requirements can be found on the program sheet and sample four-year academic plan. These documents are advising tools for students on their academic journey. It is the student’s responsibility to meet regularly with his/her academic advisor(s) to ensure proper progress and to confirm his/her academic requirements.

For more information about the newly upgraded workstation computer facility, please visit the VisionLab web page.

Students must complete 15 credit hours of non-introductory courses, including:

  1. ATMO 200, 302, and 303
  2. 6 credits of electives from ATMO 305, 310, 405, 406, 412, 416, and 449

An accelerated BS/MS degree program is offered in atmospheric sciences, as one of the university’s combined bachelor’s and master’s (BAM) degree pathways. The key aspect of this program is that 7 credits of specific technical electives taken as part of the BS degree can be “double-counted” as credit towards the MS degree. This enables completion of an MS in atmospheric sciences within a single year following completion of the BS degree.

Senior theses are encouraged, but optional. Consider reviewing our Faculty and Research pages to explore potential research topics. Course credit can be awarded for completing an undergraduate thesis, as well as research (ATMO 499).

For information on formatting your thesis, please see the SOEST Undergraduate Thesis Style Guide for more information.

Students graduating with a B.S. degree in atmospheric science from UH Manoa will:

  1. demonstrate an integrated understanding of the fundamental physical and dynamical processes governing the atmosphere across spatial and temporal scales;
  2. demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the interconnected Earth system (solid earth, atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and biosphere);
  3. utilize state-of-the-art diagnostic, prognostic, and technological frameworks including models, instrumentation, and remote sensing data to analyze and interpret atmospheric processes;
  4. develop and apply critical and analytical thinking to solve problems in the atmospheric sciences in both individual and collaborative settings;
  5. effectively communicate scientific information to the general public and the scientific community in both oral and written form;
  6. adopt the principles of proper ethical behavior and understand the broader impacts of the atmospheric sciences on society;
  7. synthesize and apply knowledge within the atmospheric sciences or across disciplines through a capstone experience or in depth course projects or portfolio;
  8. demonstrate expertise in tropical weather and climate and communicate effectively the importance of tropical atmospheric processes to global weather and climate phenomena;
  9. embrace a scientific leadership role and become ambassadors for weather and climate issues impacting the communities and peoples of the greater Pacific region.

Application Requirements

To apply to the University of Hawaii at Mānoa undergraduate program in Atmospheric Sciences, please review the requirements for whether you are an incoming high school, a transfer student, or an international student requirements below. Appropriate applications for each category can be found on the University of Hawaii at Mānoa Apply Now page.

If you’re a high school student looking to pursue a degree in Atmospheric Sciences , please use this link to submit your Freshman Application at University of Hawaii at Manoa. Please review the Freshman Requirements carefully before submitting your application to UH Manoa.

If you’ve already started your collegiate journey and are hoping to come as a transfer student, please use this link to apply as a Transfer Applicant to UH Manoa’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences. Please review the Transfer Requirements carefully before submitting your application. Current students at the University of Hawai‘i can contact the Atmospheric Sciences Undergraduate Advisor for a Curriculum Transfer Request (CTR) form to transfer from your current degree program to a Bachelor of Science degree in Atmospheric Sciences in SOEST at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.

Incoming freshmen (and some transfer students) are required to take placement exams for English, math, and chemistry. The schedule for placement exams can be found on the Office of Registrars Placement Exam website.

Expectations for Conduct in the Department

The department, like the University and the scientific community at large, expects and depends on respectful, fair, and ethical behavior by its members, including students. In turn, each student should expect to be treated in such a manner.

Every student is responsible for reading, understanding, and abiding by the UH Student Conduct Code Policy E7.208 as well as other school and university policies. Students are required to complete and sign the Code of Student Conduct Affirmation Form when joining the department. University Policy concerning sexual harassment includes information on discerning appropriate from inappropriate behavior and the procedure for submitting a complaint.

Course Offerings and Descriptions

The University of Hawaii at Manoa Department of Atmospheric Sciences list of courses is available here along with our recent course syllabi.

Important Contacts

Undergraduate Chair: Jennifer Small Griswold | tel: (808) 956-3636 | email: smalljen@hawaii.edu

Department of Atmospheric Sciences Office | tel: (808) 956-8775 | Fax: (808) 956-2877 | email: metdept@hawaii.edu

SOEST Director of Academic Advising: Heather Saito | tel: (808) 956-8763 | email: hsaito2@hawaii.edu