Dec 11

Choosing the Right Meteorology School

Posted by Brian Barnes under topic Articles, Meteorology

I receive a lot of emails from prospective students asking for advice on picking a meteorology school and/or program.  I have compiled some information that people can use for a starting point in their search for a school or program that best suits their wants and needs.

Most of us almost never graduate with the exact goals in mind that we had when we started.  And, within meteorology, there are many different possibilities for possible employment across many related fields. 

If “storm chasing” is the goal that a person has in mind when starting a meteorology program, then perhaps they should rethink their goals – there are not any “full time” jobs within storm chasing.  And, the jobs that do exist are related to research which generally requires a Ph.D.

Career Paths for Meteorology Undergrads

U.S. Government Employment – National Weather Service, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Armed Services.

Broadcasting – These jobs are extremely hard to obtain due to the job retention rate and the number of undergrads competing for the same position when a job does become available.

Private Sector – Companies such as WeatherNews hires forecasters for marine weather and transportation, UPS has a team of staff meteorologist, wind engineering companies are becoming extremely popular, other options may be Forensic Meteorology at insurance companies and even some municipalities hire meteorologist (although many contract private companies as well).

Having a good plan in-mind of the goal you want to achieve will help you pick the right school and even minor.  For example, if your goal is to work in broadcasting, then you may want to earn a minor in communications or if you’re planning to work in operational meteorology at The National Weather Service then you should plan to earn a minor in mathematics.

Meteorology Schools in the United States

The University of Alabama in Huntsville – Huntsville, AL
University of South Alabama – Mobile, AL

University of Alaska Fairbanks – Fairbanks, AK

University of Arizona – Tucson, AZ

San Jose State University – San Jose, CA
University of California-Davis – Davis, CA
University of California-Los Angeles – Los Angeles, CA

Colorado State University-Fort Collins, CO
Metropolitan State College of Denver – Denver, CO
United States Air Force Academy – USAFA

Western Connecticut State University – Danbury, CT

University of Delaware – Newark, DE

District of Columbia
Howard University – Washington D.C.

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach – Daytona Beach, FL
Florida State University – Tallahassee, FL
University of Miami – Coral Gables, FL

University of Hawaii at Manoa – Honolulu, HI

Northern Illinois University – Dekalb, IL
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Champaign, IL
College of DuPage – Glen Ellyn, IL

Valparaiso University – Valparaiso, IN

Iowa State University – Ames, IA

University of Kansas – Lawrence, KS

University of Louisiana at Monroe – Monroe, LA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Cambridge, MA
University of Massachusetts-Lowell – Lowell, MA

The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor – Ann Arbor, MI

Saint Cloud State University – Saint Cloud, MN

Jackson State University – Jackson, MS
Mississippi State University -Starkville, MS *Online Programs

Saint Louis University (Main Campus) – Saint Louis, MO
University of Missouri-Columbia – Columbia, MO

Creighton University – Omaha, NE
University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Lincoln, NE

University of Nevada-Reno – Reno, NV

New Hampshire
Plymouth State University – Plymouth, NH

New Jersey
Princeton University – Princeton, NJ
Rutgers University-New Brunswick – New Brunswick, NJ

New York
SUNY at Albany – Albany, NY
SUNY College at Brockport – Brockport, NY
SUNY College at Oneonta – Oneonta, NY
SUNY College at Oswego – Oswego, NY
SUNY Maritime College – Bronx, NY

North Carolina
North Carolina State University at Raleigh – Raleigh, NC
The University of North Carolina at Asheville – Asheville, NC

North Dakota
University of North Dakota – Grand Forks, ND

The Ohio State University (Main Campus) – Columbus, OH
Ohio University (Main Campus) – Athens, OH

The University of Oklahoma – Norman, OK

Oregon State University – Corvallis, OR

Millersville University of Pennsylvania – Millersville, PA
Pennsylvania State University (Main Campus) – University Park, PA

South Dakota
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology – Rapid City, SD

Texas A&M University – College Station, TX
Texas Tech University – Lubbock, TX

The University of Utah – Salt Lake City, UT

Lyndon State College – Lyndonville, VT

University of Washington (Seattle Campus) – Seattle, WA

Northland College – Ashland, WI
University of Wisconsin (Main Campus) – Madison, WI

University of Wyoming – Laramie, WY

* Mississippi State University offers programs in Broadcast, Operational Meteorology and a Degree in Geo-Sciences.  Their Broadcast Meteorology Program is offered online as well and might be an excellent choice for those with a career in the broadcast industry in-mind.

While this list is comprehensive, I’m sure that I’ve probably left out a school and/or program somewhere.  If you know of a school/program that you believe should be on this list, feel free to let me know.

Since most people come to this blog with an interest in Storm Chasing, it is assumed they are interested in Convective Meteorology.  Storm Chasing doesn’t require a meteorology degree and the number of storm chasers without a degree outnumber those who have earned a degree (in fact, some probably didn’t make it through high school – but you definitely should!).   If your interests are focused on Convective Meteorology, then strongly consider The University of Oklahoma.  Texas A&M, Texas Tech and The College of DuPage are also great choices.