Majors & Minors

*New for Fall 2022!* The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences has introduced a new set of majors and minors in Earth Science, Environmental Science, and Planetary Science. The goal of these new programs is to provide greater interdisciplinarity and flexibility, while preparing students for a variety of careers in government, business, NGOs, and research. Students who matriculated in FL21 or earlier are entitled to continue with the major / minor they have already declared. However, all students are encouraged to consider these new opportunities. For more details on each of the majors, please consult the Bulletin or review the list below. Please contact Phil Skemer (Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies) for more information.

Earth Science Major

Earth science Is the application of natural science and mathematics to the study of the planet Earth, its formation, structure, evolution, geologic hazards.

Required Courses

EPS 202 Introduction to Earth, Enviromental, and Planetary Science.

Math 131,132, and choose one of: (Math 233, 2200, 3200)

Chem 105 and Physics 191

Disciplinary Requirements: ( 2 Courses )

  • EPS 340 Mineral Rocks Resources and the Enviroment
  • EPS 353 Earth Forces

Disciplinary Electives: ( 5 Courses)

  • EPS 452 Seismology                                    
  • EPS 453 Earth's Interior                               
  • EPS 459 Geodynamics                                 
  • EPS 454 Exploration & Envron Geophysics             
  • EPS 437 Petrology                                         
  • EPS 460 Structural Geology                        
  • EPS 441 Intro Geochem                              
  • EPS 323 Biogeochem                                    
  • EPS 428 Hydroloogy
  • EPS 422 Sed/Strat  
  • EPS 317 Soil Science
  • EPS 409 Surface Processes
  • EPS 401 Earth System Science
  • EPS 486 Paleoclimate
  • EPS 386 Earth's Climate System
  • EPS 385 Earth History 
  • EPS 407 Remote Sensing

Additional Electives ( for breadth or depth) - Choose any three 300 - 500 level EPS courses = 3 Courses

Skill Course: Enst GIS, (EPS no number yet) Geospatial Science, EnST 364 Field Methods in Envitomental Science, EPS 496 Undergraduate Field Geology, EPS 400 Special Topics UAV and GPS course, or EPS 492 Field Camp = 1 Course

Capstone Experience: Build a portfolio of work (from course based projects such as Undergrad Field Geology; Sustainability Exchange; Enviromental Law Clinic; or Climate Negotiation Seminar); Internship; project; or research. All capstones must be presented at the Spring EPS Undergraduate Research Symposium = 17 Courses

      

Enviromental Science Major

Enviromental science is the scientific investigation of natural systems inlcuding the hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, and ecosystems, and landscapes, which sit at the intersection of the Earth and humanity.

Required Courses

EPS 202 Introduction to Eart, Enviromental, and Planetary Science.

Math 131,132, and choose one of: (Math 233, 2200, 3200)

Chem 105 and Physics 191

Disciplinary Requirements: ( 2 Courses )

  • EPS 342 Envirmental Systems      ( and choose one of):
  • EPS 340 Mineral Rocks Resources & the Enviroment
  • EPS 353 Earth Forces

Disciplinary Electives: ( 5 Courses)

  • EPS 409 Surface Processes                                   
  • EPS 428 Hydrology                                             
  • EPS 442 Aqueous geochem                                
  • EPS 454 Exploring Enviromental Geophysics                            
  • EPS 317 Soil Science                                       
  • Econ 451 Environ Ploicy or PoliSci 2010 Environ. Policy
  • EPS 386 Earth's Climate System
  • EPS 486 Paleoclimate
  • EECE 101 Intor to Enviromental Engineering
  • EPS 407 Remote Sensing
  • Bio 381 Introduction to Ecology
  • EPS 308 Topics in Enviromental Sustainablilty
  • EPS 323 Biogeochem

Additional Electives ( for breadth or depth) - Choose any three 300 - 500 level EPS courses = 3 Courses

Skill Course: Enst GIS, (EPS no number yet) Geospatial Science, EnST 364 Field Methods in Envitomental Science, EPS 496 Undergraduate Field Geology, EPS 400 Special Topics UAV and GPS course, or EPS 492 Field Camp = 1 Course

Capstone Experience: Build a portfolio of work (from course based projects such as Undergrad Field Geology; Sustainability Exchange; Enviromental Law Clinic; or Climate Negotiation Seminar); Internship; project; or research. All capstones must be presented at the Spring EPS Undergraduate Research Symposium = 17 Courses

Planetary Science Major

Planetary science uses the tools of geoscience and the geospatial analysis to study objects in the solar system, including planets, moons, and meteorites.

Required Courses

EPS 202 Introduction to Earth, Enviromental, and Planetary Science.

Math 131,132, and choose one of: (Math 233, 2200, 3200)

Chem 105 and Physics 191

Disciplinary Requirements: ( 2 Courses )

  • EPS 340 Minerals Rocks Resources and the Enviroment
  • EPS Earth Forces

Disciplinary Electives: ( 5 Courses)

  • EPS 474 Planetary Geochem
  • EPS 567 Planetary Materials
  • EPS 571 Meteorites
  • EPS 401 Earth Systems Science
  • (no number yet) Planetary Mission design
  • EPS 568 Scientific Explor. of Moon
  • EPS 576 Advanced Planetary Geology
  • EPS 571 Planetary Geophysics
  • EPS 459 Geodynamics
  • EPS 407 Remote Sensing
  • EPS 473  Planetary Design
  • EPS 459 Geodynamics
  • EPS 407 Remote Sensing
  • EPS 473 Planetary Geology
  • EPS 460 Structural Geology
  • EPS 441 Introduction Geochem
  • EPS 437 Petrology

Additional Electives ( for breadth or depth) - Choose any three 300 - 500 level EPS courses 

Skill Course: Enst GIS, (EPS no number yet) Geospatial Science, EnST 364 Field Methods in Envitomental Science, EPS 496 Undergraduate Field Geology, EPS 400 Special Topics UAV and GPS course, or EPS 492 Field Camp

Capstone Experience: Build a portfolio of work (from course based projects such as Undergrad Field Geology; Sustainability Exchange; Enviromental Law Clinic; or Climate Negotiation Seminar); Internship; project; or research. All capstones must be presented at the Spring EPS Undergraduate Research Symposium =

Minor in Earth Science

Required Courses

EPS 202 Introduction to Earth, Envirmental and Planetary Science = 1 course

Disciplinary Requirements: ( 2 Courses )

  • EPS 340 Mineral Rocks Resources and the Enviroment
  • EPS 353 Earth Forces

Disciplinary Electives: ( 2 Courses)

  • EPS 452 Seismology
  • EPS 453 Earth's Interior
  • EPS 459 Geodynamics
  • EPS 454 Exploring & Enviromental Geophysics
  • EPS 437 Petrology
  • EPS 460 Structural Geology
  • EPS 441 Introduction Geochemistry
  • EPS 323 Biogeochem
  • EPS 428 Hydrology
  • EPS 422 Sed/Strat
  • EPS 317 Soil Science
  • EPS 409 Surface Processes
  • EPS 401 Earth System Science
  • EPS 486 Paleoclimate
  • EPS 386 Earth's Climate System
  • EPS 385 Earth History
  • EPS 407 Remote Sensing

 

Minor In Enviromental Science

Required Courses

EPS 202 Introduction to Earth, Envirmental and Planetary Science = 1 course

Disciplinary Requirements: ( 2 Courses )

  • EPS 342 Enviromental Systems        ( And choose one of the following)
  • EPS 340 Minerals, Rocks, Resources & the Enviroment
  • EPS 353 Earth Forces

Disciplinary Electives: ( 2 Courses)

  • EPS 409 Surface Processes
  • EPS 428 Hydrology
  • EPS 442 Aqueous Geochemistry
  • EPS 454 Exploring Enviromental Geophysics
  • EPS 317 Soil Science
  • Econ 451 Environmental Policy or PoliSci 2010 Environmental Policy
  • EPS 386 Earth's Climate System
  • EPS 486 Paleoclimate
  • EECE 101 Intro to Envirmental Engineering
  • EPS 407 Remote Sensing
  • Bio 381 Introduction to Ecology
  • EPS 308 Topics in Enviromental Sustainablility.
  • EPS 323 Biogeochem

Minor in Planetary Science

Required Courses

EPS 202 Introduction to Earth, Envirmental and Planetary Science = 1 course

Disciplinary Requirements: ( 2 Courses )

  • EPS 340 Minerals Rocks Resources and the Enviroment
  • EPS 353 Earth Forces

Disciplinary Requirements: ( 2 Courses )

  • EPS 474 Planetary Geochem
  • EPS 567 Planetary Materials
  • EPS 571 Meteorites
  • EPS 401 Earth Systems Science
  • (No number yet) Planetary Mission Design
  • EPS 568 Scientific Exploration of the Moon
  • EPS 576 Advanced Planetary Geolology
  • EPS 571 Planetary Geophysics
  • EPS 459 Geodynamics
  • EPS 407 Remote Sensing
  • EPS 473 Planetary Geology
  • EPS 460 Structural Geology
  • EPS 441 Introduction Geochemistry
  • EPS 437 Petrology

Geology Major

Geologists use a variety of observational and analytical tools to investigate the composition and structure of the Earth, with the objective of understanding how its features evolved over time. Planetary geologists may apply the same set of tools and principles to explore other objects in the solar system. Many geologists are employed by corporations or government agencies tasked with assessing natural hazards, natural resources, and the environment.

Required Courses

Core courses:

Starting in Spring 2022, a new course -- EPS 202: Introduction to Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science -- will be offered every semester. This course is an alternative to EPS 201 Earth and the Environment. Either EPS 201 or 202 will fulfill the requirements of the Geology major. Students may not take both EPS 201 and 202 for college or major credit.

Starting in the Fall 2021, a new course -- EPS 340 Minerals, Rocks, Resources, and the Environment --  will be offered every fall. This course will take the place of EPS 352 Earth Materials and will be required of all Geology majors. Students who have already taken EPS 352 have fulfilled this requirement and will not have to take EPS 340.


EPS 201 Earth and the Environment or EPS 202 Introduction to Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science
EPS 340 Minerals, Rocks, Resources, and the Environment (beginning Fall 2021) or EPS 352 Earth Materials (until Fall 2020)
EPS 353 Earth Forces
EPS 437 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology

Additional required coursework:

Chemistry 105 & 106 or Chemistry 111A & 112A
Physics 191 & 192
Math 131, 132, & 233

Capstone experience:

All majors are required to complete a capstone experience during their junior or senior year.

Field camp:

Students must complete an approved geology field camp worth at least 6 units of credit. Most field camps take place over the summer and are coordinated by other universities. Additionally, the field camp requirement may be fulfilled by certain study abroad programs, or by successful completion of two semesters (6 credits total) of EPS 496. Please contact Professor Brad Jolliff for more information.

      

 

Electives

Choose three of the following:

EPS 385 Earth History
EPS 409 Surface Processes
EPS 317 or 413 Soil Science
EPS 422 Sedimentary Geology
EPS 428 Hydrology
EPS 460 Structural Geology
EPS 473 Planetary Geology
EPS 496 Undergraduate Field Geology (may not also serve as capstone)

Choose one of the following:

EPS 319 Physical Oceanography
EPS 323 Biogeochemistry
EPS 386 Earth's Climate System
EPS 401 Earth Systems Science
EPS 407 Remote Sensing
EPS 408 Earth’s Atmosphere and Global Climate
EPS 410 Remote Sensing Methods and Instrumentation
EPS 428 Hydrology
EPS 441 Introduction to Geochemistry
EPS 442 Aqueous Geochemistry
EPS 444 Environmental Geochemistry
EPS 446 Stable Isotope Geochemistry
EPS 452 Introduction to Seismology
EPS 453 Interior of the Earth
EPS 454 Exploration and Environmental Geophysics
EPS 459 Geodynamics
EPS 474 Planetary Geochemistry
EPS 486 Paleoclimatology

Geochemistry Major

Geochemistry applies knowledge of chemical systems to understand the Earth, the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Geochemists analyze elemental and isotopic abundances to understand physical chemical and biological processes occurring within the Earth system. Many geochemists are employed as consultants or in government agencies tasked with environmental assessment of soil, water, and air quality, as well as work in identifying and managing natural resources.

Required Courses

Core courses:

Starting in Spring 2022, a new course -- EPS 202: Introduction to Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science -- will be offered every semester. This course is an alternative to EPS 201 Earth and the Environment. Either EPS 201 or 202 will fulfill the requirements of the Geochemistry major. Students may not take both EPS 201 and 202 for college or major credit.

Starting in the Fall 2021, a new course -- EPS 340 Minerals, Rocks, Resources, and the Environment -- will be offered every fall. This course will take the place of EPS 352 Earth Materials and will be required of all Geochemistry majors. Students who have already taken EPS 352 have fulfilled this requirement and will not have to take EPS 340.


EPS 201 Earth and the Environment or EPS 202 Introduction to Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science
EPS 340 Minerals, Rocks, Resources, and the Environment (beginning Fall 2021) or EPS 352 Earth Materials (until Fall 2020)
EPS 353 Earth Forces
EPS 441 Introduction to Geochemistry

Additional required coursework:

Chemistry 105 & 106 or Chemistry 111A & 112A
Physics 191 & 192
Math 131, 132, & 233
Math 217 or Math 309 or Math 2200 or Math 3200

Capstone experience:

All majors are required to complete a capstone experience during their junior or senior year.

 

 

Electives

Choose three of the following:

EPS 323 Biogeochemistry
EPS 401 Earth Systems Science
EPS 442 Aqueous Geochemistry
EPS 444 Environmental Geochemistry
EPS 445 Organic Geochemistry
EPS 446 Stable Isotope Geochemistry
EPS 474 Planetary Geochemistry
EPS 486 Paleoclimatology
EPS 511 Minerals in Aqueous Environments
EPS 545 Radiogenic Isotope Geochemistry
EPS 569 Thermodynamics & Phase Equilibria
EPS 571 Meteorites

Choose one of the following:

EPS 319 Physical Oceanography
EPS 361 Structural Geology
EPS 385 Earth History
EPS 386 Earth's Climate System
EPS 407 Remote Sensing
EPS 408 Earth’s Atmosphere and Global Climate
EPS 409 Surface Processes
EPS 410 Remote Sensing Methods and Instrumentation
EPS 317 or 413 Soil Science
EPS 422 Sedimentary Geology
EPS 428 Hydrology
EPS 437 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
EPS 452 Introduction to Seismology
EPS 453 Interior of the Earth
EPS 454 Exploration and Environmental Geophysics
EPS 459 Geodynamics
EPS 473 Planetary Geology
EPS 496 Undergraduate Field Geology (may not also serve as capstone)

Geophysics Major

Geophysics is a subset of Earth and planetary science that uses quantitative tools from physics and math to understand the processes that control the evolution of the interior or the surface of a planet. A geophysicist might analyze seismic or satellite data, conduct laboratory experiments, or construct numerical models of complex systems. Many geophysicists are employed by exploration companies, by academic institutions, and by the government.

Required Courses

Core courses:

Starting in Spring 2022, a new course -- EPS 202: Introduction to Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science -- will be offered every semester. This course is an alternative to EPS 201 Earth and the Environment. Either EPS 201 or 202 will fulfill the requirements of the Geophysics major. Students may not take both EPS 201 and 202 for college or major credit.

Starting in the Fall 2021, a new course -- EPS 340 Minerals, Rocks, Resources, and the Environment -- will be offered every fall. This course will take the place of EPS 352 Earth Materials and will be required of all Geophysics majors. Students who have already taken EPS 352 have fulfilled this requirement and will not have to take EPS 340.


EPS 201 Earth and the Environment or EPS 202 Introduction to Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science
EPS 340 Minerals, Rocks, Resources, and the Environment (beginning Fall 2021) or EPS 352 Earth Materials (until Fall 2020)
EPS 353 Earth Forces

Additional required coursework:

Chemistry 105 & 106 or Chemistry 111A & 112A
Physics 191 & 192
Math 131, 132, & 233
Math 217
Math 309

Capstone experience:

All majors are required to complete a capstone experience during their junior or senior year.

Electives

Choose three of the following:

EPS 319 Physical Oceanography
EPS 386 Earth's Climate System
EPS 407 Remote Sensing
EPS 408 Earth’s Atmosphere and Global Climate
EPS 410 Remote Sensing Methods and Instrumentation
EPS 428 Hydrology
EPS 452 Introduction to Seismology
EPS 453 Interior of the Earth
EPS 454 Exploration and Environmental Geophysics
EPS 459 Geodynamics
EPS 460 Structural Geology
EPS 553 Geophysical Data Analysis
EPS 558 Advanced Geodynamics
EPS 561 Advanced Seismology
EPS 570 Planetary Geophysics & Dynamics

Choose one of the following:

EPS 323 Biogeochemistry
EPS 361 Structural Geology
EPS 385 Earth History
EPS 401 Earth Systems Science
EPS 409 Surface Processes
EPS 317 or 413 Soil Science
EPS 422 Sedimentary Geology
EPS 437 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
EPS 441 Introduction to Geochemistry
EPS 442 Aqueous Geochemistry
EPS 444 Environmental Geochemistry
EPS 446 Stable Isotope Geochemistry
EPS 473 Planetary Geology
EPS 474 Planetary Geochemistry
EPS 486 Paleoclimatology
EPS 496 Undergraduate Field Geology (may not also serve as capstone)

Environmental Earth Sciences Major

Environmental Earth sciences (EES) is an interdisciplinary major that combines a solid background in Earth science with complementary breadth in other environmental disciplines, including anthropology and biology. Students completing the EES major often seek careers in academia, consulting firms, non-profits, or government agencies.

Required Courses

Core courses:

Starting in Spring 2022, a new course -- EPS 202: Introduction to Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science -- will be offered every semester. This course is an alternative to EPS 201 Earth and the Environment. Either EPS 201 or 202 will fulfill the requirements of the Environmental Earth Sciences major. Students may not take both EPS 201 and 202 for college or major credit.

Starting in the Fall 2021, a new course -- EPS 340 Minerals, Rocks, Resources, and the Environment -- will be offered every fall. This course will take the place of both EPS 336 Minerals and Rocks in the Environment and EPS 352 Earth Materials and will be required of all Environmental Earth Sciences majors. Students who have already taken EPS 336 or EPS 352 have fulfilled this requirement will not have to take EPS 340.


Phil 235F Intro to Environmental Ethics or Pol Sci 2010 Intro to Environmental Policy
Biol 2950 Intro to Environmental Biology
EPS 201 Earth and the Environment or EPS 202 Introduction to Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science
EPS 323 Biogeochemistry
EPS 340 Minerals, Rocks, Resources, and the Environment (beginning Fall 2021) or EPS 336 Minerals and Rocks in the Environment or EPS 352 Earth Materials (until Fall 2020)
EPS 317 or 413 Soil Science or EPS 422 Sedimentary Geology

Additional required coursework:

Chemistry 105 & 106 or Chemistry 111A & 112A
Physics 191
Math 131 & 132

Capstone experience:

All majors are required to complete a capstone experience during their junior or senior year.

Electives

Choose seven of the following, at least three from EPS:

Anthro 361 Culture and Environment
Biol 2960 Principles of Biology I
Biol 2970 Principles of Biology II
Biol 349  Fundamentals of Microbiology
Biol 381 Introduction to Ecology
Biol 419 Community Ecology
Biol 4193 Experimental Ecology Laboratory
Chem 261 Organic Chemistry I with Lab
Chem 401 Physical Chemistry I
Econ 451 Environmental Policy
EECE 210 Introduction to Environmental Engineering
EECE 531 Environmental Organic Chemistry
EnSt 380 Applications in GIS
EnSt 405 Sustainability Exchange (may not also serve as capstone)
EnSt 539 Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic (may not also serve as capstone)
EPS 219 Energy and the Environment
EPS 308 Topics in Environmental Sustainability
EPS 319 Physical Oceanography
EPS 353 Earth Forces
EPS 361 Structural Geology
EPS 385 Earth History
EPS 386 Earth's Climate System
EPS 401 Earth Systems Science
EPS 407 Remote Sensing
EPS 408 Earth's Atmosphere and Global Climate
EPS 409 Surface Processes
EPS 428 Hydrology
EPS 441 Introduction to Geochemistry
EPS 442 Aqueous Geochemistry
EPS 444 Environmental Geochemistry
EPS 445 Organic Geochemistry
EPS 446 Stable Isotope Geochemistry
EPS 454 Exploration and Environmental Geophysics
EPS 486 Paleoclimatology
EPS 496 Undergraduate Field Geology (may not also serve as capstone)
Math 217 Differential Equations
Math 2200 Elementary Probability and Statistics
Math 233 Calculus III
Math 309 Matrix Algebra
Math 3200 Statistics and Data Analysis

Minor in Earth and Planetary Sciences

Because Earth and planetary sciences have natural links with many other disciplines, a minor is an attractive option for students majoring in a variety of other fields, such as biology, chemistry, economics, engineering, mathematics, and physics. The growing national concern for the natural environment and natural resources means that a minor in Earth and planetary sciences is also valuable professionally to students who intend to pursue these and other fields.

Required Courses

Starting in Spring 2022, a new course -- EPS 202: Introduction to Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science -- will be offered every semester. This course is an alternative to EPS 201 Earth and the Environment. Either EPS 201 or 202 will fulfill the requirements of the Earth and Planetary Sciences minor. Students may not take both EPS 201 and 202 for college or major credit.

For all cohorts up to Spring 2021, a minor in Earth and Planetary Sciences consists of at least four courses and 16 credits (see below). Starting with the Fall 2021 cohort all EPS minors must take a minimum of 18 credits of advanced coursework (numbered 300 or above):


EPS 201 Earth and the Environment or EPS 202 Introduction to Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science
EPS 340 Minerals, Rocks, Resources, and the Environment (beginning Fall 2021) or EPS 352 Earth Materials (until Fall 2020)
EPS 353 Earth Forces

Two additional EPS course numbered 300 or above (beginning in Fall 2021), not including EPS 390 and EPS 490 Independent Study, is required.

 

        

 

Minor in Environmental Earth Sciences

The minor in environmental Earth sciences (EES) is an attractive option for students majoring in a variety of other fields. The growing national concern for the natural environment and natural resources means that an EES minor is also valuable professionally to students who intend to pursue these and other fields, including law and architecture. Following the philosophy of the EES major, the minor combines interdisciplinarity with a solid grounding in Earth science.

Required course

Starting in Spring 2022, a new course -- EPS 202: Introduction to Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science -- will be offered every semester. This course is an alternative to EPS 201 Earth and the Environment. Either EPS 201 or 202 will fulfill the requirements of the Environmental Earth Sciences minor. Students may not take both EPS 201 and 202 for college or major credit.

For all cohorts up to Spring 2021, a minor in Environmental Earth Science consists of at least six courses and 16 credits (see below). Starting with the Fall 2021 cohort all EES minors must take a minimum of 19 credits of advanced coursework (numbered 300 or above):

EPS 201 Earth and the Environment or EPS 202 Introduction to Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science
Biol 2950 Introduction to Environmental Biology
Pol Sci 2010 Introduction to Environmental Policy or Phil 235F Environmental Ethics

An additional three elective courses should be chosen from the list below.

 

Electives

In addition to three core courses, a minor in environmental Earth sciences includes at least three elective courses from the following list:

EPS 308 Topics in Environmental Sustainability
EPS 323 Biogeochemistry
EPS 336 Minerals and Rocks in the Environment (until Spring 2021)
EPS 340 Minerals, Rocks, Resources, and the Environment (beginning Fall 2021)
EPS 352 Earth Materials (5 credits, counts as 2 courses) (until Fall 2020)
EPS 353 Earth Forces
EPS 385 Earth History
EPS 386 Earth's Climate System
EPS 401 Earth Systems Science
EPS 317 or 413 Soil Science
EPS 428 Hydrology
EPS 429 Environmental Hydrogeology
EPS 430 Environmental Mineralogy
EPS 441 Introduction to Geochemistry
EPS 442 Aqueous Geochemistry
EPS 444 Environmental Geochemistry
EPS 454 Exploration and Environmental Geophysics
EPS 486 Paleoclimatology