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Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences Degree

What is Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences?

Atmospheric and environmental science is the study of weather and climate. This field of study strives to study short-term weather patterns as well as long-term climate processes.

The atmospheric and environmental science degree offers specializations in environmental science and meteorology. This degree also offers an accelerated master’s degree.

What does a Atmospheric and Environmental Scientist do?

With climate change impacting our planet daily, there is no better time, or more important time, to study our climate than now. And with our location in the Black Hills, an area widely known for its unpredictable weather, there is no better place to study atmospheric and environmental science than at South Dakota Mines.

At Mines, you will study weather, climate, and the impact both have on the earth and its inhabitants.

Courses for this Degree

• Atmospheric Thermodynamics
• Synoptic Meteorology
• Atmospheric Dynamics
• Atmospheric Physics
• Global Environmental Change
• Radar Meteorology
• Air Quality
• The Wildfire Environment
• Atmospheric Chemistry
• Precipitation Physics and Cloud Modification

Course Curriculum

Catalog Links: Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences

Internships and Co-ops

On average, 73% of South Dakota Mines students have applicable work experience when they graduate thanks to internships and co-ops. For these co-ops and internships, students receive an average salary of $22.62/hour.

Atmospheric and environmental science majors earn competitive internships at such places as:

• NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center
• National Severe Storms Laboratory
• Los Alamos National Laboratory
• Rapid City National Weather Service.

Career Outlook

The average starting salary for South Dakota Mines atmospheric and environmental science graduates is $50,000, with a placement rate of 100% for 2022 grads. The placement rate for an atmospheric and environmental science major at South Dakota Mines is 100%.


Careers in atmospheric and environmental science might include:

• Operational meteorology (weather forecasting)
• Atmospheric research
• Broadcast meteorology
• Environmental consulting
• Industrial and commercial forecasting
• Air and water quality, pollution
• Transportation
• Military, emergency response
• Agriculture or energy industries


Potential employers for South Dakota Mines atmospheric and environmental graduates include:

• National Weather Service
• U.S. Armed Forces
• U.S. Department of Defense
• Private-sector forecasting and consulting
• Environmental Protection Agency

Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences Research

As an undergraduate student studying atmospheric and environmental sciences at Mines, you will be able to get involved in research from day one. Our students have the opportunity to participate in research with faculty and be actively involved in research projects in areas involving air quality and convection in the atmosphere, ecosystem structure, and the effects of climate on our earth's ecosystems.

Program Offerings

- Bachelor of science degree in Atmospheric and Environmental Science, BS
- Bachelor of science degree in Atmospheric and Environmental Science, BS, Specialization in Environmental Science
- Bachelor of science degree in Atmospheric and Environmental Science, BS, Specialization in Meteorology
- Accelerated master’s degree in Atmospheric and Environmental Science, MS
(earn your bachelor’s and master’s in AES in five years)
- Master of science degree in Atmospheric and Environmental Science, MS
- Doctor of philosophy degree in Atmospheric and Environmental Science, PhD
- Minor in Atmospheric Sciences




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