Examples of rocks

Majors in Earth & Planetary Sciences

Our Four Majors


Geology is the study of the Earth — how it was formed, what it’s made of, and how it has changed over time. The tools of geology are also used to study the surfaces of other planets in the solar system. As a geologist, you will study rocks, minerals, mountains, faults, volcanoes, and other large structures, to understand the processes and dynamics that have shaped the Earth and the solar system. This is the broadest of our majors and opens doors for a broad spectrum of future careers, including work in engineering firms, energy agencies, oil and mining industries, educational institutions, governmental agencies, and environmental firms.

Courses and requirements


Geochemistry applies chemical principles to the Earth sciences in order to further our understanding of the Earth and other planetary systems. As a geochemist, you will examine the composition of rocks and soils, the cycles of Earth's chemical components, and the interaction of those cycles with land, water, and the atmosphere. In their careers, geochemists often study and evaluate geologic hazards, natural resources, and environmental issues such as climate change and groundwater contamination.

courses and requirements


Geophysics brings together math, physics, and geology to understand the forces at work in the Earth’s interior and the interiors of other planets. As a geophysicist, you will use gravity, magnetism, fluid dynamics, and seismology to develop a better comprehension of the unknown through laboratory, field, computational, and theoretical studies. Geophysicists often work in hazard prediction and remidiation, the oil and gas industry, research, and government.

courses and requirements

Environmental Earth Sciences

Environmental Earth Sciences is an interdisciplinary major that integrates the physical and life sciences in order to understand Earth’s environmental systems. You will use the geosciences as a base to examine environmental issues, problems, and solutions. This major is meant to provide a general scientific background for further studies or work in the environmental industry, teaching, and government and policy.

courses and requirements

Questions about our majors?

Please contact our Director of Undergraduate Studies

Email Professor Skemer