Department of Earth Sciences

Required B.A. Earth Sciences/Environmental Geology courses

In recent years, the environmental field has become more diversified, providing a job base for students with a more general background in the geosciences. To fulfill this need, the Department of Earth Sciences has created a major in Environmental Geology. This program is designed for those students who have a basic interest in the environmental industry, whether that be work with state, federal, or non-profit organizations; or in the environmental consulting field. The B.A. Earth Sciences-Environmental Geology option provides a solid grounding in the geosciences while providing greater flexibility and diversity in choosing courses. Students may select courses that emphasize water quality issues, land use, or coastal processes depending on their interests. Another selling point for many students is that the B.A. option only requires one semester of calculus and one year of algebra-based physics (compared to two semesters of calculus and a year of calculus-based physics for the B.S. in Geology). The B.A. in Environmental Geology is good preparation for a career in groundwater resource management, conservation and planning, or work with nonprofit organizations.

Required Earth Sciences

Total: 29 credits

  • UNIV 103 First Year: Exploring Earth Systems (3)
  • ESCI 221 Physical Geology (4)
  • ESCI 222 Historical Geology (4)
  • ESCI 227 Mineralogy (4)
  • ESCI 321 Structural Geology (3)
  • ESCI 326 Sedimentation and Stratigraphy (4)
  • ESCI 328 Petrography/Igneous & Metamorphic Petrology (4)
  • ESCI 426 Groundwater Geology (3)

Required Related Courses

Total: 24 credits

  • MATH 161 Calculus I (4)
  • MATH 235 Survey of Statistics (4)
  • CHEM 111 Introductory Chemistry (4)
  • CHEM 112 Introductory Chemistry II (4)
  • PHYS 131 Physics I with Algebra (4)
  • PHYS 132 Physics II with Algebra (4)


Choose three courses from the following:

  • ESCI 225 Geomorphology (3)
  • ESCI 245 Environmental Meteorology (3)
  • ESCI 261 Introduction to Oceanography (4)
  • ESCI 281 GIS Applications for the Earth Sciences (3)
  • ESCI 322 Environmental Hydrology (3)
  • ESCI 329 Aqueous Geochemistry (3)
  • ESCI 362 Marine Geology (3)
  • ESCI 423 Applied Geophysics (3)

Approved Minor

Total: 18 credits

A minor in a subject approved by the student's advisor must be completed. The minor should support the student's interests—for instance, a student interested in aquatic habitats in streams could pursue a minor in biology, while a student interested in water quality could purse a minor in chemistry.