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Schools that Offer Climatology Programs: How to Choose

Climatology is the scientific and mathematical study of the Earth's atmosphere, weather and climate. Continue reading to learn about what you should consider when choosing a climatology program, and to view some climatology programs at U.S. schools.

According to the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, there are over 70 colleges and universities around the nation that have programs in climatology or atmospheric science. Most programs are housed within the academic department of geography, but some schools have atmospheric science programs in specialized departments, or climatology courses in meteorology..

Schools with Climatology Programs

The following 2-year and 4-year institutions offer degree programs in the field:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016, In-state)*
College of DuPage Glen Ellyn, IL 2-year, Public Associate's $10,885 (Undergraduate)
Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $6,507 (Undergraduate) $11,543 (Graduate)
Howard University Washington, District of Columbia 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral $31,778 (Graduate)
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Doctoral $40,984 (Graduate)
Saint Louis University St. Louis, MO 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral $19,346 (Graduate)
Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $8,028 (Undergraduate) $7,390 (Graduate)
University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $12,048 (Graduate)
University of Miami Coral Gables, FL 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $45,724 (Undergraduate) $34,248 (Graduate)

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Remember the following as you choose a climatology program:

  • Those interested in an undergraduate climatology program may want to select a program that is devoted to atmospheric science rather than one that offers climatology courses in conjunction with another specialty.
  • Specialized programs offer instruction in all areas of atmospheric science, including air pollution, weather analysis and climate management, in addition to core courses in mathematics, computer science and physical sciences that prepare the student for graduate climate research.
  • It is best to choose a school with access to adequate climate research facilities and faculty with climatology expertise.
  • Students should consider the financial difference between public and private schools that offer these programs.

Bachelor's Degree in Atmospheric Science, Meteorology or Geography

Baccalaureate degree programs in areas related to climatology are designed to prepare students for employment as meteorologists, climatologists, air quality analysts or storm chasers. The varied curriculum also prepares students for graduate study in climatology.

Master of Science Degree in Atmospheric Science

Master of Science degree programs can take at least two years of full-time study to complete, which may include time spent working on an original research thesis. Graduate climatology courses can include atmospheric thermodynamics, advanced forecasting and more.

Doctoral (Ph.D.) Degree in Atmospheric Science

Relevant Ph.D. programs can take upwards of three years of full-time resident study to complete. Initial coursework is often the same as the master's degree track coursework. However, after passing qualifying exams, the candidate must complete and defend a comprehensive doctoral dissertation in climatology.

Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in the field of climatology are available at 2-year and 4-year public and private institutions. When choosing the right school for them, students should consider things like specialized programs and climate research facilities.

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