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.

Both AB and ScB degrees are offered; 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.

Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Understand fundamental processes that shaped Earth through time 
  • Develop skills in critical thinking, data analysis, and communication
  • Learn how to formulate and test a scientific hypothesis
  • Study integrative geological, chemical, and physical approaches to study the Earth
  • Apply geoscientific tools and principles to investigate processes operating on the Earth and other planets

Graduating Class

Class Year Total Students Capstones Completed Honors Graduates
2015 10   
2019 2   0

Alumni Pathways

Concentrators have a wide variety of employment opportunities with their degree, including positions in the private sector (e.g. environmental consulting firms, the energy industry, data analytics), government (national research labs, US Geological Survey, Environmental Protection Agency), education and academia (K-12 schools and museums, research positions at universities, science journalism), and non-profits (think-tanks, community and national organizations). About half of our concentrators eventually attain an advanced degree; our department’s undergraduate program is ranked in the top five nationally and our concentrators are sought after by graduate programs and employers.

What are Geological Sciences concentrators doing...


Advisor: Jan Tullis