Majors and Minors Home
About the Major
Students receive all necessary theoretical coursework while the program also emphasizes operational/applied meteorology. Career paths include National Weather Service, private company or military forecasting, broadcast meteorology, and education. Many students pursue graduate degrees.
Jobs in Meteorology
- Operational meteorologist/forecaster
- Broadcast meteorologist
- Military weather officer
- Geographic information system analyst
Hurricane Sets Louisiana Native on Path to Forecasting Career
As a University of South Alabama student, Carmen Hernandez has already had the experience of issuing weather warnings to private businesses who are clients of USA’s Coastal Weather Research Center.
“Not a lot of undergraduate programs let you have the ability to issue a warning like that,” Hernandez said. “They do give us a lot of training first.”
Growing up in Shreveport, Louisiana, she got hooked on weather because of 2005’s Hurricane Rita, one of the strongest hurricanes ever. “Seeing how much it could affect us, even as a tropical storm by the time it got up to us, just got me really interested,” Hernandez said. “I kept going from there, learning more about meteorology.”
She chose South’s meteorology program partly because she received in-state tuition rates through the Academic Common Market, an agreement among 15 Southern and mid-Atlantic states.
“You’re able to have one-on-one contact with the professors, and if you want to do any research, it’s super easy to get involved.”
“I really love it here,” she said. “It’s a small program, so you’re able to have one-on-one contact with the professors, and if you want to do any research, it’s super easy to get involved.”
She also has worked with the South Alabama Mesonet, a network of 26 automated weather stations along the Gulf Coast used by South professors and researchers and by outside organizations, including the National Weather Service.
Thanks to the Weather Service’s Pathways Program, she’s well on her way to her goal of becoming an NWS forecaster. “I basically work full-time during the summer,” Hernandez said of the internship program. “They have me help on a research project or shadow forecasters and basically learn how to do things at the office.”
She’s practically been doing the job for years already. “I pretty much notice the weather whenever it’s happening. So if I’m with friends or family, I’ll tell them about it and try to explain why it’s happening.”
Did You Know?
- Real-time forecasting and real-world experience prepare our majors for the job market. Students can complete an internship at the Coastal Weather Research Center, a fully operational weather company on campus.
- Our state-of-the-art broadcast studio uses the same professional broadcast meteorology software as many TV stations. Over the past 15 years, our broadcast majors have a greater than 93% success rate finding jobs.
- We have multiple extracurricular activities, including research opportunities, field work within our professional-quality network of weather stations and educational outreach to the community.
Dr. Sytske Kimball
Professor and Chair
Department of Earth Sciences
Curriculum and Degree Requirements