The mission of the Physics, Astronomy, and Meteorology Department is to provide students with the opportunity to understand the physical laws governing the universe. Within the department, applications of the laws of physics are made to the fields of meteorology, planetary sciences, astronomy and oceanography. In addition to experiencing practical applications of the laws of nature, the student is given an understanding of the role played by science and technology in contemporary society.
The meteorology degree provides its students with a broad background of fundamental skills in meteorology, mathematics, computer science, physics, and chemistry and allows them to enter professional employment in both public and private sectors. A student completing the B. S. Meteorology degree will have the necessary expertise and have met requirements to seek employment with the National Weather Service or other government agencies, apply for graduate school in the physical and environmental sciences, and get jobs with a wide range of private sector employers who value students with a solid, quantitative science degree. The B.S. Meteorology degree can also be an excellent background for students choosing to further their education in business or other professional graduate schools. Students who choose the Broadcast Meteorology option will also get media experience with weekly live radio forecasting and doing on-camera television weathercasts in our department TV studio as a member of The WestConn Weather Team, our student team of broadcast meteorologists. We have a very impressive record of placing graduating students in on-camera meteorologist positions. Paid undergraduate research assistantships are available for qualified students with our faculty. Practical experience is available to students through paid employment in the departmental Meteorological Studies and Weather Center.
The B.A. Earth and Planetary Sciences degree gives the student both a broad and detailed working knowledge in the major areas of the earth and planetary sciences (e.g., geology, meteorology, oceanography and astronomy). This is accomplished through experiential and inquiry-driven learning, exposure to current research topics, the use of modern equipment and guidance in experimental techniques by experienced faculty. Emphasis is on well-defined and frequently assessed performance goals such as critical thinking and mastery of concepts, and on the development of marketable skills including: project design and reporting, and the use of modern programming languages and software, instrumentation and methods of data analysis. Research experiences are available through student-faculty collaborations and internships in astronomy, meteorology, oceanography and planetary sciences.