Department of Atmospheric Sciences | University of Illinois
Atmospheric Sciences | RESOURCES

Undergraduate Advising


If you are a high school student and plan to visit campus, we would be happy to meet with you and discuss opportunities for an education and career in the atmospheric sciences.  Please call (217-333-2046) or email ( to make an appointment.


1) What career paths are possible in the Atmospheric Sciences?

To answer this question, we have produced a 15 minute video on careers in the atmospheric sciences   (Flash player required). Click here to watch the video.

2) What is the job market now and how might it change in the future?

The range of employment in the Atmospheric Sciences can be best understood by visiting our Career Website. At this site, you can find current job announcements from a wide variety of listings.  Also, you can find a comprehensive list of employers in the public, private and education sectors. 

3) What education level is required to be marketable for these jobs?

Jobs in the private sector can be obtained with a B.S. or M.S. in Atmospheric Sciences.

Jobs in the research sector require a minimum of an M.S. A Ph.D. is preferable.

Jobs in education at the primary and secondary level require a B.S. with additional training to be certified as a teacher. 

Jobs in education at the collegiate level require a Ph.D. in most cases, although instructor positions exist for some graduates with M.S. degrees.

Employers in the Atmospheric Sciences are particularly attracted to students with solid atmospheric science background (read good grades!), computing skills (programming), and good communication skills (writing and speaking).

4) What starting salaries do people with Atmospheric Sciences degrees typically earn?

See this Wall Street Journal report comparing Atmospherc Science/Meteorology with other disciplines.

5) What courses are required to obtain a degree in Atmospheric Sciences at the UI?

Students obtaining a B.S. degree in Atmospheric Sciences must complete a program that includes courses in Physics, Math, Chemistry and Atmospheric Sciences.

Complete requirements for a B.S. degree in Atmospheric Sciences can be found here

6) What opportunites exist for internships and research?

Nationwide opportunites for internships are listed on our career website (click here)

Students at the University of Illinois can apply for internships at the National Weather Service office at Lincoln (car required), or other NWS offices in Romeoville, St. Louis, South Bend or Indianapolis.

Opportunites also exist locally at the Illinois State Water Survey.

7) How does the UI Atmospheric Science Program rank among its peers?

Although no formal ranking of Atmospheric Science Departments exists, most of our faculty have appeared on the University's list of teachers ranked excellent by their students, some have won campus awards for excellence in teaching, and, as a Research 1 university, our faculty are internationally recognized for their research programs. We believe we rank among the top ten programs nationwide.  

8) What other local Universities offer degrees in Atmospheric Science?

In Illinois:

Western Illinois University (within their Geography program)

Northern Illinois University (within their Geography program)

In neighboring states:

University of Wisconsin-Madison

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Purdue University

Valparaiso University

Iowa State University

St. Louis University

University of Missouri


See the American Meteorological Society's Curriculum Guide