Atmospheric Sciences

College of the Environment

Atmospheric sciences is a wide-ranging discipline that includes topics as diverse as weather forecasting, global warming, air quality, Pacific Northwest weather and climate, mountain weather, marine weather, El Nino, the ozone hole, ice ages, and the weather of Mars. It considers problems that are both scientifically challenging and critical for the welfare of modern society. These problems are addressed with theory, measurements and computer simulations.

Minor available.

Major category: Minimum requirements

Topic: Natural sciences, Engineering-option

Applicant type


Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Atmospheric Sciences is a minimum requirements major. You may declare this major after enrolling at the UW and completing the prerequisites. Visit the department website for more information.

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).


Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission. Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree

Department admission information

  • Departmental application deadline: Students can declare this major once they have completed prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of 2.0 in each course and a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA.
  • Please contact the department for details about the application process.

Courses required for the major:

  • CSE 142 NSc RSN – Computer Programming I
  • ATM S 220 NSc – Exploring the Atmospheric Sciences
  • MATH 124 NSc RSN – Calc with Analytical Geometry
  • MATH 125 NSc – Calc with Analytical Geometry II
  • MATH 126 NSc – Calc with Analytical Geometry III
  • PHYS 121 NSc RSN – Mechanics
  • PHYS 122 NSc – Electromagnetism
  • PHYS 123 NSc – Waves, Light, and Heat


Entering transfer information:

Total undergraduates: 62
Total from Washington community colleges: 9

Entering transfer GPA (from WA community colleges):

3.75 – 4.00: <5
3.50 – 3.74: <5
3.25 – 3.49: <5
3.00 – 3.24: <5
2.75 – 2.99: <5
2.50 – 2.74: <5
2.49 and below: <5

Career outcomes