B.S. in Atmospheric Sciences

Why Atmospheric Sciences

Cornell is the only Ivy League university that offers an undergraduate program in atmospheric sciences. This major is only offered to students in Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Ivy League Education for the price of a SUNY Program

Because Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is affiliated with the State University of New York (SUNY) system, we offer an Ivy League degree at a tuition that is comparable to other SUNY meteorology programs.

Small Class Sizes Allow for Stronger Mentorship

The program features small classes and a high ratio of faculty to students, yet its location within Cornell allows students to choose from a rich variety of elective courses and extracurricular activities.

Beautiful Location

In addition, the gorgeous landscape of Upstate New York provides an incredible real-life atmospheric laboratory, as weather from severe thunderstorms to lake-effect snow provides a regular variety of forecasting challenges.

Student Experiences

Membership in our meteorology club, the Cornell Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (CCAMS), is open to all atmospheric science majors and other interested students. CCAMS sponsors numerous scholastic, service, and social activities for its members - including forecast competitions, intramural sports, internship/externship opportunities, dinners with faculty, bowling parties, and more.

We almost always send a large contingent of students to the AMS Annual Meeting, and students often attend smaller regional weather conferences throughout the year as well. Every April, we welcome back alumni of our program, to network with students and participate in presentations and panel discussions.

Learning Outcomes

Atmospheric Science students learn to:

  1. Function successfully in laboratory and field settings
  2. Apply the scientific method using real-world data
  3. Develop, apply, integrate and generate knowledge to analyze and solve problems in Atmospheric Science
  4. Collect, organize, analyze and interpret quantitative information meaningfully, using mathematical and/or statistical tools and computer applications
  5. Conduct literature reviews to obtain information
  6. Synthesize a cogent argument in language appropriate to the field of study


Students who are considering an advanced degree will also be well-prepared for graduate school, and typically add additional mathematics, physics, and atmospheric science courses to the basic curriculum. Students who wish to broaden their studies of the environment may also choose from courses in the separate earth and atmospheric sciences major, which may be completed in conjunction with the atmospheric sciences major. The curriculum is designed with two goals in mind.

  1. The basic curriculum meets the guidelines of the American Meteorological Society (AMS).
  2. The requirements for employment in meteorology with the National Weather Service (NWS) and a variety of consulting and professional meteorological services.