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Certificate Requirements & Seals

Alignment with national and international standards for meteorologists

The World Meteorological Organization and the National Weather Service have specific educational requirements for aviation forecasters or meteorologists. Not all weather careers will require the same exact courses, so feel free to discuss your career plans with an advisor before beginning any of our programs.

A degree in meteorology or a related natural science may also be necessary to gain employment in a meteorological career (this will depend on employer). Additional math and science courses will most likely be required for employment. All the AMF courses can be applied toward our undergraduate degree program in Geosciences, which is considered a related natural science field. Our full BS and MS degree programs (e.g. BOMP or AMP) can be modified or tailored to meet these requirements.

Federal government (e.g.NWS)

Degree: Meteorology, Atmospheric Science or other natural science major that included at least 24 semester hours in meteorology/atmospheric science including:

Federal Requirement MSU Course
6 semester hours in Atmospheric Dynamics (requires calculus pre or corequisite). Met with GR 4823/6823 and GR 4933/6933 Dynamic Meteorology I and II
6 semester hours of analysis and prediction of weather systems (synoptic/mesoscale). Met with GR 4443 and GR 4453 Weather Prediction I and II
(NOTE: While this meets the minimum requirements, students should also complete a synoptic meteorology course GR 4713 or 4733/6733, and a mesoscale course GR 4923/6923 or GR 4963/6963)
3 semester hours of physical meteorology. GR 4623 Physical Meteorology
2 semester hours of remote sensing of the atmosphere and/or instrumentation. GR 4753/6753 Satellite and Radar Meteorology
At least 9 semester hours of course work for a physical science major in any combination of three or more of the following:
  • Physical Hydrology
  • Chemistry
  • Physical Climatology
  • Aeronomy
  • Computer Science
  • Advanced Electricity and Magnetism
  • Statistics
  • Physical Oceanography
  • Radiative Transfer
  • Advanced Thermodynamics
  • Light and Optics
Met through a number of geoscience classes including:
  • GR 4633 Statistical Climatology
  • GR 8453 Quantitative Analysis in Climatology
  • GR 3603 Oceanography
  • GG 8203 Ocean Science
  • GG 3613 Water Resources
  • GG 8613 Hydrology
...and future offering in Physical Climatology
6 semester hours of physics with at least one course that includes laboratory sessions (requires calculus pre or co-requisite)
3 semester hours of ordinary differential equations.
Must be taken through Mathematics and Physics Departments

(See Jetstream – Online School for Weather for more information)

WMO BIP-M Topics in Atmospheric Sciences

WMO Learning Outcomes MSU Courses That Address It
2.3.1.1 Atmospheric composition, radiation and optical phenomena Met with combination of:
  • GR 1603 Intro to Meteorology
  • GR 4xx3/6xx3 Physical Climatology
  • GR 4xx3/6xx3 Dynamic Meteorology II
2.3.1.2 Thermodynamics and cloud physics Met with combination of:
  • GR 1603 Intro to Meteorology
  • GR 4913 Thermodynamic Meteorology
  • GR 4823/6823 Dynamic Meteorology, and GR 4623 Physical Meteorology
  • GR 4923/6923 Severe Weather and 4713 Synoptic Meteorology
2.3.1.3 Boundary layer meteorology and micrometeorology Partially Met (81%) with:
  • GR 1603 Intro to Meteorology
  • GR 4xx3/6xx3 Physical Climatology or GR 4603/6603 Climatology
  • GR 4623 Physical Meteorology
2.3.1.4 Conventional observations and instrumentation Partially Met (92%) with combination of:
  • GR 1603 Intro to Meteorology and
  • GR 4443/4453 Weather Prediction I and II
2.3.1.5 Remote sensing GR 4753/6753 Satellite and Radar Meteorology
2.3.2.1 Atmospheric dynamics GR 4933/6933 Dynamic Meteorology II
2.3.2.2 Numerical weather prediction GR 4473/6473 Numerical Weather Prediction
2.3.3.1 Mid-latitude and polar weather systems Met with combination of:
  • GR 1603 Intro to Meterology
  • GR 4603/6603 Climatology
  • GR 4713 Synoptic Meteorology
  • GR 4923/6923 Severe Weather
  • GR 4933/6933 Dynamic Meteorology II
2.3.3.2 Tropical weather systems Met with GR 4923/6923 Severe Weather or GR 4943/6943 Tropical Meteorology
2.3.3.3 Mesoscale weather systems Partially met (75%) with GR 4923/6923 Severe Weather
Met with planned offering GR 4963/6963 and GR 4733/6733 Synoptic Meteorology if substituted
2.3.3.4 Weather observing, analysis and diagnosis Partially Met (79%) with:
  • GR 1603 Intro to Meteorology
  • GR 4753/6753 Satellite and Radar Meteorology
  • GR 4923/6923 Severe Weather
2.3.3.5 Weather forecasting GR 4443/4453 Weather Prediction I and II
2.3.3.6 Service delivery Met with a combination of:
  • GR 1603 Intro to Meteorology
  • GR 4443/4453 Weather Prediction I and II
2.3.4.1 Global circulation, climate and climate services Met with:
  • GR 1603 Intro to Meteorology
  • GR 4603/6603 Climatology
  • GR 4xx3/6xx3 Physical Climatology
2.3.4.2 Climate variability and climate change Met with:
  • GR 4613 Applied Climatology
  • GR 4xx3/6xx3 Physical Climatology

Additionally, WMO will require coursework in mathematics (Calculus I through Differential Equations), Physics, Chemistry, Oceanography,* Hydrology,* Geography,* Ecology,* Geographic Information Systems,* Programming,* and written* and oral communication. Classes with (*) can be taken online through the Department of Geosciences.

See the Manual on the Implementation of Education and Training Standards in Meteorology and Hydrology, Vol 1 - Meteorology for the full education and training standards publication.

American Meteorological Society Certified Broadcast Meteorologist

1) 24 hours in atmospheric science including:
a. 12 hours with calculus as pre- or co-req
Atmospherics Thermodynamics GR 4823/6823 Dynamic Meteorology I
Dynamics GR 4933/6933 Dynamic Meteorology II
Synoptic Meteorology GR 4733/6733 Synoptic Meteorology*
Mesoscale Meteorology GR 4963/6963 Mesoscale Meteorology*
b. 3 hours atmospheric physics GR 4623 Physical Meteorology
c. 3 hours atmospheric measurements or instrumentation GR 4753/6753 Satellite/Radar
GR 4333/6333 Remote Sensing
d. 3 hours specialty topics GR 4443, 4453 Weather Prediction I or II
GR 4943/6943 Tropical Met
GR 8133, 8143 Foundations of Forecasting/Advanced Forecasting
e. 3 hours of a synthesizing experience GR 4640 Internship
GG 4333 Geowriting
GR 8573 Research in Applied Met
2) At least 3 semesters of Calculus including differential equations Must be taken through Department of Mathematics
3) 1 year of Calculus based Physics Must be taken through Physics Department
4) Chemistry for science majors Must be taken through Chemistry Department
5) A course with a multi-disciplinary and/or integrative approach to an environmental topic, such as a course on climate change Many of our courses meet this requirement
6) Computer science/programming, statistics, writing or oral communication GIS classes, Statistical Climatology, Geowriting

*GR 4733 Synoptic Meteorology and GR 4963 Mesoscale Meteorology are planned for online offering. Once approved, they can be substituted in any of our programs for GR 4713 Synoptic Meteorology I and GR 4923 Severe Weather.

See the American Meteorological Society for AMS CBM requirements.

Other Distance Geosciences Programs