Initial Publication Date: June 11, 2015

Meteorology, SUNY College at Oneonta

Information for this profile was provided by Jerome Blechman in 2009. SUNY College at Oneonta is a public four-year institution, primarily undergraduate. Students in this program are pursuing a BS degree.

Program Design & Assessment


Students completing our program earn a B.S. in meteorology which provides basic preparation for graduate studies, a career in the National Weather Service, or work in the private forecasting industry. Broadcast meteorology is often the students' goal but we require all students to successfully complete theoretical courses in meteorology as well as courses in related sciences and math. Competing with two other SUNY four-year college meteorology programs, we are the smallest in terms of students and faculty.

Strengths of this program

The meteorology program at SUNY-Oneonta seeks to produce graduates with a broad background in weather, combining the traditional areas of forecasting and theory with the physics of the atmosphere, smaller scales of motion, and climate. We meet the guidelines of both the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Service.

Until 2008, we were essentially a two-person program which made us one of the smallest in the nation. With the addition of a third meteorologist specializing in atmospheric physics and radiation, we revamped the major curriculum last year to include courses in radiative transfer and a senior seminar. In addition, we have added an option in broadcast meteorology.

Types of students served

Program Goals

The goals of this program are as follows:

Our overall goal is for all graduates to be sufficiently broad-based to be able to enter any meteorological career or course of advanced study. Toward that end, outcomes we expect of students are as follows:

  • Students will understand the fundamental principles governing the behavior of gases in the atmosphere, interactions of air masses and fronts, the basics of humidity and precipitation, and some of the pressing atmospheric environmental problems.
  • Students will learn and apply climatological principles to the study of the present, past, and possible future climates. Students will learn the micro- and macrophysical interactions occurring during cloud and precipitation formation as well as their thermodynamic properties. They will also strengthen their writing skills.
  • Students will learn how to use knowledge of the synoptic and dynamic properties of the atmosphere to forecast probable future states on daily and weekly time scales.
  • Students will be able to use computational tools to work interactively, gather information, and draw conclusions about atmospheric behavior and forecasting models. Students will develop an understanding of the scientific method in preparation for their graduate education and professional careers.
  • Students will be able to communicate their understanding using proper scientific language.

The learning goals were informed by the following resources:

How program goals are assessed

Outcomes are assessed with a variety of methods, including the traditional exams, exercises, homework, and laboratory work in forecasting. In addition, liberal use is made of projects, including case studies and oral reports.

The Department conducts an exit survey of all graduating seniors, including meteorology majors. In addition, close contact is maintained with alumni, who are regularly invited back to address current students. Through these methods, existing courses and priorities which have proven beneficial can be identified and maintained and new outcomes can also be recognized.

Design features that allow goals to be met

Alumni Careers

Graduation rate

Careers pursued by our alumni

Courses and Sequencing

Diagram of course sequencing and requirements

Entry into the program

  • Introduction to Meteorology

Core courses

  • Introduction to Climatology
  • General Meteorology
  • Physical Meteorology
  • Dynamic Meteorology I and II (Prerequisite: Physical Meteorology)
  • Weather Analysis and Forecasting I and II (Prerequisite: Physical Meteorology)
  • Mesometeorology (Prerequisites: Physical Meteorology and Dynamic Meteorology)
  • Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere (Prerequisites: Weather Analysis and Forecasting I)

The following are courses in the Graduate School and National Weather Service option:

  • Atmospheric Radiative Transfer (Prerequisite: Dynamic Meteorology II)
  • Senior Seminar (Prerequisite: Dynamic Meteorology II)

The following are courses in the Broadcasting option:

  • Radio and TV Weather (Prerequisite: Physical Meteorology)
  • Internship in Broadcasting


Students are not required to take electives, but may choose from the following list if they wish:

  • The Atmospheric Environment
  • Computer Usage in Meteorology (Prerequisite: Physical Meteorology)
  • Special Topics in Meteorology
  • Independent Study in Meteorology

Other required courses

  • General Chemistry I
  • General Physics I and II (Calculus-based)
  • Calculus I, II, and III
  • Selection of one of four introductory Geology courses
  • Introduction to Hydrology
  • Selection of one course from list:
    • Differential Equations
    • Watershed Management
    • Applied Hydrogeology
    • General Chemistry II
    • General Oceanography
  • Selection of either FORTRAN Programming or C Programming

Other key features of this program:

Supporting Materials

Meteorology Major at SUNY-Oneonta Course Sequencing (Microsoft Word 31kB May14 09)