missing image


Quick Links

Course Materials

What You Should Already Know

Earth 55 is an introductory meteorology course. You should have successfully completed a first-year algebra course before taking this course. This course is not highly mathematical, but a basic understanding of algebra will help you do things like convert temperatures from Fahrenheit to Celsius.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to do the following:

  1. Describe the Earth’s atmosphere and explain why we have seasons.
  2. Explain how water in the atmosphere plays a major role in our weather.
  3. Describe and identify different forms of precipitation and explain different optical phenomena in the atmosphere.
  4. Describe the different types of air masses and weather fronts.
  5. Explain why wind blows.
  6. Compare and contrast different types of severe weather including thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

Course Materials

Earth 55 is a self-contained course. There is no separate textbook for this course. There are, however, a variety of optional Web links that you can visit if you are interested in learning more about a specific topic.

(Back to top)


Earth 55 contains six units. Each unit is broken into smaller chunks called lessons. Each will teach you about a different aspect of meteorology. After carefully reading the lesson material, there are questions in an ungraded quiz called a self check.

Each unit is followed by a unit quiz. There are two review quizzes, which are submitted in the same manner as the other unit quizzes. Unit quizzes and review quizzes count toward your grade.

As you read through each unit, you will find one or more “Backyard Weather Projects.” These projects are optional; there is nothing you need to submit to BYU, and you will not be tested directly on these activities. However, they do provide you with some interesting experiences and opportunities to apply what you are learning. I encourage you to try each of them.

(Back to top)


The final exam is worth 30 percent of your grade and will consist of fifty multiple choice questions.

(Back to top)


EARTH 55 contains six units. The unit quizzes for units 1–6 are each worth 10 percent of your total grade. The cumulative review unit quizzes are each worth 5 percent of your total grade.

Your final course grade will be calculated in the following manner: the unit quizzes (after each unit and the two review quizzes) will count for a total of 70 percent of your final grade; the other 30 percent of your final grade comes from the final exam.

Assignment # Weight
Unit Quizzes 6 60%
Review Quizzes 2 10%
Final Exam 1 30%
Total 100%

A 100 -93
A- 92 -90
B+ 89 -87
B 86 -83
B- 82 -80
C+ 79 -77
C 76 -73
C- 72 -70
D+ 69 -67
D 66 -63
D- 62 -60
E (fail) 59 or below

Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

(Back to top)

Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

(Back to top)

missing image

Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


Summary: 8 computer-graded assignments, may be resubmitted once for a fee.

Final Exam

Summary: 1 proctored, computer-graded exam, may retake once for a fee, must pass to earn credit for the course.

You must pass the final exam with a score of sixty percent or higher in order to pass this course. You may retake the exam once for a fee. There is no time limit on the exam, and you are allowed to use a calculator. However, you may not use your manual or any notes.

Course Duration

You have 1 year to complete this course. You may purchase one 3-month extension if you need more than a year to complete this course.

University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at the Title IX website or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at the Title IX website or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.