Earth Science: Geology, BA

The Earth Science major provides graduates with a broad understanding of the physical and chemical processes that operate in and on the planet and how direct and indirect methods are used to examine and understand the structure, composition, and dynamics of the Earth. Graduates appreciate how humans and ecosystems interact with the dynamic Earth, and they 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.

Students in the Geology concentration learn the various processes at work within the planet and on its surface. Students gain hands-on experience with fossils, rocks, minerals, maps, aerial photographs, and satellite images in the laboratory and on field trips.

The minimum total course units for graduation in this major is 35. Double majors may entail more course units.

For information about the General Education requirements, please visit the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum page.

College General Education Requirements and Free Electives
Foundational Approaches + Sectors1 + Free Electives20
Major Requirements
Required Courses
EESC 1000Introduction to Geology1
EESC 1002Geology Laboratory1
EESC 2100Mineralogy1
EESC 1500Paleontology1
EESC 2600Stratigraphy1
EESC 2800Structural Geology1
EESC 3100Petrology and Petrography1
MATH 1400Calculus, Part I1
PHYS 0101General Physics: Mechanics, Heat and Sound1.5
CHEM 1011
CHEM 1101
Introduction to General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry Laboratory I
Related Disciplines
Select 2 course units with one course from each of two disciplines2
Calculus, Part II
Calculus, Part II with Probability and Matrices
Introductory Statistics
Advanced Courses
Select 2 course units of 400 or 500 level Advanced courses 22
Total Course Units35

You may count no more than one course toward both a Major and a Sector requirement. For Exceptions, check the Policy Statement.


Equivalents may be substituted with prior approval from the Earth Sciences advisor.


Applicants must have a 3.25 GPA in the major and complete a Senior Thesis with a B+ or above.

Select 2 course units of courses from the approved list on EESC website2
Environmental Studies Research Seminar for Juniors
Senior Thesis


The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2022 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.