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Earth and Space Sciences - Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science degree is designed for students interested in coursework in geology and geophysics, and a career path in graduate studies or the private sector where field and technology experiences and problem-solving skills will be an important asset.

Note: the Bachelor of Arts degree is designed for undergraduates who wish to study earth sciences as a background for other careers, such as teaching, science journalism, environmental law or policy.

Degree Worksheets

Biology Option - PDF Document
Biology Option - Word Document
Environmental Option (no longer admitting) - PDF Document
Environmental Option (no longer admitting) - Word Document
Geology Option - PDF Document
Geology Option - Word Document
Geoscience Option - PDF Document
Geoscience Option - Word Document
Physics Option - PDF Document
Physics Option - Word Document

B.S. Requirements

To complete the B.S., students take both the Core Courses and the courses listed under one of the Option Areas (Geology, Biology, Geoscience or Physics).

Core Courses

  • Supporting Science (20 credits)
    • CHEM 142
    • MATH 124, 125
    • PHYS 114/117 or 121
      (Physics Option majors must take PHYS 121)
  • ESS Required Courses (15 credits)*
    Complete three of the following:
    • ESS 205
      (counts as core course ONLY for Physics Option majors)
    • ESS 211
    • ESS 212
    • ESS 213

ESS Option Areas

  • Geology
    • Supporting Science (16-20 credits):
      • Math 126 or ESS 310
      • PHYS 115/118 or 122
      • Two of CHEM 152; AMATH 351 or MATH 307; MATH 308; PHYS 116/119 or 123; STAT 290, 311, or 390
    • ESS Required Courses (38-41 credits):
      • ESS 311, 312, 316
      • One of ESS 439, 441, 455, 456, 463
      • One of ESS 425, 426, 427, 447, 454, 457, 482
      • One of ESS 400 or 401
      • ESS 418
    • ESS Electives (10 credits):
      • ESS courses numbered 402 to 488 (excluding ESS 418) or approved ESS 490 courses (see Time Schedule)
      • ESS 313, 314 may also apply here
  • Biology
    • Supporting Science (24-25 credits):
      • CHEM 152, 162
      • BIOL 180, 200 or BIOL 240
      • One of Math 126; ESS 310; PHYS 115/118 or 122; BIOL 220 or 240; STAT 290, 311, or 390
    • ESS Required Courses (22-31 credits):
      • Three* of ESS 311, 312, 313, 314, 316
      • One of ESS 400, 401,or ESS 449/BIOL 475. ESS 449/BIOL 475 may not be offered every year.
      • ESS 418
    • ESS Electives (12 credits):
      • ESS courses numbered 402 to 488 (excluding ESS 418) or approved ESS 490 courses (see Time Schedule)
      • ESS 311, 312, 313, 314, 316 not taken as a required course above
      • Some coursework from BIOC 405, 406; BIOL 421, 427, 430, 432, 437, 438, 439, 441, 443, 447, 448, 452, 453, 470, or 471; or CHEM 436 may be allowed for this Option; contact ESS Advising to request updates to degree audit (DARS). Other BIOC, BIOL, or CHEM courses require approval of Associate Chair for Undergraduate Affairs. At least 3 credits must come from ESS-prefixed courses.
  • Geoscience Option:
    • Supporting Science (12-15 credits):
      • One of MATH 126; ESS 310; STAT 290, 311, or 390; QSCI 381
      • PHYS 115/118 or 122
      • One of AMATH 351; MATH 307; MATH 308; CHEM 152; PHYS 116/119 or 123
    • ESS Required Courses (29-31 credits):
      • One of ESS 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 230
      • Two* of ESS 311, 312, 313, 314, 316
      • One of ESS 400 or 401
      • ESS 418
    • ESS Electives (18 credits):
      • ESS courses numbered 402 to 488 (excluding ESS 418) or approved ESS 490 courses (see Time Schedule)
      • ESS 311, 312, 313, 314, 316 not taken as a required course above
  • Physics Option:
    • Supporting Science (30-33 credits):
      • MATH 126, 308, 324 or MATH 136, 324
      • PHYS 122, 123, 227, 228, 321, 322
    • ESS Required Courses (14 credits):
      • Two* of ESS 311, 312, 313, 314, 316
      • ESS 418
    • ESS Electives (15-18 credits):
      • ESS courses numbered 400-488 or approved ESS 490 courses (see Time Schedule)
      • ESS 311, 312, 313, 314, 316 not taken as a required course above
    • Note: The average grade in PHYS 121, 122, and 123 for students who successfully complete the ESS Physics BS is a 2.8. Students who have not earned a 2.8 in the introductory physics courses are not prohibited from declaring the ESS Physics BS, but are strongly encouraged to meet with ESS Advising to discuss whether another ESS degree option would meet their goals.

NOTE: Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA in all ESS-prefixed courses required. Grade requirements for students who declared the ESS major prior to Summer 2018 may differ; please see ESS Advising if you have any questions.
* 2.0 grade required in prerequisites for all ESS core courses. See individual course prerequisites for additional grade requirements.