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Earth Science

Content Objectives of the Earth Science Major

While each concentration has a particular focus, the major gives students a broad understanding of Earth Science.  At completion of the program, graduates know the basic physical and chemical processes that operate in and on the planet and understand how direct and indirect methods are used to examine and understand the structure, composition and dynamics of Earth.  Graduates appreciate how humans and ecosystems interact with the dynamic Earth, and have an in-depth knowledge of the atmosphere and climate change, the rock cycle, natural hazards and the hydrologic and biogeochemical cycles.  Additionally, they understand how to measure and use the structure, sequence and properties of rocks, sediments, and fossils to reconstruct events in Earth's history and identify potential natural hazards or earth resources. 

Skill Set Objectives of the Earth Science Major

While completing the Earth Science major, students acquire a broad range of skills in mathematics, chemistry, physics or biology. Students can determine the environmental and/or geologic events that have led to the structures and features of a location and analyze a field site or geologic region. Graduates can use the basic equipment of a geologic and/or environmental science laboratory.  Graduates are able to analyze scientific literature, interpret scientific data, understand the scientific process and conduct a research project. They know which basic statistical and graphical tests should be used and how to perform them.  Graduates have the skills and knowledge to achieve admission to graduate school, professional degree programs, or gain employment.

Concentrations within the Earth Science Major

  • Environmental Science
  • Geology
  • Paleobiology 

Department of Earth and Environmental Science / University of Pennsylvania, 251 Hayden Hall, 240 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6316