Department of Geosciences
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132

Certificate Program in Meteorology for Broadcasters

Important Note on new Certfied Broadcast Meteorologist Program

The AMS Broadcast Seal for Radio and Television will be discontinued after 31 December 2008. A new program, the Certfied Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) program, will be an option for media meteorologists as of January 2005, and will completely replace the Broadcast Seal in 2009. Since the CBM will require a BS in Atmospheric Science or Meteorology, the Department of Geosciences will discontinue the Certificate Program described below after 2008. The requirements for the CBM and AMS's method of evaluation are summarized on this pdf file (N.B., you will need a pdf reader to open this---for Mac Preview or Adobe Acrobat Reader, for PC Adobe Acrobat Reader).


The purpose of the program is to provide certification that students interested in making weathercasting a career have completed the academic coursework mandated by the American Meteorological Society's (AMS) Board of Broadcast Meteorology. Successful completion of these courses is a partial requirement for applicants seeking the coveted AMS Broadcast Seal for Radio and Television. Note that persons seeking the Broadcast Seal for Radio and Television must also be members of the AMS (note: by taking the courses listed below, seekers of the Certificate will automatically be qualified for AMS membership).The Broadcast Seal is widely-sought by those in the profession of broadcast meteorology, both in the radio and television venues.

The Seal represents an external certification of the on-air meteorologist's qualifications and competence and is often required of applicants for on-air media positions. Please note that students striving to meet the academic requirements for the Broadcast Seal are not required to have the Certificate, but are REQUIRED to have courses comparable to those in the list. The Department of Geosciences has created the Certificate Program to package these courses in a convenient listing and to provide students with certification of completion of the academic requirements.

Students entering SFSU from other programs may substitute courses they have taken elsewhere if they can show that such courses have (nearly) identical titles, philosophy, format and content. Requests for such "articulation" will be evaluated by the three members of the meteorology staff at SFSU. The reason for this is that several of the courses in the program were specifically tailored to meet the criteria set by the AMS for the academic needs of the Broadcast Seal. General, non-majors meteorology courses do NOT meet these needs. For example, Metr 200, 201 comprise a two-course 8 unit sequence in introductory physical, dynamic and synoptic meteorology and oceanography for majors. Lower division survey courses in non-majors meteorology (such as our own Metr 100 and 102) cannot be used to substitute for these courses.

Other Requirements for Broadcast Seal Independent of Course Requirement

Students should be aware that the AMS will evaluate the degree to which the academic requirements (as outlined below) are completed. If the academic requirements are met, the AMS will then require submission of three video- or audiotape examples of the student's broadcast work. Students are strongly encouraged to contact the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts Department regarding career preparation for this additional requirement for the Broadcast Seal.

Course Requirements for Certificate as they Relate to AMS Curriculum Titles

The academic requirements for the Seal include at least 20 units (semester hours) of college coursework in the atmospheric and other earth sciences including a requirement of 12 units in the atmospheric, oceanic and/or hydrologic sciences.

At least 12 of the 20 semester units must be in four of the following five areas*, with at least 2 units in each of those four:

*Courses must be specifically designed to cover these areas. Generally speaking, such courses should have the subject areas included in the title of the course. The purpose of this is to make sure that non-major survey courses in which tacit coverage of these topics is given are NOT used to meet these requirements.

The course requirements for SFSU's Certificate Program were designed not only to meet the basic requirements of the AMS, but also to provide students in the program with more general interdisciplinary information on earth systems. Several courses explore the current understanding of the answers to some key questions on the interactions of the atmosphere, oceans, solid earth, and living organisms. Those interactions are crucial to shaping Earth's climate and hold the key to predicting future climate, a matter of great topical interest to weathercasters.There are two ways for students to receive the Certificate if they complete the required list of courses. Regularly enrolled students should indicate that they are seeking the Certificate by listing it in the "Minor" section on the Graduation Petition.

Students external to SFSUor students already having completed a baccalaureate degree must enroll as "Post-Baccalaureate Students" and indicate the Certificate Program in the "Minor" section on the Graduation Petition.


Required Courses 24 Units
Core Meteorology Requirement (12 Units)
METR 200 Intro to Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics and Thermodynamics - (4 unit Lecture)
METR 201 Intro to Dynamic and Synoptic Meteorology and Oceanogrpahy- (4 Unit Lecture)
METR 301 (formerly Metr 603) Weather Chart Analysis and Discussion - (1 Unit Laboratory)
METR 698 Public Weather Forecasting* - (1 to 3 Unit Laboratory)*Should be taken 1 to 3 times for a total of 3 units.

Earth System Science Requirement (4 Units)
METR 310 Planetary Climate Change (3 Units Lecture, 1 Unit Laboratory)

Additional College Credits Units Upon Advisement (8 Units)
GEOL 302 The Violent Earth - (3 Unit Lecture)
GEOG 402 The Climatic Challenge - (3 Unit Lecture)
METR 206 Use of Computers in Meteorology and Oceanography - (2 Unit Lecture)
METR 302 The Violent Atmosphere - (3 Unit Lecture)
METR 356 California Weather Events - (3 Unit Lecture)

Schedule through Spring 2011 for Certificate Courses
Year of Offering
Fall Metr 200/206 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010
Spring Metr 201 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011
Fall Metr 301 (prereq Metr 200/201/206); 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011
Spring Metr 302/310/698, Geol 302, Geog 402 Every
Fall Metr 302/356/698, Geol 302, Geog 402 Every

John Monteverdi/ 8/27/04