BS in Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences with Emphasis in Atmospheric Science

Degree Program Description

Soil is the medium of life. It provides essential nutrients so that our agricultural crops can produce bountiful harvests. It filters pollution and impurities from our water. It allows forests to grow and clean our air.  The Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences degree combines  interests in monitoring environmental change, conserving soil and assuring healthy streams while shaping new policies and educating others about the environment.  Careers include Environmental Specialists, Soil Conservationist, Soil Scientists, and Water Quality Specialists.  Environmental specialists find employment with federal, state, county and city government agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Missouri Department of Conservation, or the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, as well as numerous private consulting firms. They use their broad technical knowledge and understanding of ecosystems to provide expertise in situations involving a variety of environmental issues, which could include air and water quality, waste management, and responsible land use.  Soil conservationists and soil scientists often are employed by state and federal agencies such as the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. They are responsible for working with landowners, especially farmers, to ensure that soil conservation practices are in place on the land. They use their knowledge of the physical properties, tillage, chemistry and fertility of soils to make agriculture more productive while protecting the environment. They may also use their knowledge to perform onsite investigations for various land uses. Water quality specialists also find employment with government agencies and private consulting firms. They are responsible for monitoring rivers, lakes and streams for potential pollution from erosion and runoff, as well as ensuring that wells and other sources of municipal drinking water are safe.

Major Program Requirements

In addition to university general education requirements, students must meet the degree requirements below:

Emphasis in Atmospheric Science

Study of atmospheric science prepares the student for employment as a professional meteorologist in the National Weather Service, the military and other government agencies as well as meteorological consulting firms, broadcast outlets and industry. The emphasis in atmospheric science adheres to federal requirements for employment as a meteorologist, yet emphasizes interdisciplinary studies in natural resources leading to specialization in operational meteorology or environmental science. The course of study also serves as a preparatory curriculum for advanced study in atmospheric science. A major in soil, environmental and atmospheric sciences with an emphasis in atmospheric science requires 128 credits for graduation.

Emphasis core requirements
Emphasis general requirements
Math reasoning skills
MATH 1500Analytic Geometry and Calculus I5
COMMUN 1200Public Speaking3
Select one from the following or contact advisor for other selections:3
Fundamentals of Communications
Professional Writing
Business and Professional Communication
Those desiring a career in broadcast meteorology should consider the following courses or contact an advisor for other selections:
Media Communication in Society
Basic Audio Production and Performance
Digital Production I
Digital Production II
Acting for Non-Majors
Senior capstone experience
ATM_SC 4320Atmospheric Dynamics4
Emphasis core quantitative skills
STAT 1400Elementary Statistics for Life Sciences3
Quantitative requirements
MATH 1160Precalculus Mathematics5
MATH 1700Calculus II5
MATH 2300Calculus III3
MATH 4100Differential Equations3
GIS Requirement3
GEOG 3040Introduction to Geographic Information Systems GIS3
or ENV_SC 4320 Hydrologic and Water Quality Modeling
or NAT_R 4325 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Emphasis core science requirements
PHYSCS 2750University Physics I5
PHYSCS 2760University Physics II5
Other emphasis core requirements
ATM_SC 4310Atmospheric Thermodynamics4
ATM_SC 4320Atmospheric Dynamics4
ATM_SC 4350Mesoscale Meteorology and Dynamics3
ATM_SC 4510Remote Sensing for Meteorology and Natural Resources3
ATM_SC 4550Atmospheric Physics3
ATM_SC 4650Long-Range Forecasting3
ATM_SC 4710Synoptic Meteorology I4
ATM_SC 4720Synoptic Meteorology II4
Credits from general, quantitative, science, and atmospheric science to complete 128 credits54
Total Credits132

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
MATH 15005SOCIOL 1000 or PSYCH 10003
ENGLSH 10003COMMUN 12003
HIST 1100 or POL_SC 11003MATH 17005
ATM_SC 10503ATM_SC 27201
Humanities Elective3Computer Science Course3
 17 15
Second Year
AG_EC 1041 or 10423ATM_SC 36003
MATH 23003MATH 41003
PHYSCS 27505PHYSCS 27605
Elective3STAT 1300 or 14003
Humanities Elective3 
 17 14
Third Year
ATM_SC 47104ATM_SC 47204
ATM_SC 45503CHEM 13204
Science Elective3ATM_SC 45903
INFOTC 10403Social Science Elective3
Humanities Elective3Humanities Elective3
 16 17
Fourth Year
ATM_SC 43104ATM_SC 43204
Atmospheric Science Elective6ATM_SC 49903
Elective3Atmospheric Science Elective6
Computer Programming or Geographic Information Sciences Course3Other Elective3
 16 16
Total Credits: 128

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students who have attended since August 2007 can request a degree audit by logging in to myZou and navigating to Self Service, then Student Center, and clicking on “Request Degree Audit.” The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.

MU students who have NOT attended since August 2007 can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to

For newly admitted or prospective students, MU degree audits can be created at Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center in the lower level of the Student Success Center.  No appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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