Earth Sciences (BA, BS)

The faculty and students in the School of Earth Sciences investigate the history of our planet, its material structure and resources, and the processes that have driven its evolution and continue to shape our environments.

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Geological Sciences

The Geological Sciences specializa­tion focuses on the traditional areas of geology including miner­alogy and petrology, sedimentation and stratigraphy, paleontol­ogy and geochemistry. Students pursuing this specialization will be well prepared for employment in a variety of industries and for graduate school in geological sciences.

Earth System Science

The Earth System Science specialization focuses on areas beyond traditional Geological Sciences including hydrogeology, glaciology, oceanography and geomorphology. Students pursuing this specialization explore relationships between Earth sciences and other disciplines, including geography, atmospheric sciences, the biological sciences, economics, natural resources and engineering.


The Geophysics specialization focuses on quantitative aspects of geophysics and geodynamics and provides students prepara­tion for admission to competitive graduate programs in geo­physics, and for geophysics positions within the energy industry.

Petroleum Geology & Geophysics

The Petroleum Geology and Geophysics specialization combines aspects of the geological sciences and geophysics programs and will train students interested in graduate study in petroleum geology and geophysics, internships at major oil companies, and for immediate employment at small and mid-sized petroleum companies.

Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities

Find challenging careers in government, industry and academia. Jobs are abundant in the oil and gas industry, mining, water resources and environmental consulting. Careers in data management and analysis, governmental research and regulation, law, military, law enforcement and national security, resources management and conservation, remote sensing, technical writing and communication, and urban and regional planning are also common.

Hydrocarbon Research Ship


Students with baccalaureate degrees in Earth sciences also follow paths to careers in data management and analysis, governmental research and regulation, law, military, law enforcement, and national security, resources management and conservation, remote sensing, technical writing and communication, and urban and regional planning.

courses you might take:

Earth Sciences 1121: Dynamic Earth

Students learn the facts, principles, theories and methods of modern Earth science including the formation and structure of the Earth, principles of plate tectonics, composition of and interrelationship among Earth materials, geologic time, hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and floods, the hydrologic cycle, and controls on global climate.

Earth Sciences 1122: Earth Through Time

Students learn the about the origin and evolution of Earth, the significance of key events in the history of Earth science, especially pertaining to the development of plate tectonic theory. Students also learn principles of geologic inference and their application to interpreting Earth and its history.

Earth Sciences 1151: Natural Hazards

This course introduces basic concepts of Earth sciences using natural hazards as examples and describes Earth processes and the rates and scales at which those processes work. It examines geologic hazards (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, tsunamis, flooding, hurricanes, climate change, and meteorite impacts) and the influences of hazards on humans, and how humans attempt to mitigate those influences.

Earth Sciences 2205: The Planets

This course provides an exploration of our solar system and a study of the origin and evolution of materials composing it so that we can gain a better understanding of our place in the Universe. This course examines the prospect of life elsewhere and the destiny of humanity on Earth and in space.

Beyond the Classroom

Geologic field camp in Utah

Field camp provides concentrated training in the essentials of geologic field observation and mapping. Students learn to apply geologic principles and to interpret Earth features. Students learn to construct maps and geologic cross-sections from their own measurements and observations. Taught in central Utah in 6 weeks during summer. Email for more information.

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Undergraduate majors in Earth Sciences have the opportunity to pursue paid internships in a variety of private companies, state and local government agencies and research institutes.


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