ascore imageNew Gen Ed Requirements

All students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the College of Arts and Sciences who enter the college in the fall of 2018 or thereafter must complete the new General Education requirements. Students who entered the college before the fall 2018 have the option of completing either the new General Education requirements OR the old Core Curriculum.

Natural Sciences Distribution Courses

ATOC 1050 Weather and the Atmosphere
ATOC 1060 Our Changing Environment
ATOC 1070 Weather and the Atmosphere Laboratory
ATOC 3050 Principles of Weather
ATOC 3070 Introductions to Oceanography
ATOC 3180 Aviation Meteorology
ATOC 3300 Analysis of Climate and Weather Observations
ATOC 3500 Air Chemistry and Pollution
ATOC 3600 Principles of Climate
ATOC 3720 Planets and Their Atmospheres
ATOC 4200 Biogeochemical Oceanography
ATOC 4215 Descriptive Physical Oceanography
ATOC 4500 Special Topics in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
ATOC 4550 Mountain Meteorology
ATOC 4700 Weather Analysis and Forecasting
ATOC 4710 Introduction to Atmospheric Physics
ATOC 4720 Introduction to Atmospheric Dynamics
ATOC 4730 Physical Oceanography/Climate
ATOC 4750 Desert Meteorology and Climate
ATOC 4770 Wind Energy Meteorology
ATOC 4800 Policy Implications of Climate Controversies

Natural Sciences Distribution Lab Courses

ATOC 1070 Weather and the Atmosphere Laboratory
ATOC 3300 Analysis of Climate and Weather Observations

Old Core Curriuculm

The Natural Science requirement of the College of Arts & Sciences Core Curriculum, which consists of passing 13 hours of approved natural science course work, includes one two-semester sequence of courses and at least 1 credit hour of an associated lab or field experience. No more than two lower-division courses may be taken from any single department (1-credit-hour lab/field experience courses are excepted). Students who take approved CU-Boulder course work to fulfill this requirement must take the course for a letter grade and receive a passing grade of D- or higher.

A two-semester sequence

  • ATOC 1050 (3) Weather and the Atmosphere. Introduces principles of modern meteorology for nonscience majors, with emphasis on scientific and human issues associated with severe weather events. Includes description, methods of prediction, and impacts of blizzards, hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes, lightning, floods, and firestorms. Meets MAPS requirement for natural science: non-lab. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: natural science. Typically offered in fall, spring and summer semesters.
  • ATOC 1060 (3) and Our Changing Environment: El Niño, Ozone, and Climate. Discusses the Earth’s climate for nonscience majors, focusing on the role of the atmosphere, oceans, and land surface. Describes the water cycle, atmospheric circulations, and ocean currents, and how they influence global climate, El Niño, and the ozone hole. Discusses human impacts from climate change. Prereq., ATOC 1050. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: natural science.  Typically offered in fall, spring and summer semesters.

1-Credit-Hour Laboratory/Field Courses

  • ATOC 1070-1 Weather and the Atmosphere Laboratory. Optional laboratory for ATOC 1050. Laboratory experiments illustrate fundamentals of meteorology. Covers collection, analysis, and discussion of data related to local weather. Uses computers for retrieval and interpretation of weather data from Colorado and across the U.S. Prereq. or coreq., ATOC 1050 or instructor consent. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: natural science. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: natural science.  Typically offered in fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Non-Sequence Courses

  • ATOC 3050-3 Principles of Weather.  Explores the processes that influence middle latitude weather including atmospheric thermodynamics, cloud and precipitation processes, atmospheric dynamics, air masses and fronts, and mid-latitude cyclones. Recitations and homework assignments will allow students to apply these concepts to real weather data through analysis of weather maps, thermodynamics diagrams, and conceptual models. Department enforced prereq., ATOC 1050. Approved for Arts and Sciences core curriculum: natural science.
  • ATOC/GEOL 3070-3 Introduction to Oceanography. Investigates the broad-scale features and dynamics of the Earth’s oceans. The course is roughly divided amongst the four major, interrelated disciplines of oceanography: marine geology, marine chemistry, physical oceanography (i.e. circulation), and marine biology. Specific topics include seafloor spreading, marine sediments, salinity, biogeochemical cycles, currents, waves, tides, primary production, marine ecology, marine resources, global warming, and much more. Prereq., any two-course sequence of natural science courses. Same as GEOL 3070. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: natural science.  Typically offered by ATOC in fall semester and GEOL in spring semesters.
  • ATOC 3300-3 Analysis of Climate and Weather Observations. Discusses instruments, techniques, and statistical methods used in atmospheric observations. Covers issues of data accuracy and analysis of weather maps. Provides application to temperature and precipitation records, weather forecasting, and climate change trends. Uses computers to access data sets and process data. Prereqs., ATOC 1050 and 1060, or ATOC 3600/GEOG 3601/ENVS 3600, or GEOG 1011 and 1-semester calculus. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: natural science. 
  • ATOC 3500/CHEM 3151-3 Air Chemistry and Pollution. Examines the composition of the atmosphere and sources of gaseous and particulate pollutants: their chemistry, transport, and removal from the atmosphere. Applies general principles to acid rain, smog, and stratospheric ozone depletion. Prereqs., two semesters chemistry. ATOC 3500 and CHEM 3151 are the same course. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: natural science. 
  • ATOC/ENVS 3600/GEOG 3601-3 Principles of Climate. Describes the basic components of the climate system: the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and lithosphere. Investigates the basic physical processes that determine climate and link the components of the climate system. Covers the hydrological cycle and its role in climate, climate stability, and global change. Includes forecasting climate and its application and human dimensions. Prereqs., One semester calculus. In addition ATOC 1050 and 1060, or ATOC 3300/GEOG 3301, or GEOG 1001.  Typically offered by ATOC in fall semesters and GEOG in spring semesters.
  • ATOC 4550-3 Mountain Meteorology.  Investigating main processes that control weather and climate in the western United States and other mountain ranges around the world is the emphasis of this course. Provides an advanced survey of synoptic, mesoscale, and microscale meteorology in complex terrain including orographically modified cyclone evolution, front-mountain interactions, terrain and thermally driven flows, mountain waves, downslope winds, and orographic precipitation.  Recommended prereq., ATOC 1050. Same as ATOC 5550.
  • ATOC 4700-3 Weather Analysis and Forecasting. Utilizing a range of operational weather observations to analyze current weather conditions, providing hands-on experience interpreting observations and relating those observations to the physical principles that govern atmospheric behavior is the course emphasis. It focuses on how to read weather reports, analyze observations, and how to prepare weather maps to analyze current conditions and how to interpret numerical weather forecasts. Prereqs., ATOC 1050 or 1060. Recommended prereq., ATOC 4720. 
  • ATOC 4750-3 Desert Meteorology and Climate. Introduces students to the dynamic causes of deserts in the context of atmospheric processes and land-surface physics. Discusses desert severe weather, desert microclimates, human impacts and desertification, inter-annual variability in aridity (drought), the effects of deserts on global climate, and the impact of desert climate on humans. Prereq., ATOC 1050 or equivalent. Same as ATOC 5750. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: natural sciences.
  • ATOC 4770-3. Wind Energy Meteorology.  Explores the complex interactions of the atmosphere and wind energy generation. Surveys wind turbine designs. Explores planetary boundary layer dynamics, traditional and novel wind measurement methods, forecasting methods, wind turbine and wind far wakes, wind far optimization, sound propagation from wind plants, climate change impacts on wind resources, and the impacts of wind plants on local environments. Department enforced prereq., ATOC 1050.  Same as ATOC 5770.  Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: natural sciences.