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Undergraduate Certificate inWeather Forecasting

Program summary

Develop models, analyze forecasts, and better understand the impact of weather systems on your leisure activities and professional livelihood with a certificate from one of the most respected meteorology departments in higher education.

Application deadline

Apply by May 5 to start May 13

Credits and costs

12 Credits$626/$671 per credit

Learn How to Forecast the Weather with an Online Weather Forecasting Certificate

Use the program's innovative forecasting techniques and conceptual approaches to learn about meteorology, enrich your hobby, supplement your professional career, or build a preparatory foundation for future study or work. As a student in this program, you will have an opportunity to become a better-informed, critical consumer of weather-related news. Whether you are an amateur weather enthusiast or a weather-related industry professional, enrolling in this 12-credit certificate program can help you refine your skills to more effectively predict the weather.

Why a Weather Forecasting Certificate Online at Penn State?

75 Years of Teaching and Research — The meteorology and atmospheric science department at Penn State, with more than 75 years of rich traditions in teaching, research, and community service, is one of the most highly regarded programs in the United States.

Our faculty continue to pioneer research in areas such as weather communications, severe storms, tropical cyclones, weather risk, and more. This online program uses cutting-edge forecasting techniques as well as innovative conceptual models to help you learn more about the science of meteorology. Interactive, web-based animations can help you to develop operational forecasting skills and gain keen insights into how the atmosphere works.

You Can Earn College Credits — By successfully completing this certificate program, you will earn 12 credits, which you may be able to apply toward a bachelor's degree at Penn State or another accredited institution.

Who Should Apply?

Hobbyists, storm chasers, weather forecasters, or other professionals with a high school degree who rely on weather data to perform their job duties successfully can all benefit from this program, as can:

  • sailing enthusiasts and pilots who rely on meteorological data to chart courses or plan flights
  • professionals whose businesses are affected by weather and who seek a deeper understanding of meteorology 
  • secondary teachers in Earth science who aspire to enhance their understanding of meteorology 
  • communication majors looking for a stepping-stone into the broadcasting profession
  • weather enthusiasts seeking a preparatory foundation to pursue an undergraduate degree in meteorology

There are no formal calculus or physics requirements for entrance to the program.


The online undergraduate certificate in weather forecasting is a four-course, 12-credit program of study designed to provide students with a foundational apprenticeship in weather forecasting. To earn this certificate, you must successfully complete the four prescribed meteorology courses.

  • METEO 101 is offered spring, summer, fall
  • METEO 241 is offered fall and summer
  • METEO 361 is offered spring and summer
  • METEO 410 is offered fall and spring

The delivery method for the core courses in this program is "online group," with a group of students progressing together through each course. The courses are offered in a timeframe comparable to a traditional semester schedule, with fixed start and end dates. The course content and activities are available in electronic format, and access to the web is required in order to complete this program.

Required Courses (12 credits)

Prerequisites as listed may be waived by the course instructor if you can demonstrate the required level of competency. Students need to earn at least a "C" grade in all four courses to be eligible for the certificate.

  • 3

    Fundamental principles of synoptic and physical meteorology, satellite and radar imagery, and data analysis in the setting of mid-latitude weather forecasting.

  • 3

    Applying atmospheric principles to the tropics, with an emphasis on the development, structure, prediction, and destructive impact of hurricanes.

    • Prerequisite

      METEO 101

  • 3

    Applying atmospheric principles to small-scale weather systems, with an emphasis on the conceptual modeling and short-range prediction of severe thunderstorms.

    • Prerequisite

      METEO 101

  • 3

    Exploring highly specialized topics and techniques in weather forecasting that span from mesoscale to planetary spatial scales and short-term to long-range time scales.

    • Prerequisite

      METEO 101, METEO 241, METEO 361

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Costs and Financial Aid

Undergraduate Tuition

Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State.

Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$626 per credit$671 per credit
12–19$7,602 per semester$8,206 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$632 per credit$678 per credit
12–19$7,678 per semester$8,288 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

Paying for Your Certificate

Students pursuing a certificate are considered "nondegree," a status that is not eligible for federal student aid, including the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program. A private alternative loan may be an option to consider.

Additionally, Penn State offers many ways to pay for your education, including an installment plan and third-party payments. Penn State World Campus also offers an Employer Reimbursement and Tuition Deferment Plan. Learn more about the options for paying for your education.

Students pursuing a degree and meeting all other eligibility requirements may qualify for financial aid.

Financial Aid and Military Benefits

Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.

To view the detailed list of cost of attendance elements, select “World Campus” as the location on the tuition site.

How to Apply

Deadlines and Important Dates

  • Summer DeadlineApply by May 5 to start May 13
  • Fall DeadlineApply by August 18 to start August 26
  • Spring DeadlineApply by January 1, 2025, to start January 13, 2025

All supporting materials should be sent following the submission of your application.

For current and future course registration deadlines, visit the Registrar’s website to view the academic calendar by semester

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, email
[email protected]
or call 814-865-1146.

Admission Requirements

To apply for this program, you must be a high school graduate, or have completed your GED.

Technical Requirements 

Review the technical requirements for this program.

Ready to Learn More?

Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.

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Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State undergraduate certificate?

Apply by May 5 to start May 13. How to Apply 

Start or Advance Your Career

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You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.

Career Services to Set You Up for Success

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From the day you're accepted as a student, you can access resources and tools provided by Penn State World Campus Career Services to further your career. These resources are beneficial whether you're searching for a job or advancing in an established career.

  • Opportunities to connect with employers
  • Career counselor/coach support
  • Occupation and salary information
  • Internships
  • Graduate school resources 

Contact Us

For questions about admissions and applications, please contact World Campus Central:

World Campus Central
Phone: 814-865-1146
[email protected]

For program comments and questions, please contact:

Steve Seman
Lead Faculty, Weather Forecasting Certificate
Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science
College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
Penn State University
2217 Earth & Engineering Sciences
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-863-7205
[email protected]

To learn more about the program, visit the Weather Forecasting program website within Penn State's Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.


  • Steve Seman

    • Degree
      M.Ed., Adult Education, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.S., Meteorology, Penn State

    Steve Seman is the lead faculty for the Undergraduate Certificate in Weather Forecasting program and an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science. He has written forecasts for the New York Times and has regularly appeared as a forecaster on Weather World, which airs on WPSU television and the Pennsylvania Cable Network. He specializes in weather analysis and forecasting on the synoptic scale and mesoscale, as well as in instructional design and development of asynchronous online courses. He was the recipient of both the John A. Dutton Award in Atmospheric Dynamics and the Special Award for Teaching Support in Meteorology in 2003.

  • Sim Aberson

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Atmospheric Sciences, University of Maryland
    • Degree
      M.S., Meteorology, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.S., Meteorology, Penn State

    Dr. Sim Aberson is a research meteorologist for the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Miami, Florida. He participates in NOAA's Hurricane Field Program by flying into hurricanes to collect critical observations used in research and forecasting. Dr. Aberson has worked on numerous projects aimed at improving observational data from aircraft and satellites and better assimilating the data into computer models, with the overall goal of advancing the accuracy of tropical cyclone forecasting. He joined the certificate program faculty in 2013.

  • Steve Corfidi

    • Degree
      M.S., Meteorology, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.S., Meteorology, Penn State

    Steve Corfidi is a research associate for the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorology Studies at the University of Oklahoma and the NWS Warning Decision Training Division. Prior to this position, he retired as a lead forecaster with the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. Corfidi has won numerous awards for excellence in forecasting, including Department of Commerce Silver Medals for his contributions to forecasts of tornado outbreaks on April 2, 1982, and December 16, 2000, as well as a Gold Medal for a series of severe weather outbreaks from May 4 to 10, 2003. He joined the certificate program faculty in 2013.

  • Brian Carcione

    B.S., Meteorology, Penn State

    Brian Carcione is the science and operations officer at the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast office in Hunstville, Alabama. In addition to serving as the liaison between the NWS and NASA Earth Science Office (specifically the Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center, or SPoRT Center), he has extensive experience as an operational forecaster. He has issued countless forecasting products for a wide variety of hazardous weather episodes, including several violent tornado events, such as the “Super Outbreak” of April 2011. He joined the certificate program faculty in 2016.


Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State undergraduate certificate?

Apply by May 5 to start May 13. How to Apply