Dec 04, 2020  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Earth Sciences, B.S.

Earth science is an interdisciplinary, applied science that explains how Earth’s interior, surface, and atmospheric processes operate in interconnected ways with each other and with life on spatial scales from microscopic to global and on temporal scales from fractions of a second to millions of years. Thus, the Earth sciences must be approached in an interdisciplinary manner in both the classroom and the field. The B.S. in Earth sciences includes a set of core courses that provide the student with the necessary background in geology, chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics and field techniques. Concentrations in geology, geophysics, and environmental and resource sciences, and unique student-designed concentrations established with faculty approval near completion of the core, are available. The B.S. in Earth Sciences pairs well with majors and minors across the university and provides a strong science-based major for those pursuing graduate work in the sciences and professional Earth science employment opportunities.

Requirements for the Major

A minimum of 60 credit hours with at least 30 credit hours in the Earth sciences. Number of support courses and total number of credit hours will depend on concentration, selected from the following:

Concentrations (27-28 Credit Hours)

One concentration from the following:



Environmental and Resource Sciences


A minimum of 27 credit hours of additional advanced elective courses from Earth sciences, anthropology, biological sciences, and/or chemistry, not to exceed 12 credit hours outside of Earth sciences. The concentration plan must be approved by the department academic advisor at least one academic year prior to expected graduation.

Total: 65-66 Credit Hours


  • Experience with a modern scientific computing language and geographic information systems is essential and can be gained in a course such as GEOL 3359 - Computer Methods in Earth Sciences .
  • The requirements for the earth sciences major are considered minimal. Students planning careers in the Earth Sciences should take additional coursework according to the geoscience emphasis that best fits their goals. Students should consult a faculty adviser for suggestions.
  • B.S. students in earth science who plan to pursue a graduate degree in Earth or environmental science are strongly encouraged to complete a minor in an allied field (mathematics , biology , chemistry , physics  or anthropology ).