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Atmospheric Science

at UBC's

Vancouver Campus

Atmospheric Science is the study of weather and climate. This highly interdisciplinary specialization focuses on meteorological fields including air quality, environment, climate change, weather monitoring & instrumentation, and consulting. 

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Program information

  • Campus: Vancouver
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science
  • Length 4 yrs
  • Co-op Yes
    You can combine your studies with full-time, paid work at top local and international organizations.
  • Honours No
    You can study intense specialization in a single field.

In Atmospheric Science, you study the processes of the atmosphere, with particular focus on the atmospheric boundary layer. Some of the program’s meteorological topics include cloud physics, air pollution dispersion, air-sea interactions, climate dynamics, and urban and forest meteorology.

The Atmospheric Science program includes:

  • interdisciplinary courses, faculty, and research
  • attention to students, including a good student/teacher ratio
  • Computational emphasis at all levels
  • Connections with Environment Canada
  • Availability of UBC-produced daily operational numerical weather prediction forecasts for students
  • Personnel and monetary support for course-development
  • Development and design of new meteorological sensors and systems for hands-on experiences

Campus features

Undergraduates in this specialization make use of many modern facilities. The Earth Sciences Building includes a weather-instrument platform for research and teaching, modern labs for oceanographic research, wet labs, and two PC classrooms. There are extensive hands-on labs and equipment to introduce students to biometeorology, micrometeorology, urban meteorology, weather instruments (including LIDAR), and atmospheric chemistry. Data from second climate station at Totem field is used regularly.

The Pacific Museum of the Earth includes a green screen that students use for mock TV weather briefings, a “weather lane” of displays including a tornado machine, and an OmniGlobe for display of weather and other geophysical data.

Students use Mechanical Engineering’s Aerodynamics Laboratory in the specialization’s instruments course, and the Engineering Design Center enables creative instrument development.

The Atmospheric Science faculty also owns cluster computers for numerical weather and climate simulations.

Your future

A UBC education will introduce you to people and ideas from around the world, open doors to new opportunities, and take you places you never imagined. You’ll graduate not only with expertise in your chosen field, but with the skills you need to continue growing, learning, and evolving with your career over time.

Program requirements

English-language requirements

English is the language of instruction at UBC. All prospective students must demonstrate English-language competency prior to admission. There are numerous ways to meet the English Language Admission Standard.

General admission requirements

  • Completion of the IB Diploma with a minimum score of 24 points, including at least three Higher Level courses and additional points for Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge.
  • Completion of Standard Level or Higher Level English A at a minimum score of 3, where English is the primary language of instruction.

Degree-specific requirements: Science

  • IB Mathematics (Standard or Higher Level; IB Math Studies does not meet the requirement)
  • One of IB Biology, IB Chemistry, or IB Physics (Standard or Higher Level)
  • One year of Chemistry immediately prior to IB Diploma
  • One year of Physics immediately prior to IB Diploma (may be waived with scores of 5 or higher in IB Mathematics and IB Chemistry)
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