Dalhousie Diploma in Meteorology

This is an unofficial site maintained by Ian Folkins, Coordinator of the Dalhousie Diploma in Meteorology.

The main purpose is to discuss how we determine acceptance to the DMET Programme.

Academically related questions should be directly emailed to Ian Folkins.

I would also be happy to look at unofficial transcripts and give recommendations on any additional courses that might increase your chances of acceptance to the DMET.

Most information on the DMET can be found at the official university site.

Official University Meteorology Web Page

You also may want to have a look at:

Dalhousie Career and Leadership Development Centre

Weather plays an important role in our daily lives. Forecasts provide the information we need to plan activities, and a timely report of severe weather can save lives and millions of dollars. The future of weather is a concern worldwide because climate change has the potential to alter familiar precipitation patterns. Trained meteorologists make important contributions to regional, national, and international prediction and observational efforts. Through the Atmospheric Science Program in the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science at Dalhousie University, we educate tomorrow's meteorologists in a stimulating and dynamic research environment.

The Diploma in Meteorology (D. Met.) is a one-year program designed to train forecasters and provide a strong background in atmospheric science for studies at the graduate level. It may be pursued alone or in combination with a Majors Physics degree. The following links provide information for students considering applying to the D. Met. program at Dalhousie.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements depend upon whether the D. Met. is pursued alone or in combination with a Majors Physics degree:

One-year D. Met.: The D. Met. may be pursued in a one-year course of study following the completion of a B.Sc. in any discipline (in Physics, Chemistry, etc.) at Dalhousie University or elsewhere. A strong background in mathematics and at least 1st year Physics is required. The D. Met. Coordinator reviews each applicant's courses and grades to ensure an appropriate background before acceptance.

Combined D. Met. / Majors Physics B.Sc.: The D. Met. is also offered in combination with a Majors B.Sc. in the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science at Dalhousie. In this case, enrollment in the D. Met. program is normally pursued after completing second year in the Majors Physics program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: I am a high school student interested in meteorology. What should I take?

Answer: Because Meteorology is a Physical Science, a good background in Mathematics and Physics is important. Minimum requirements for admission to undergraduate programs at Dalhousie are provided here.

Question: What university degrees / courses would best prepare me for the D. Met?

Answer: The best background for the program can be obtained through a degree in Physics or Mathematics. Students taking other degrees in Science (e.g., Chemistry) should be sure to take courses in Differential Equations, Vector Calculus, and Vector Algebra, and at least first year Physics.

Question: What are the grade requirements for acceptance into the program?

Answer: There are no formal grade requirements; instead, the D. Met. Coordinator assesses the background of each applicant individually to determine their level of preparation for the program.  In general, however, if you have mostly C's and D's, you will not be accepted.  Acceptance is possible with a transcript with mostly B's and C's, but only in cases with a strong physics or math background.  GPA expectations are higher for students with fewer courses in math, chemistry, and physics.

Question: Can I take the D. Met. concurrently with the ________ program at Dalhousie?

Answer: The D. Met. can only be taken concurrently with a Majors degree in Physics. Students taking other B.Sc. degrees still have the option of taking the D. Met. in a one-year post-graduate program.

Question: Can I transfer into the concurrent Physics / D. Met. program from my current University?

Answer: Transferring will require acceptance into the Faculty of Science at Dalhousie; please contact the Registrar's Office. The approval of course transfers in Physics is decided by the Physics Undergraduate Coordinator.

Question: Do you offer the D. Met. by correspondence?

Answer: No.

Question: I have taken the course in ________ elsewhere; can I be exempted from taking it in the D. Met. program?

Answer: Exemptions from D. Met. courses are generally not allowed. Exemptions from Physics courses in the concurrent program need to be discussed with the Physics Undergraduate Coordinator, Laurent Kreplak (kreplak@dal.ca).

Question: Do I require an honours BSc or a 4 year Major?

Answer: No, a 3 year BSc is fine. What is most important is the mix of courses you have taken.

Question:  Should I postpone applying until my official transcript shows that I have graduated?

Answer:  Not neccessarilly. We do offer conditional acceptances, in which case you are required to submit evidence of graduation to the Registrars Office when it is available. You are also welcome to submit unofficial transcripts to the Coordinator if you would like an opinion on your likely acceptance.

QuestionWhat types of degrees can be used as the basis for admission?

Answer:  The best majors are those that involve the most quantitative description of the natural world, and exposure to mathematics. This includes degrees in Physics, Chemistry, and Engineering. We always look for first year physics and calculas. These are absolute prerequisites. We also we look for courses in thermodynamics (either through physics, engineering, or chemistry), computer programming, electricity and magnetism, second year
calculas, vector calculas, differential equations, courses in waves or mechanics, fluid mechanics, or any course involving mathematics. You don't need all of these, but the more the better, and the higher the GPA the better. Degrees in Environmental Science, Geography, and Biology may be acceptable. Acceptance would depend on a mix of considerations including GPA and the number of relevant courses. The Diploma Coordinator would behappy to give an informal assessment of the likelihood of acceptance if unoffical transcripts are provided.

Who Hires Meteorologists?

The main employer for most of our students is Environment Canada. Students take a written exam from Environment Canada in January, and if successful, are invited to oral interviews in March. Job offers are usually sent out in May - June, with jobs starting in September. We offer an intensive training program to students in early January to help prepare them for their written exams.

Many different groups in both the public and private sectors hire meteorologists. The Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS) maintains a list of advertisements for careers in meteorology.

Some employers who hire meteorologists are: