Major Requirements

The requirements for our Bachelor of Science degree closely follow the American Meteorological Society's statement on bachelor's degrees in Atmospheric Science and satisfy federal service positions as a meteorologist or oceanographer.

Requirements for a Degree in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science

Total Credits and Their Distribution

A student must complete 120 credits in order to graduate from the University of Maryland with a B.S. degree. Of these, the University requires students to take 40-46 credits of General Education/CORE courses. The AOSC major requires students to take either 69 or 70 credits. Under special circumstances, such as transfer from another program, a waiver may be requested and approved by the director of undergraduate studies. However, AOSC major requirements will satisfy 25 of the General Education/CORE requirements leaving a minimum of 120 – (69+46-25) = 30 credits available for electives.


In order to meet the requirements of the AOSC major, students must achieve a grade of C or higher in all courses applied to the major. 

Click the links below to expand the degree requirements

Calc I MATH140 4
Calc II MATH141 4
Calc III MATH241 4
Differential Equations MATH246 3


Gen Chem CHEM135 3
Gen Chem Lab CHEM132 1
Computer Programming AOSC247 or AOSC447
or CMSC106 or CMSC131
3 or 4
Mechanics and Particle Dynamics PHYS161 3
Vibration, Waves, Heat, Electricity and Magnetism PHYS260 3
Vibration, Waves, Heat, Electricity and Magnetism Lab PHYS261 1
Electrodynamics, Light, Relativity and Modern Physics PHYS270 3
Electrodynamics, Light, Relativity and Modern Physics Lab PHYS271 1
200 level AOSC course AOSC2xx 3
Weather and Climate Lab AOSC201 1
Atmospheric Thermodynamics AOSC431 3
Large Scale Dynamics AOSC432 3
AOSC Seminar AOSC493 1
Senior Research I AOSC494 3
Senior Research II AOSC498 3


Choose 4 courses from among the following

Physical Meteorology AOSC400 3
Climate Dynamics AOSC401 3
Physical Oceanography AOSC420 3
  AOSC424 3
Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate / Air Pollution AOSC433 / AOSC434 3
Machine Learning in Earth Science AOSC447 3
Synoptic Meteorology AOSC470 3
Mesoscale Meteorology AOSC472 3
Climate System Modeling AOSC484 3


Choose at least 6 credits of additional courses inside the department or supporting courses outside the department, not already used to fulfill previous requirements. Other courses not listed but tangentially supporting the field may be accepted with prior approval from an academic advisor.

Introduction to the Blue Ocean AOSC375 3
400-level AOSC course not already fulfilling another requirement 4xx (see options above) 3
Computational Methods/Introduction to Numerical Analysis CMSC460 / CMSC466 3
Natural History of the Chesapeake Bay BSCI373 3
Biological Oceanography BSCI375 3
Geography of Environmental Systems GEOG201 3
Remote Sensing: Digital Processing and Analysis GEOG472 3
Land Use Climate Change and Sustainability GEOG415 3
Environmental Geology GEOL120 3
Global Climate Change: Past and Present GEOL437 3
Groundwater GEOL451 3
Watershed and Wetland Hydrology GEOL452 3
Linear Algebra MATH461 or MATH240 3
Partial Differential Equations MATH462 3
Applied Probability and Statistics I STAT400 3
Applied Probability and Statistics II STAT401 3