New to the forums! Undergraduate student

Discussion in 'Introductory weather & chasing' started by Christian W Zegarra, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. Christian W Zegarra

    Dec 26, 2017
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    Hello everyone,

    So excited to be part of an awesome community. I'm a student at a State University. Studying Biology with Chemistry and Math minor. To make the story short, I had a choice to pick Meteorology (Originally my major) or Chemistry in August 2017. Sadly I picked Chemistry and ever since I did I regret it. My passion for meteorology started when Hurricane Sandy was declared Category 2 hurricane. It was something I would never forget and that feeling of me someday understanding how the hurricane really formed. My goal right now is to recover from physics 1 after I failed this semester. I have the ability to go back to being meteorology major, but I have to take physics 1 again. My major biology requires physics. I could pick Algebra-based physics or calculus-based physics. This week during the winter break I will have tutoring to see how well I do with getting help. When I was taking physics this semester I had no help and nobody wanted to help me.

    So my plan:

    1)See how well the tutoring goes, then if it goes well. I will take physics 1 again in the spring with help from my friend. Hopefully, they can add me to the course.
    2)Take both Physics 1 and 2 in the summer. Note: This will be algebra-based physics.
    3) Follow plan two, but wait until grad school to do Meteorology. I want to do Atmospheric Chemistry.

    Do you think I need Physical chemistry?

    I will be taking Calculus 3, Organic Chemistry 2 and two gens.

    Thank you so much,
  2. beaudodson

    Feb 8, 2005
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    Welcome to the board.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
  3. Shane Adams

    Sep 29, 2011
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    Welcome to The Asylum :)
  4. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
    Staff Member

    Oct 7, 2008
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    Welcome! I hope you are able to get out of this forum everything you hoped for and more.

    As a retired academic (in the sense that I finally finished college after 13 years...), I can probably provide some advice on your curriculum, although I won't be able to help you with intimate details since I don't know exactly which school you're at. Even if I did, each school has different rules, so I can only help you so much.

    If you're trying to keep the door open on a meteorology degree, you are going to need to take a two-semester calculus-based physics course sequence. You will also need to take what is likely labeled as calc 1, 2, and 3 (single-variable and multivariable...however they're divided up), plus ordinary differential equations (steer clear of partial diff eq unless you have aspirations for grad school). Unfortunately, what most incoming meteorology majors don't know is that meteorology programs are insanely calculus and physics based. Those prerequisites usually filter out the vast majority of those who enter the program but who never manage to get the degree. You're certainly capable of passing those classes, but be warned - you will need to take them seriously and don't hesitate to reach out to your classmates, instructors, TAs, department help, and college help if you start to struggle or fall behind. That's what all those folks are there for - to help you get through the courses.

    Additionally, your university probably offers an introductory course on meteorology that is open to non-majors. If you haven't taken it, do so. It will focus some things and help determine if meteorology is going to be a good fit for you. Even if you pass that particular course with flying colors, however, be aware that your core meteorology coursework is going to be much more heavily math-based. You will be performing derivations of meteorological equations that will require the calculus and ODE knowledge you'll gain from those prerequisites. Surprisingly few core meteorology courses focus on the glorious and sexy weather analysis and forecasting that you see on TV or in a forecast discussion online. Much of the coursework is actually thermodynamics and fluid dynamics.

    If you have any other specific questions please ask. I wish you the best!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Alex Elmore

    Dec 14, 2015
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    In addition to the information Jeff posted above, I'll add that if you major in any non-meteorology field (math, biology, chemistry), you may be required to take or sit in on some introductory meteorology courses if you decide to pursue a graduate degree in meteorology. This would be in addition to your required graduate courses. However, the rules for this vary from department to department and situation to situation. It's just something to keep in mind when it comes to looking into graduate programs and asking questions if you do pursue a non-meteorology undergraduate degree.

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