Atmospheric Sciences Offers Bachelor's Degree in Meteorology

March 18, 2010

The University of Arizona has announced a new Bachelor of Applied Sciences degree in meteorology, available through UA South. This degree program is open to all students interested in the study of weather and climate who already hold an associates degree of applied science (AAS) in a weather-related field.

UA's department of atmospheric sciences, which is part of the College of Science, recognized the need for a distance-learning program through its close collaboration with the weather forecasting services on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson.

"Obviously, highly accurate weather forecasting plays a major role in many Air Force operations," says Eric Betterton, who heads the department of atmospheric sciences at the UA. "Because Air Force personnel frequently move between bases, it is often not possible for them to stay in one place long enough to obtain a four-year degree."

The new Bachelor of Applied Sciences degree in meteorology allows students to fully utilize their AAS degree by applying those credits toward their degree so that no credits are forfeited and they can complete the bachelors degree within two years, assuming full-time status.

"We recognized this need and developed a partnership building on the excellence of both the Air Force and UA's department of atmospheric sciences," Betterton adds, "to offer a top-tier degree program and unprecedented flexibility at the same time."

Students in this program will learn about topics such as physical climatology, remote sensing, numerical models as a tool for forecasting and hydro-climatology.

Applicants to this program must hold an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree with a concentration in weather.

Currently, students are required to spend some portion of the degree in residence in Tucson. However, a major advantage to this program is that a significant number of the courses are offered online, allowing students to complete the degree from anywhere in the world. It is planned to offer all courses for this program online within the near future.

For program advising, plan of study and registration, please contact

Shelley McGrath, director of academic advising and student services, at 520-621-8128 or