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.

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 geochemical processes and phenomena working on and within the Earth and other planets
  • Employ chemical principles and analytical tools to investigate the Earth and other planets

Graduating Class

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

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 Geology - Chemistry concentrators doing...


Advisor: Jan Tullis