Why Study Meteorology at NIU?
Meteorology is so much more than weather forecasting. It’s understanding how weather and climate impact our activities, and environment. It’s also about understanding how we can use weather and climate information to face inherent risks including the uncertainties of climate change. Those with meteorology degrees will be in demand to help deal with many of our world’s most pressing environmental issues.
Our program, rich in tradition, was the very first meteorology or atmospheric science degree program offered by a public university in Illinois. In addition to an abundance of hands-on learning opportunities
commonly associated with a large research university, you’ll find the personal attention typically associated with a small college, and dedicated faculty committed to mentoring and teaching. All core classes are taught by full-time, award-winning faculty. Our program meets standards established by the American Meteorological Society for an undergraduate degree in atmospheric science and federal civil service requirements for meteorologists.
Careers with a Meteorology Degree
It’s a good time to be a meteorologist and atmospheric scientist. According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for these professions is growing 9 percent faster than average through 2024. Careers include:
- Atmospheric physicists and dynamists
- Climate scientists
- Forensic meteorologists
- Research meteorologists
- Weather forecasters
- Pollution control
- Broadcast meteorologists
- Aeronautical and marine meteorology
- Risk assessment
- Environmental engineering
- Water supply management
Many of our faculty are leaders in the fields of climatology and meteorology research. Their research encompasses many areas including:
- How urbanization influences thunderstorm initiation and intensity
- Geophysical Hazards Developing climate-related decision support tools for users in climate-sensitive industries
- Applied climatology
- Modeling dynamic interactions between land surface and atmosphere
Hands-on Learning Opportunities
In addition to regular course work, students develop valuable pre-professional experience by:
- Participating in faculty research projects
- Forecasting for the campus student newspaper and cable television
- Operating the DeKalb-area National Weather Service Cooperative Weather Station
- Serving the community as severe weather watchers
- Conducting weather awarenessseminars in local schools
- Internship experiences with the NWS and various weather-sensitive organizations in northern Illinois
We also have an active chapter of the American Meteorological Society, a group that plans events and activities for students interested in the field.