Undergraduate Concentrations

Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences Concentrations 

Geosciences
Geology-Biology
Geochemistry
Geophysics

Writing Intensive Courses


Alice Alpert '09 presents her Sr. Thesis researchAlice Alpert '09 presents her Sr. Thesis researchOur four AB and ScB concentration programs stress critical thinking and development of the analytical and communication skills that are so important for personal and career development.

Research opportunities encompass a broad spectrum of basic and applied investigations, linked with environmental sciences, engineering, materials science, archaeology, space science, astronomy, economics, international relations, or meteorology.

Our department is known on campus as being open and friendly. With 20 faculty, 40-50 undergraduate concentrators (>50% women), and 60-65 graduate students, classes are comfortably small, and faculty, graduates and undergraduates interact frequently.

 

Geosciences Concentration Requirements

Standard Program for the A.B. degree in Geosciences

Geosciences is a highly interdisciplinary concentration employing principles from physics, chemistry, and biology to understand the structure of the Earth and other planetary bodies. Concentrators can study Earth and planetary interiors, including the formation of rocks and minerals, movement of the Earth's tectonic plates, and the circulation of the planets' core and mantle. Other areas emphasize surface processes, such as the movement and storage of water. This concentration is a good choice for students who seek a broad scientific understanding of the processes that shape the physical world around us. The ScB requires more (19) courses, including a research course. DEEPS provides a highly collaborative learning environment that emphasizes process-oriented, hands-on approaches in the classroom, in labs and on field trips. There are many opportunities for students to do research working with faculty, graduate students, and researchers. The degree builds students' skills in critical thinking, written and oral communication, data analysis and modeling, and applying systems approaches to problem solving, which prepare students for a wide variety of careers. 

  1. Four basic supporting science courses:
    • CHEM 0330 (or equivalent)
    •  Three courses to build quantitative skills in APMA, CSCI, ENGN, MATH, or PHYS, chosen in consultation with the concentration advisor (see list of examples on the DEEPS website) 
  2. Nine concentration courses
    • EEPS 0220, 0230, 0240
    • Three of EEPS 1240, 1410, 1420, or 1450
    • Two additional upper level EEPS courses or an approved substitute such as a field course
    • One additional upper level science or math cours with approval from the concentration advisor

Standard Program for the Sc.B. Degree in Geosciences

  1. Five basic supporting science courses:
    • CHEM 0330 (or equivalent)
    • Four courses to build quantitative skills in APMA, CSCI, ENGN, MATH, or PHYS, chosen in consultation with the concentration advisor (see list of exmaples on the DEEPS website)
  2. Fourteen (14) concentration courses:
    • EEPS 0220, 0230, 0240
    • Three of EEPS 1240, 1410, 1420, or 1450
    • Four upper level science or math courses with approval from the concentration advisor
    • EEPS 1970 (Senior Research Thesis)

 

Geology-Biology Concentration Requirements

Standard Program for the A.B. Degree in Geo-Bio

Students in Geology-Biology apply principles from geology, biology, chemistry, and physics to understand how major components of the Earth, such as its atmosphere and oceans, interact with and sustain life in the past, present, and into the future.  Many courses emphasize climate change, environmental pollution, and biogeochemistry, so this concentration is a good one for students interested in studying the environment. Other areas emphasize Earth history, including climate change, extinction events, and using the Earth’s sedimentary record to investigate environmental change. The ScB requires more (19) courses, including a research course. DEEPS provides a highly collaborative learning environment that emphasizes process-oriented, hands-on approaches in the classroom, in labs and on field trips. There are many opportunities for students to do research working with faculty, graduate students, and researchers. The degree builds students' skills in critical thinking, written and oral communication, data analysis and modeling, and applying systems approaches to problem solving, which prepare students for a wide variety of careers. 

  1. Four basic supporting science courses:
    • CHEM 0330 (or equivalent)
    • BIOL 0200 (or equivalent)
    • Two courses to build quantitative skills in APMA, CSCI, ENGN, MATH, or PHYS, chosen in consultation with the concentration advisor (see list of examples on the DEEPS website)
  2. Ten (10) concentration courses:
    • EEPS 0220, 0240, 1240, and 0230 or 0250
    • Three upper level biology courses such as BIOL 0410, 0420, 0430, 0440, 0480, 1470, and 1480
    • Three upper level DEEPS courses such as EEPS 0850, 1120, 1130, 1150, 1310, 1320, 1370, 1615, or 1970

Standard Program for the Sc.B. Degree in Geo-Bio

  1. Five basic supporting science courses:
    • BIOL 0200 (or equivalent)
    • CHEM 0330 (or equilavent)
    • Three courses to build quantitative skills in APMA, CSCI, ENGN, MATH, or PHYS, chosen in consultation with the concentration advisor (see list of examples on the DEEPS website) 
  2. Fourteen (14) concentration courses:
    • EEPS 0220, 0240, 1240, and 0230 or 0250
    • Three upper level biology courses such as BIOL 0410, 0420, 0430, 0480, 1470, and 1480 
    • Three upper level DEEPS courses such as EEPS 0850, 1120, 1130, 1150, 1310, 1320, 1330, 1370, 1430, or 1615 
    • Three upper level science or math courses with approval from the concentration advisor
    • GEOL 1970 (Senior Research Thesis)

 

Geochemistry Concentration Requirements

Standard Program for the A.B. Degree in Geochemistry

Geochemists investigate low-temperature and high-temperature processes operating on scales that range from atoms, to the Earth, to the solar system. Low-temperature geochemistry focuses on chemical and biochemical processes on and near Earth's surface, including environmental geochemistry, pollution in the ocean and freshwater bodies, and how the Earth's geochemical record reflects past climate conditions. High-temperature geochemistry focuses on the formation and evolution of the Earth and other planets, magma formation and properties, volcanic activity, and metamorphism. The ScB requires more (19) courses, including a research course. DEEPS provides a highly collaborative learning environment that emphasizes process-oriented, hands-on approaches in the classroom, in labs and on field trips. There are many opportunities for students to do research working with faculty, graduate students, and researchers. The degree builds students' skills in critical thinking, written and oral communication, data analysis and modeling, and applying systems approaches to problem solving, which prepare students for a wide variety of careers. 

  1. Four basic supporting science courses:
    • CHEM 0330
    • Three courses to build quantitative skills in APMA, CSCI, ENGN, MATH, or PHYS, chosen in consultation with the concentration advisor (see list of examples on the DEEPS website) 
  2. Ten (10) concentration courses:
    • EEPS 0220, 0230, 0240
    • Three additional chemistry courses such as CHEM 0350, 0360, 0500, 1060,1140, 1150 or BIOL 0280 
    • Two courses from: EEPS 1410, EEPS 1420, EEPS 1130, EEPS 1370 
    • Two additional upper-level EEPS courses or substitutes with approval from the concentration advisor 

Standard Program for the Sc.B. Degree in Geochemistry

  1. Five basic supporting science courses:
    • CHEM 0330
    • Four courses to build quantitative skills in APMA, CSCI, ENGN, MATH, or PHYS, chosen in consultation with the concentration advisor (see list of examples on the DEEPS website) 
  2. Fourteen (14) concentration courses: 
    • EEPS 0220, 0230, 0240, 1370, 1410 
    • Three additional chemistry courses such as 0350, 0360, 0500, 1060, 1140, 1150, or Biol 0280 
    • Two upper level courses from EEPS 1130, 1240, 1380, 1420 or 1730 
    • Three additional upper-level science or math courses with approval from the concentration advisor 
    • GEOL 1970 (Senior Research Thesis)

Geophysics Concentration Requirements

Standard Program for the A.B. Degree in Geophysics

Geophysics addresses many pressing and fascinating topics including Earth's changing climate, the mitigation of natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides, and the internal structure and dynamics of our planet. This concentration is a good choice for students who enjoy quantitative thinking and are keen to study the Earth, its environment, and other planets. The ScB requires more (19) courses, including a research course. DEEPS provides a highly collaborative learning environment that emphasizes process-oriented, hands-on approaches in the classroom, in labs and on field trips. There are many opportunities for students to do research working with faculty, graduate students, and researchers. The degree builds students' skills in critical thinking, written and oral communication, data analysis and modeling, and applying systems approaches to problem solving, which prepare students for a wide variety of careers. 

1. Five supporting science courses
• CHEM 0330 or equivalent
• A course involving mechanics: PHYS 0050, 0070, ENGN 0040, or equivalent
• Three courses in APMA or MATH, one of which must be APMA 0330, 0350, or equivalent 

2. Nine (9) concentration courses:
• EEPS 0220, 0230 or 0240, 0250 or 0350, and 1430 or 1610
• Two upper-level courses from EEPS 0850, 1310, 1410, 1420, 1430, 1450, 1510, 1520, 1610, 1620, 1670, 1680
• One additional EEPS course such as 1130, 1330, 1560, 1650, 1810, 1820, 1660, 1970, a field or sea course, or any EEPS course listed above
• Two courses in physics or engineering such as PHYS 0060, 0470, 0500, 1600 or ENGN 0310, 0490, 0510, 0810, 1370 


Standard Program for the Sc.B. Degree in Geophysics

1. Five supporting science courses:
• CHEM 0330 or equivalent
• A course involving mechanics: PHYS 0050, 0070, ENGN 0040, or equivalent
• Three courses in APMA or MATH, one of which must be APMA 0330, 0350, or equivalent 

2. Fourteen (14) concentration courses: 
• EEPS 0220, 0230 or 0240, 0250 or 0350, 1430, and 1610
• Three upper-level EEPS courses from 1310, 1410, 1420, 1450, 1510, 1520, 1620, 1670, or 1680
• One additional EEPS course such as 0850, 1130, 1330, 1560, 1650, 1810, 1820, 1660, a field or sea course, or any EEPS course listed above
• Three courses in physics or engineering such as PHYS 0060, 0470, 0500, 1600 or ENGN 0310, 0490, 0510, 0810, 1370
• One additional upper-level science or math course with approval from the concentration advisor
• EEPS 1970 (Senior Research Thesis) 


Learning to write well is crucial to a career in the sciences.  The Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences offers many courses to develop our concentrators' written communication skills, including writing-designated (WRIT) courses that satisfy Brown's writing requirement.  We advise students to take at least one, and preferably many of these courses.  Concentrations in the Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences do not allow submissions of written work to be used in place of WRIT courses.  Brown requires all undergraduates to complete at least one WRIT course by the end of their 4th semester, and a second WRIT course during their 5th-7th semesters. A list of WRIT courses is available here.

These concentration guidelines apply to all students in the Class of 2017 and beyond.  For exceptions please consult with the concentration advisor.

page updated June 23, 2020