Undergraduate Programs

The goal of the Physics, Astronomy, and Meteorology Department is to provide students with the opportunity to understand the physical laws governing the universe. The fundamental relationships of energy and matter pursued from the age of the ancient scientists through the era of Einstein and up to the present day are studied. Applications are made to the fields of astronomy, electronics, engineering, meteorology, and to the many branches of physics from classical mechanics to quantum nuclear physics. 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 B.A. earth and planetary sciences degree gives the student both a broad and detailed working knowledge in the major areas (astronomy, geology, meteorology, oceanography) of the earth and planetary sciences. 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.

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.

Admission Requirements

Please refer to the WCSU Admissions page for admissions requirements.

Degree Programs
 
Bachelor of Arts
  Earth and Planetary Sciences
 
Bachelor of Science
  Meteorology (option: Broadcast Meteorology)
Secondary Education: Earth Science
 
Minor Programs
  Astronomy
Physics
Earth Science
Meteorology
 
Program in Engineering Technology at Central Connecticut State University
  Students are advised of a special engineering technology program leading to a bachelor's degree at Central Connecticut State University. This technical specialization can be in manufacturing, industrial systems, or construction engineering technology. For further information, please contact Dr. Alice Chance, WCSU Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Meteorology, or review the program's web page.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete all general education requirements, the courses and credits listed below, and additional free electives to total a minimum 122 semester hours, including physical education and foreign language. See also the degree requirements.

Required Courses
B.A. Earth and Planetary Sciences

  1. Core Requirements (46-47 SH) 

    ES 110 Physical Geology
    AST 150 General Astronomy
    MTR 150 Meteorology
    PHY 110, 111 General Physics I & II
    MAT 182 Calculus II
    CS 140 Introduction to Programming or CS 143 Visual Basic
    ES 210 Introduction to Physical Oceanography
    AST 231 Introduction to Planetary Sciences
    EPS 331 Practicum in Earth and Planetary Sciences Research
    AST 405 Planetary Physics
    EPS 450 Senior Research in Earth and Planetary Sciences

  2. Major Elective Courses (12 SH minimum)

    PHY/ENV 136 Energy
    CS 170 Computer Science: Language I
    CS 205 or higher course (CS 166 or CS 200 with approval)
    EPS 220/221 Seminar in Earth and Planetary Sciences (may be taken twice in different semesters)
    MAT 282 Ordinary Differential Equations 
    MTR 440 Atmospheric Physics and Remote Sensing
    EPS 490 Advanced Topics in Earth and Planetary Sciences

B.S. Meteorology

To fulfill Natural Science, Mathematics and Computer Science general education requirements for the B.S. Meteorology, students must take Chem 110/111 General Chemistry I/II (8 SH) and Math 181 Calculus I(4 SH) or or Math 171 Calculus I with Review, in addition to the required major requirements listed below.

Natural Science, Mathematics and Computer Science General Education Courses Required for B.S. Meteorology (12 S.H.)

MAT 181 Calculus I or MAT 171 Calculus I with Review   4 SH
CHE 110, 111 General Chemistry I & II   8 SH

Major Requirements (69 S.H.)

  1. Core Courses in Mathematics and Computer Science (17 SH)
    CS 140 Introduction to Programming or CS 143 Visual Basic
    MAT 120 Elementary Statistics
    MAT 182 Calculus II
    MAT 281 Calculus III
    MAT 282 Ordinary Differential Equations
  2. Core Courses in Physics (8 SH)
    PHY 110, 111 General Physics (Calculus-based) I & II (8 SH)
  3. Core Courses in Earth and Planetary Sciences (8 SH)
    AST 150 General Astronomy or ES 110 Physical Geology
    ES 210 Intro to Physical Oceanography
  4. Core Courses in Meteorology (36 SH)
    MTR 150 Meteorology
    MTR 230 Weather Analysis and Forecasting I
    MTR 231 Weather Analysis and Forecasting II
    MTR 240 Climatology
    MTR 310 Atmospheric Thermodynamics
    MTR 311 Atmospheric Dynamics
    MTR 340 Mesoscale Meteorology and Numerical Forecasting
    MTR 370 Internship in Meteorology or MTR 450 Senior Research in Meteorology
    MTR 430 Meteorological Instrumentation
    MTR 440 Atmospheric Physics and Remote Sensing
  5. Additional elective option in Broadcast Meteorology (9 SH)
    MTR 330, 331 Operational Forecasting and Weathercasting I & II
    Choose one of the following:
    THR 260 Voice and Diction
    COM 268 Public Communication
    COM 310 Business and Professional Speaking

Optional Track in Meteorology

  1. Broadcast Meteorology (9 S.H. minimum)
  2. MTR 330/331  Operational Forecasting and Weathercasting I//II 6 SH
       
    Choose one of the following:   3  SH
    • THR  260  Voice and Diction
    • COM 268   Public Communication
    • COM 310 Business and Professional Speaking
     

B.S.: Secondary Education: Earth Science

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for more information on the Bachelor of Science: Earth Science degree requirements. This program is offered through the Education and Educational Psychology Department of the School of Professional Studies.

Minor: Astronomy

Nineteen semester hours of astronomy or physics courses.  Advisement must be through the department Chairperson.

Minor: Physics

Twenty semester hours of physics courses, including PHY 110 and 111 (General Physics I & II), and 12 semester hours by departmental advisement.

Minor: Earth Science

Eighteen semester hours of courses noted as earth science or earth and planetary sciences. Advisement must be through department chairperson.

Minor: Meteorology

The courses for the meteorology minor will be comprised of the core courses for the B.S. meteorology major program, but without the Senior Research in Meteorology (MTR 450), Internship in Meteorology (MTR 370), or Earth Science requirements.

MTR 150 Meteorology   4 SH
MTR 175 Analytical Meteorology   4 SH
MTR 230 Weather Analysis and Forecasting I   4 SH
MTR 310 Atmospheric Thermodynamics   3 SH
MTR 311 Atmospheric Dynamics   3 SH
MTR Elective (200 level or higher)   3 or 4 SH
     

Total Credits:

  21 or 22 SH

 

WCSU Weather Information

Current Conditions in Danbury


Fair
Current Conditions

55.1° F
Feels like N/A°

Wind: 7MPH from the S
Humidity: N/A%
Pressure: 30 in.
Dew Point: N/A° F


Emergency / Weather Alert Information

The Emergency / Weather Alert will be posted on the WCSU home page any time an emergency or bad weather causes a delay, cancellation or early closing of the university.

Weather Alert Example

 Visit the Emergency / Weather Alert page

Greater Danbury 5-Day Forecast

Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Slight chance for a morning shower, partly sunny and pleasant.
Partly sunny and pleasant.
Mostly cloudy, chance for some showers.
Chance for morning rain then some afternoon sunshine.
Mostly sunny and mild.
36° / 59° 34° / 56° 36° / 43° 39° / 54° 33° / 54°