Program at a glance

How much does it cost? 

Learn more about how to afford a degree from the University of Nevada, Reno.

How long does it take?

This 120 credit program is designed to be completed in four years.

Who can apply? 

Open to all undergraduate students. Applicants must have a high-school diploma or GED.

What will I learn in an atmospheric science degree program?

Atmospheric sciences encompasses many areas of study that explore our atmosphere's physical characteristics, motions and processes and how these influence all aspects of the environment and human life. Students pursuing atmospheric sciences learn how to interpret and predict weather patterns, analyze climate trends, monitor air quality and have many opportunities to combine their studies with outdoor studies, laboratory-based research, computer-based modeling and other types of active learning with mentorship by faculty and scientists.

Learning outcomes

Graduates of the bachelor's degree in atmospheric science will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical basis and observational methods for study of atmospheric physics, air pollution, meteorological and climate-scale processes in the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the design and use of instrumentation, computer software, data interpretation methods for atmospheric research and monitoring.
  • Explain ideas and results through written, numerical, graphical, spoken, and computer-based forms of communication.
  • Assess and adapt to new avenues of scientific inquiry which offer interdisciplinary and practical applications to commercial and public needs for atmospheric studies.

Atmospheric science is based in the Department of Physics

Research and internships

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in atmospheric sciences are encouraged to complement their coursework with hands-on, experiential learning. You can complete internships and student research projects in the Desert Research Institute (DRI) Division of Atmospheric Sciences offices in Reno and Las Vegas, in the University of Nevada, Reno Department of Physics and other departments, with agencies such as the federal National Weather Service and state/county environmental offices, and employment with environmental consulting businesses.

Specializations in the atmospheric sciences program

  • Minor in atmospheric science

    A minor in atmospheric sciences provides a concentration of courses in the discipline that can serve as a complement to majors in related fields, including physics, environmental studies, geology and more. 

  • Minor in astronomy

    The astronomy minor is designed to attract students not only from the sciences, but also such diverse majors as anthropology, journalism and education. Most departments have a range of research projects that would benefit from these studies. A senior thesis project - in which students complete an astronomical research project of their choosing - caps off the minor.

  • NevadaTeach program in atmospheric sciences

    Students in the NevadaTeach program earn two degrees: a bachelor's degree in secondary education and a bachelor's degree in atmospheric sciences. Graduates can go on to a range of careers in atmospheric sciences as well as a teaching career at the middle- or high-school level. 

Careers with a degree in atmospheric science

The atmospheric sciences major gives you a very strong and adaptable science and math knowledge base with many career avenues. You can pursue jobs at federal agencies such as NASA, the National Weather Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Geological Surveyand the Department of Energy.

You can afford the University of Nevada, Reno

46% of undergraduate students receive financial aid

Almost everyone is eligible to receive financial aid. If you think your family’s income is too high to qualify for financial aid, you might be surprised.

50%+ of all students graduate with no debt

That's right. More than half of our students leave the University of Nevada, Reno with no student debt.

Life's a journey. Honors makes it meaningful.

At the University of Nevada, Reno Honors College, our students maximize their unique gifts and passions through a series of personalized experiences that deepen their capacity for transformative societal impact.

Visit the Honors College
Four honors students standing near Manzanita Lake; one is holding a soccer ball.