Atmospheric Science

Study Atmospheric Science at UBC

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About Atmospheric Science

Atmospheric Science includes the study of the physical processes of the atmosphere, and the atmosphere's interaction with land and oceans. Some of the topics encompassed by atmospheric science are: air pollution, air chemistry and cloud and precipitation physics. One of the most prominent characteristics of the weather and climate is its changeability. The problems of forecasting the day-to-day weather (meteorology) and the climate are also encompassed in this field. Some professionals with Atmospheric Science backgrounds become meteorologists and climatologists and work in weather forecasting. They use numerical computer models of the local or global airflow to guide weather prediction and storm forecasting and aid in understanding environmental conditions such as air pollution. Other professionals continue to work in research nationally and internationally in industry and government.

Program details

Under the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, emphasis is placed on studying the processes of the atmosphere, with particular focus on the atmospheric boundary layer. The program overlaps with studies on physical climatology in the Department of Geography, which is concerned with the study of linkages between meteorological processes and climatic phenomena at all scales. The Atmospheric Science Program also offers a Diploma in Meteorology. It is an intensive one-year program for students with a B.Sc. in Physics, Applied Mathematics, Engineering or a similar field. Some of the meteorological topics studied at UBC include cloud physics, air pollution dispersion, air-sea interactions, climate dynamics, and urban and forest meteorology.


Over the course of a four-year degree, this program could help you build the following skills:

  • Numerical weather prediction
  • Probabilistic forecasting
  • Georeferencing/mapping
  • Advanced quantitative skills
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Pattern perception
  • Weather brief writing and presentation
  • Technical skills in statistical analysis and computer programming

Programs offered

  • Major or Honours, Atmospheric Science
  • Combined Honours, Atmospheric Science and Computer Science
  • Co-op


Academic Calendar Entry
Program Specialization Website
Undergraduate Advisors
Student Club Website
Research and Library Help
Involvement and Career Resources

Career options in Atmospheric Science

With an undergraduate degree

  • Air quality meteorologist
  • Air pollution technician
  • Climate service specialist
  • Climatological technician
  • Data assistant
  • Science journalist/writer
  • Weather forecaster

With additional study

  • Aeronomist
  • Atmospheric chemist
  • Atmospheric physicist
  • Climatologist
  • Meteorologist

UBC Science Atmospheric Science Graduates Work As

  • Operational Meteorologist, Environment Canada
  • Consultant, Environmental Resources Management
  • Air Quality Specialist, WSP in Canada
  • Weather Specialist, BC Public Service

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