Low-temperature geochemistry involves study of chemical and biochemical processes on and near Earth's surface, including land, oceans and freshwater bodies, and how the geochemical record reflects climate conditions. High-temperature geochemistry includes study of formation and evolution of the Earth and other planets, magma formation and properties, volcanic activity, and metamorphism. The AB degree requires a total of 14 courses, including 5 geoscience courses and 4 chemistry courses, and a few supporting math and physics courses. The ScB degree requires a total of 20 courses, including 7 geoscience courses and 4 chemistry courses, either with an organic or an inorganic focus, plus some supporting math and physics courses and one research course. Geoscience courses emphasize a process-oriented approach, with hands-on experiences in labs and on field trips. There is a strong emphasis on active and collaborative learning, and on practice in communication. There are many opportunities for students to do research work for pay during the academic year or in the summer, in areas such as experimental studies of magma formation, and analyzing lunar rock samples for water content.

Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Understand the history of the earth and its development across geological time
  • Analyze geochemical processes and phenomena on and within the Earth
  • Learn to formulate a scientific problem
  • Employ theoretical modeling to predict, or 
explain past, geologic events
  • Acquire advanced skills in speaking and writing

Graduating Class

Class Year Total Students Capstones Completed Honors Graduates
2018 2
2019 5 5 3

Alumni Pathways

Geology-Chemistry concentrators can find a variety of employment opportunities with their undergraduate degree, including the private sector (e.g. environmental and energy consulting firms), government (research positions at state and US Geological Surveys, EPA, national labs), academic (research internships and universities, teaching at private schools, museums, outdoor education centers, Teach For America), and non-profits (community and national organizations). About half of all concentrators eventually go on for a professional or advanced degree, either in basic science or in one of the increasing number of interdisciplinary programs.

What are Geology - Chemistry concentrators doing...


Advisor: Jan Tullis