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Atmospheric Science

Undergraduate major and honours specializations in Atmospheric Science and the Diploma in Meteorology are offered cooperatively by the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences and the Department of Geography. Students should direct enquiries to the Atmospheric Sciences Specialization. For information concerning the diploma program see Diploma in Meteorology.

The Major in Atmospheric Science is available for students with a broad interest in the Earth’s atmosphere. Students who wish to pursue a professional career as an atmospheric scientist or environmental consultant should consider graduate study leading to advanced degrees; see graduate Atmospheric Science. For more information, visit Atmospheric Science.

For details of other undergraduate Science specializations available in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, see Earth and Ocean Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Geological Sciences, Geophysics, and Oceanography. The Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences also offers Geological Engineering as part of the B.A.Sc. degree program.

Co-operative Education Option

This option integrates academic study with relevant supervised work experience. The work placements are arranged by mutual agreement between the students and the employing organizations. Enrolment is limited. Admission is by application to the Science Co-op Office in February prior to third year. Selection will be based on previous academic performance and general suitability to the work environment as assessed by resumé and interview. Graduation from the Co-op program requires completion of four work terms, in addition to the normal courses required for the specialization. Detailed information is available from Atmospheric Sciences or the Co-operative Education Office.

Specializations

Major (0167): Atmospheric Science (ATSC)

First Year 
Communication Requirement13
DSCI 1003
CHEM 121 (or 111 or 141), 12328
MATH 100 or 102 or 10433
MATH 101 or 103 or 10543
PHYS 117 (or 101 or 106 or 107 or 131)53
PHYS 118 (or 108)3
PHYS 119 (or 109)1
Elective6,7,83
Total Credits30
Second Year 
Communication Requirement13
One of ATSC 201, GEOS (or GEOB) 2003
EOSC 211 (or CPSC 103 or 110)93
MATH 2003
STAT 201 (or 200 or 251)103
Electives6,7,815
Total Credits30
Third and Fourth Years 
ATSC 30111, GEOS (or GEOB) 3006
ENVR 3003
Three of ATSC 30311, 413, 40911, GEOS (or GEOB) 309, 370, 373, EOSC 352, 354, 4109
One of EOSC 340, ENVR 410, GEOG 3123
Four of ATSC 313, CHEM 302, GEOS (or GEOB) 400, 401, 402, EOSC 440, 47112
One of ATSC 448, GEOS (or GEOB) 4483
Electives6,7,824
Total Credits60
Total Credits for Degree120
1 For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 Students who do not have B.C. High School Chemistry 12 (or its equivalent) must write the UBC Chemistry Basic Skills Test and may be required to take CHEM 100. CHEM 110 and 115 may substitute for CHEM 111, CHEM 120 and 115 may substitute for CHEM 121, CHEM 130 and 135 may substitute for CHEM 123. 
3 MATH 180 or 184 or 120 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit. MATH 110 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 3 credits. 
4 MATH 121 may substitute for any of the specified integral calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit. 
5 Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 prior to other physics courses. PHYS 100 will be counted as an elective. Qualified students are encouraged to take PHYS 106 and 108.
6 Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. 
7 Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
 
8 Students wishing to pursue a career in weather forecasting or meteorology to prepare for graduate study in Atmospheric Science should consult with an ATSC advisor regarding choices of electives, including additional courses in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Statistics or Computer Science.
9 If choosing CPSC 110, reduce electives by 1 credit. 
10 STAT 201 is recommended for students who wish to pursue a minor in data science. STAT 200 or 251 plus STAT 302 are recommended for students interested in taking further courses in statistics. 
11 Usually only offered every other year. Check timing with the advisor and plan accordingly. 

Specialization Objectives

Mastery of the curriculum will provide a thorough background in atmospheric sciences, which will:

  1. qualify the student for work as an atmospheric technician or environmental consultant;
  2. qualify the student for graduate study in meteorology and atmospheric sciences (with appropriate course background).

Learning Goals

Students completing this specialization will be able to:

  1. demonstrate basic knowledge of atmospheric physics, dynamics, and chemistry on a wide range of scales;
  2. utilize information from weather radar, satellites, numerical weather prediction, weather maps, and soundings to form a 3-D understanding of atmospheric state and evolution;
  3. use numerical problem solving, computer programming, mathematical knowledge and statistical approaches for data analysis and atmospheric modelling;
  4. communicate (written, oral, electronic) weather information to a broad audience;
  5. deploy and utilize meteorological field and lab instruments and data loggers;
  6. integrate meteorological knowledge with broader issues including air quality, environment, sustainability, renewable energy, and climate variability.

Honours (0429): Atmospheric Science (ATSC)

First Year 
Communication Requirement16
CHEM 121 (or 111 or 141)24
CHEM 12324
DSCI 1003
MATH 100 or 102 or 10433
MATH 101 or 103 or 10543
PHYS 106 or 107 or 117 (or 101 or 131)53
PHYS 108 or 11853
PHYS 119 (or 109)1
Electives6,73
Total Credits33
Second Year 
ATSC 2013
CHEM 2053
EOSC 211 (or CPSC 103 or 110)83
MATH 215, 217, 22110
PHYS 2034
PHYS 2163
STAT 201 (or 200 or 251)93
Electives6,74
Total Credits33
Third and Fourth Years 
ATSC 30110, 303106
ATSC 40410, 40510, 413, 44915
ATSC Electives116
CHEM 3023
ENVR 3003
GEOS (or GEOB) 3003
MATH 300, 301, 316, 40012
PHYS 301 or 3543
Electives7, 815
Total Credits66
Total Credits for Degree132
1 For full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 Students who do not have B.C. High School Chemistry 12 (or its equivalent) must write the UBC Chemistry Basic Skills Test and may be required to take CHEM 100. CHEM 110 and 115 may substitute for CHEM 111, CHEM 120 and 115 may substitute for CHEM 121, CHEM 130 and 135 may substitute for CHEM 123. 
3 MATH 180 or 184 or 120 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit. MATH 110 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 3 credits. 
4 MATH 121 may substitute for any of the specified integral calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit. 
5 Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 before any other 100-level PHYS courses. PHYS 100 will be counted as an elective. Qualified students are encouraged to take PHYS 106 and 108.
6 Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. 
7 Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
 
8 If choosing CPSC 110, reduce electives by 1 credit. 
9 STAT 201 is recommended for students who wish to pursue a minor in data science. STAT 200 or 251 plus STAT 302 are recommended for students interested in taking further courses in statistics. Can be delayed until first term in third year to allow more elective room in second year.
10 Offered in alternate years. 
11 Selected from ATSC 313, 409; EOSC 340, 352, 354, 372, 410, 440; GEOS (or GEOB) 400, 401, 402. 

Specialization Objectives

Honours will provide more depth than the Major. Mastery of the curriculum will provide a thorough background in atmospheric sciences, which will:

  1. qualify the student for graduate study in meteorology and atmospheric sciences;
  2. satisfy the scientific-content requirements for weather-forecaster jobs with Environment Canada and other agencies;
  3. qualify the student as a meteorologist.

Learning Goals

Students completing this specialization will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of atmospheric physics, dynamics, and chemistry on a wide range of scales;
  2. associate atmospheric processes with terms in governing differential equations;
  3. utilize information from weather radar, satellites, numerical weather prediction, weather maps, and soundings to form a 3-D understanding of atmospheric state and evolution;
  4. use numerical problem solving, computer programming, and statistical approaches for data analysis and atmospheric modelling;
  5. communicate (written, oral, electronic) weather information to a broad audience;
  6. deploy and utilize meteorological field and lab instruments and data loggers;
  7. define, conduct, and present results of an independent research project;
  8. integrate meteorological knowledge with broader issues including air quality, environment, sustainability, renewable energy, and climate variability.

Combined Honours (1372): Atmospheric Science and Computer Science (ATSC, CPSC)

First Year 
Communication Requirement16
CHEM 121 (or 111 or 141)24
CPSC 110 (or 103 and 107)34
CPSC 1214
MATH 100 or 102 or 10443
MATH 101 or 103 or 10553
PHYS 106 or 107 or 117 (or 101 or 131)63
PHYS 108 or 11863
PHYS 119 (or 109)1
Electives7,82
Total Credits33
Second Year 
ATSC 2013
CPSC 2104
CPSC 213, 2218
MATH 215, 217, 22310
PHYS 2034
Electives7,84
Total Credits33
Third and Fourth Years 
ATSC 3019, 303, 4049, 4059, 41315
ATSC 449 or CPSC 449106
CPSC 302, 303, 310, 32013
CPSC course numbered 300 and above113
CPSC 402 or CPSC 4063
CPSC course numbered 400 and above113
ENVR 3003
GEOS (or GEOB) 3003
MATH 3163
STAT 201 (or 200 or 251)123
Electives8,1111
Total Credits66
Total Credits for Degree132
1 For full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 Students who do not have B.C. High School Chemistry 12 (or its equivalent) must write the UBC Chemistry Basic Skills Test and may be required to take CHEM 100. CHEM 110 and 115 may substitute for CHEM 111, CHEM 120 and 115 may substitute for CHEM 121. 
3 While CPSC 110 is the recommended route for students pursuing a specialization in Computer Science, CPSC 103, 107 may be taken in its place using 2 credits of electives. 
4 MATH 180 or 184 or 120 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit. MATH 110 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 3 credits. 
5 MATH 121 may substitute for any of the specified integral calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit. 
6 Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 before any other 100-level PHYS courses. PHYS 100 will be counted as an elective. Qualified students are encouraged to take PHYS 106 and 108.
7 Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. 
8 Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
 
9 Offered in alternate years.
10 Students who intend to take CPSC 449, must take CPSC 349 (a seminar of 0 credits) in the third year. 
11 CPSC 313, 420, 421 are recommended. Credits gained from undergraduate Student-Directed Seminars (CPSC 490) cannot be used to fulfill this requirement. 
12 STAT 201 is recommended for students who wish to pursue a minor in data science. STAT 200 or 251 plus STAT 302 are recommended for students interested in taking further courses in statistics. 

 


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