B.S. Earth System Science

Student mapping group selfie

The Earth System Science (ESS) major is designed to broaden the perspectives of geoscience students by integration an understanding of Earth's biological and physical systems with interdisciplinary, solutions-oriented investigations of the human dimensions of sustainability.  The Earth System Sciences degree will prepare students for career options including geohazard assessment, environmental geology, climate change and environmental remediation, water resource management, geoscience consulting, Earth Science teaching, and other career opportunities that center the societal-Earth connection.

To confirm degree requirements or to ask specific questions, please contact the department's Undergraduate Advisor.  Students may also refer to our B.S. Earth System Science Roadmap (PDF) [pdf] for tentative course guidelines and the Department Provisional Schedule (PDF) [pdf] to tentative schedule. See the  course catalog for all course descriptions. Our Undergraduate Course Listing page offers a brief description of current courses. 

Additional Program Description:

The Earth System Science degree will promote interdisciplinary connections by requiring core course preparation in the geosciences and other physical sciences and by awarding elective credit for courses in geosciences, other sciences, anthropology, environmental studies, geography, philosophy, political science, sociology, and urban planning related to sustainability and the Earth System.

The opportunity to engage with real-world problems through course-based research in the field and lab as well as community outreach projects in core courses will provide essential connections between knowledge gained in the classroom and the opportunities for authentic and meaningful employment in the future.

PLO 1. Explain interactions between geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, atmosphere (Earth Systems) temporally and spatially;

PLO 2. Use scientific principles and methodology including quantitative and critical thinking skills to address complex Earth System issues and problems;

PLO 3. Investigate human interactions and perspectives of complex earth Systems problems; and,

PLO 4. Communicate scientific perspectives on ESS issues.