Department of Earth and Environmental Science
The Department of Earth and Environmental Science offers undergraduate majors in both Earth Science and Environmental Studies. Each of these majors has a set of tracks or concentrations that allow students to tailor their major to their career goals and interests. Click on a Major or Concentration box to learn more about the focus and requirements:
Earth Science Major
This major is for students who want an in-depth understanding of the various physical, chemical, and geologic processes that work within our planet and on its surface. By studying all fields of natural science and taking specialized courses in Earth Science students gain the skills needed to scientifically study and reconstruct Earth's history from the beginning of the solar system to historic times. Students gain hands-on experience in analyzing fossils, rocks, minerals, maps, aerial photographs, and satellite images in the laboratory and on field trips. Earth Science students understand the geologic and environmental processes associated with natural resources (e.g. oil, minerals, hydrologic), soil formation, natural hazards (e.g. earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunami and landslides), coastal and earth surface processes and the detection and control of anthropogenic pollution, among other things. Graduates go on to apply their skills to academic research and a broad range of careers, including environmental and geologic consulting, resource management, and engineering. The Paleobiology and Environmental Science tracks are also options for Pre-Med students.
Environmental Studies Major
Environmental History and Regional Studies
Environmental Policy and Application
Global Environmental System
Sustainability and Environmental Management
The program in Environmental Studies is designed to provide students with the skills to understand and address contemporary environmental issues. The major integrates studies in the natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, policy and management in order to study complex issues of the environment and humans’ interaction with the environment.
Students take a series of core courses and a set of specialized courses in a concentration. Core courses cover environmental and earth science, data analysis, economics and policy, and provide students with the skills and breadth of understanding they need for purposeful study in a concentration. Subsequently, the concentrations allow students to develop in-depth and specialized knowledge in a subfield of environmental studies that will help them meet their career goals. Graduates of the program are trained for professions that are directly and indirectly involved with problems of environmental quality and management. Due to the interdisciplinary approach of the program, graduates go on to work in a variety of fields. Some recent graduates have gone on to Medical or Law School while others have taken positions in environmental consulting, “green” finance, government and politics, education, scientific research, environmental magazines, the Park Service and the Peace Corps. Others have remained in academics to pursue Masters and/or PhD degrees.